Last week, we dwelt on the Imo North by-election, which has become controversial. It was an avoidable conundrum that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, created for bizarre reasons. In this concluding part, we try to proffer a way out of the quagmire and hope that the controversy is resolved sooner to stop the socioeconomic haemorrhage of beleaguered Imo North.

It is good to laugh last regardless of the Abuja court ruling because as it is, there is no iota of doubt that the Supreme Court will do justice when untying this confusing labyrinth. It is not the first time the apex court rose to the occasion like when it boldly straightened Chibuike Amaechi’s k-leg during the days of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. The only problem is how much longer Imo North would have to wait, as it is shamefully the only zone without representation in the Red Chamber for far too long.

It is not for courts to choose candidates for political parties. So, with the Appeal Court’s ruling, Imo North has every reason to jubilate. Ibezim is the man that can bring the zone out of the backwaters. The zone has been stranded in the morass of underdevelopment when compared to the two other zones in Imo State. As a former commissioner for agriculture and natural resources, Ibezim has the key to bring the much-needed democracy dividends and unlock the agrarian potentials of the zone. He can turn it into the food basket of the state. He enjoys close rapport and synergy with the state governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma; and the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba. With his party is in control at both the centre and state, including even the local governments, commissioners and advisers, Ibezim remains the surest bet and it would be a fruitless gamble for Imo North to send a different person to represent her in the Senate.

Araraume may not be the political vampire, as being tagged. He is simply fighting for his political life, and he has every right to do that. He is also entitled to whatever scheme he desires to achieve his goal. We must tell ourselves the truth that we are all as guilty; at least, all politicians do the same.

Ugwumba, as his chieftaincy title denotes, is indeed the pride of his people, not just in Isiebu but also the entire Imo North. He deserves his respect. However, there is time to fight or retreat for the sake of desirable peace. And I believe strongly that having paid his dues in life, it is time Araraume set his eyes on nobler pursuits. He should no longer allow political jobbers to feed fat on his ego. He must not continue to be ATM for hirelings, lurking in wait to maim, kill and destroy.

These are sycophants and flatterers with deception coursing through their veins. They have no truths in them. They are vermin, sucking life from their victim until they wreck him. I believe Ugwumba has fed homegrown hunger enough and should snap the string, attaching these hangers-on to him so that they can float away to irrelevance or perdition.

We have to face the reality that Imo North is bleeding as a result of egoistical political wounds inflicted by rabidly voracious and unconscionable people only desirous of selfish gain, and, so, knock heads together because obviously, the more disparate the people, the more their gain, ‘chopping’ from both sides.

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I am of the view that this matter should no longer be left for the courts whose wheels churn ever too slowly much to the detriment of Imo North. There just has to be a way out of the quagmire and it is up to the leadership of Imo APC in concert Okigwe Zone to seek alternative resolution to separate the combatants. Yes, alternative remediation is recognised in conflict management for the good of the gladiators and concomitant victim, which is Imo north, the ground bearing the weight of the fight of elephants.

Now, is there really no way the Ugwumba could be pacified? In reality, there is not much for him to lose apart from credibility and reputation for setting the zone backwards if he allows this fight to fester. He’s not going to the Senate that he has not been to before. He’s not going there to make the money he has not already made; neither is he aspiring to make the name and fame he has not already made.

Rather, Araraume is being goaded by brownnosers, who are drumming it in his ears that he would lose face. This is quite false and misleading; which face? I wish his eyes would open so that he salvages his name before it becomes an abhorrent relic. Those scavengers feeding fat on his ego would still turn around to taint and taunt him tomorrow, especially in our clime of anywhere belle face politicians. We know from biblical times that those that sang hallelujah for Jesus in the morning later turned back to shout crucify him, and, in fact, they did.

If only Araraume could listen to the voice of wisdom, he would ignore the mosquitoes whining sweet nothings in his ears but sapping him of blood and strength. Doing so is not a sign of weakness or cowardice but, in fact, would be the boldest step ever taken. If I were Ugwumba, I would toe a very noble, statesmanlike path before the apex court comes calling: Bow out on high and thereby hoist my name on the hall of fame in the annals of Imo North. I pray that God gives him the grace to do what is honourable and praiseworthy.

So, for me, I write with the joy manifesting from the hope that Ugwumba’s nobler man would be stirred to break away from desperate hungry men, holding him captive so that he would give the younger generation a chance to thrive. May those foraging for destiny to dismember not succeed over him so that posterity would be generous in judging him.

Nonetheless, it is infallible truth that though Ibezim’s march to glory be delayed, ultimately, it shall end in praise for the good of Imo North. That is the zone’s sweet hope and, as Lao Tzu noted: “As long as we have hope, we have direction; the energy to move on and the map to move by.”