Molly Kilete, Abuja The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has declared its readiness to deploy Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to the Niger Delta region to secure oil and gas pipelines and other critical oil installations owned by Shell company in the country. The deployment of the UAVs, according to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal…
Please, let us get some details clear. We hold no sympathies for any parties in issue in Imo State. And we do not believe in prophecies. We do not also believe in a god or gods acting as arbiters or agents in the human power game. We, however, believe that there is chance, statistical chance, in the affairs of men. We recognise that men sometimes call this statistical spread and disruption of things, god, their god. But with the fact of evolution as a blind agent, it is clear that it is not god, it is chance that is at work and play. God may be defined as chance guided towards prefixed directions. Chance may be said to be god, but without preset directions. That is to say there are no mathematically provable and or proven order to the rise and fall of persons and powers in politics and in life. When the Igbo say amaghi afo ga amu eze, they are not being flippant.
However, the fact of disorderliness in the fortunes and fall of men is not the way to bet or invest your expectations. That is, to bank on the likely outcomes, we have to work within the limits of the present powers in contests. Our projections are in the end informed guesstimates.
To frontend our conclusion, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume is an unlikely person to be governor of Imo State in his life time. To repeat, it is almost impossible for Araraume to be the governor of Imo State any time soon.
Araraume’s glass ceiling is informed and guesstimated as follows. Araraume is one of the greatest political strategists in Igboland and beyond. We say this because we once were around and about in the politics of Igboland while he also played. That he does not often come under the radar does not diminish this fact.
The other fact is that, in the course of his political life, Araraume suffered a cataclysmic near miss. Araraume was just a breath away from being governor of Imo State, and in a classic of Bible prophecy, time and chance happened to it all. Araraume’s tragic failure was not really a fault of his. His chi or blind chance said no. And that bad and vicious chi came in the disguise of one Olusegun Obasanjo. Obasanjo, at that hour, was the sitting President.
And as things happen, lesser strategists, politically speaking, men like Ohakim and Okorocha were by lady-chanced in or moulded as governors. It was chance, not god or genius, that got those two kids the prize. Repeat, chance, not god. God does not play dice or politics with men. God is too imperial to so descend.
The same style vicious chance is about to come in the way of Araraume again. For reasons that only he can explain, Araraume, joined APC. Whether he was wooed by Okorocha or he sought admittance are matters that are not clear to this writer. But in having him in Okorocha recognised Araraume’s immense gravitas. This is especially so in the push and pull of his senatorial zone. In his Okigwe zone, Araraume appears as a fixed nucleus of all winning power configurations.
Okorocha, in a deft move, made Araraume’s son a commissioner. Whether Araraume Snr. asked for it or Okorocha offered it is not clear. Whatever it was, its acceptance was a poor strategic move by Araraume. Knowing that all politics is war and all war is deception, Araraume should not have played close with his family with any politician, not to speak of one as implausible as Okorocha.
Anyway, however Araraume interpreted his political marriage, for Okorocha as the sponsor-governor of the political wedding, the facts are as follows: Araraume has been bought and paid off via the commissioner appointment for his son. These things are not said, but that is how the assumptions go. Thus, in Okorocha’s mind, Araraume cannot be asking to be paid twice for one sacrifice. It is similar to the Gowon-Awolowo alliance. For Gowon and most northerners, Awolowo had been paid off for lending his hand to win a war that never concerned him. So, when Awolowo wanted to rule, the North simply said no and stuck to their guns. Awolowo, too embarrassed to believe himself dashed to the east to seek accommodations. And in all he failed. Araraume ronu!
But why a strategically gifted Araraume fell for that gambit, only he can explain. This is especially so since he had other political non-filial sons he could push. And also he had this open ambition to rule Imo State. A historical reminder, if we needed one, must be this. Babangida, possibly Nigeria’s wiliest soldier of fortune, refused to be in office save when he was in full powers. So, even while he fixed a coup, he hired Buhari to be the placeholder, ala Thomas Sankara/Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso. So, it must be understood that the tradeoffs inherent in office and power is very delicate. Any false or forged moves, you are made dinner. So, an Araraume with a Babangida style eye for the main power should have kept away from office, personally or by proxies, especially filial proxies. This is an iron lore. And it is so pitiable Araraume wanted to break it despite the Babangida case study, which is in the open.
But that was just one of Ararume’s strategic failings. The next, which was even more consequential, was he misread or chose to overlook who Okorocha is. Even from a distance, Okorocha is a man who believes he is a genius, a world historical figure. All you needed was to meet him one-on-one to suffer injury from his ego-diseased sense of self.
The point is that such as Okorocha, whether a Hitler or Stalin, have never tolerated their equals around them. All they have asked for are yes men and bunglers. It is in this sense that Okorocha’s preference for his son-in-law should be understood. It is not just nepotism. It is even more. It is that Okorocha believes the guy is so yahoo, so daft to be any good, even to himself. So his son-in-law is fit to be rewarded, aka the lore of political entropy, with a state. It is similar to the way Obasanjo gifted the nation’s destiny to Umaru Yar’Adua. Obasanjo knew the man was no good or sick: “Umaru are you dead,” he once asked in total mockery of Nigeria and Nigerians.
So, the fact that Araraume is a big masquerader politically counts for him but not as a successor to an Okorocha. Or even an Obasanjo. So it is in the interest of their ego to stop an Araraume. And Obasanjo once did. And Okorocha is about to.
And Okorocha has said so openly. And Araraume replied him. Araraume anchored his fate on god. But as it is known, god neither plays dice not the politics of men. Only chance does. And as events unfolded it is in that Araraume, a seasoned political warrior, has humiliated Okorocha. That was in the latest Imo State congress elections. It is clear he did not do it alone. There were other party and state leaders, like the “golden boy,” Senator Osita Izunaso, too. But Araraume is one of them or possibly the arrowhead.
That is, for Okorocha, Araraume is now doubly a marked man. Now, if Araraume wins the APC party primary, then there will be a blood sport, literally, to winning the main game. Why? The issues between Araraume and Okorocha are not just political, they are ego-driven, personal. And a person like Okorocha, by his many pronouncements, is a man who lives big on his ego. His ego is nearly as important to him as his breath and bread.
So, what is likely to happen is that Okorocha will deploy all the resources in his command, including state resources, to fight Araraume to a finish. And things are likely to be so bloody not only monkeys and baboons, but men too will be soaked in their blood.
Yes, chance can happen and an Araraume could beat Okorocha, like he did in the last congress, but the two political battles are not exactly the same. In the intra-APC congress, it was “a set piece.” In the all-parties gubernatorial contest, it will be a fluid battle formation. That is, it is not just about APC. There are other parties. And they will be willing to dine on the carrion of Araraume or Okorocha, whoever is gunned down, politically, first. And they, not APC/Okorocha/Araraume, will carry the game away.
In other words, the internecine war Okorocha is to hoist on Araraume will ensure an Araraume as APC flag-bearer is a red card play, almost. Rather than Araraume fighting APGA, PDP and others to be governor, he and/or Okorocha will be too mortally wounded to be of any political use to themselves or their party. And since the matter is egoistic, personal, the battle will continue even if one or the other quits the party for another.
On the basis of the forces at work and play, Okorocha’s prophecy upon Araraume would likely come true. To conclude, Imo people must, in spite of Araraume making or not making the governorship, thank him in part. He is one of those who helped retire Okorocha and his Nazi-style ambitions, of cockroachasifying Imo State. Ahiazuwa.