“Another major victim of Okorocha’s high handedness was distinguished Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, who incurred Okorocha’s wrath for publicly expressing his interest to Contest as governor in 2019. It must be recalled that for Araraume, Okorocha would have lost the re-run election of 2015 to Emeka Ihedioha,…”
I take the floor to say this first and I stand to be challenged. In my media career and even in all the media positions I have held including being Governor Rochas Okorocha’s Chief Press Secretary, I have never attacked anybody even on the pages of newspapers. I have never woken up to attack or malign anybody, either overtly or covertly. I have only responded or reacted to media attacks on the governor or on my humble self.
Incidentally, while the opposition writers in the State appear thorough in keeping the records of those they Claim I have attacked they do not keep records of those who have attacked or impugned on the personality of the governor or myself. They would always mention those, to them, I have hit but would skip what prompted my actions or reactions. I have never been on the offensive. But rather on the defense. Let anybody prove me wrong. Now see why I have begun this way.
One Agu Diamond who said he is CPS to Senator Ifeanyi Araraume wrote an article with the Caption above. What he meant by “CPS”, he never told his audience. He didn’t say whether it is my own kind of CPS so that we can also enlist him like we have done to those like him. Going by the Caption, one could easily envisage or imagine or point at the angle he was coming from. He was vulgar to a very large extent. He was very raw which gave the room for the suspicion that he might be one of the “been-tos” in the Pen vocation. His language was far from being Journalistic. But I won’t go that way. I would reduce the lengthy piece to two issues and then navigate.
He wrote “Owelle Rochas Okorocha had craftily, deceitfully and cunningly portrayed the life and image of a Philanthropist by dishing out the gibberish that if he could run a free tuition Private School, run the Nigeria Red Cross Society and donate to the needy as an individual….” No Court has found Rochas guilty of deceit, etal. So, the guy was ignorant, which indeed, is not an excuse in law.
Diamond vomited again “Another major victim of Okorocha’s high handedness was distinguished Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, who incurred Okorocha’s wrath for publicly expressing his interest to Contest as governor in 2019. It must be recalled that for Araraume, Okorocha would have lost the re-run election of 2015 to Emeka Ihedioha,…” This Claim has remained fictitious and frivolous.
First and foremost, no writer that knows his onus can be so callous to the extent of saying that someone is deceitful knowing the implication of such unverifiable Claim. One of the inconveniences of the media Profession in recent time. He would have Conducted a research on Rochas’ Philanthropy and see whether he could see anything close to his assertion. But he sat somewhere and fabricated things. However, the story of Rochas’ Foundation Colleges across the nation has remained hugely a successful one. And the testimonies have been avalanche. At least three of such Colleges are in Imo. One in Owerri. One in Ogboko and Rochas Foundation College of Africa also in Owerri. And for the decades these Colleges have been in existence nobody or any of the students has faulted the fact that the Colleges offercomplete free education. Nigerians that know what is on board including Statesmen and African leaders like Paul Unogo, the late Maitma Sule, Olusegun Obasanjo, Jacob Zuma, Ellen Sirleaf, Nana Addo Akufo and so on, have all described Rochas as a nation builder because of his Free Education Programme across the nation. Those who own Supermarkets won’t understand and appreciate all these. Two weeks ago, Rochas was listed as the number two of the ten most celebrated Philanthropists in Nigeria by THE TOP 10 MAGAZINE. He took after Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who came first.
If African and Nigerian leaders in particular and renowned Institutions have acknowledged Rochas Okorocha as a front row Philanthropist and a nation builder through his Foundation that runs Free Education, who is this Cobbler, menderof old soles, called Araraume’s CPS that would say the opposite. Show me your friend, I will tell you who you are.
Now, the irritating Claim of Araraume helping Okorocha to become governor in 2015 which has also become the man’s kite. He always fly it to give the impression that he is still in action when he is not. Like I had said earlier, I do not like “taking people up”. But at times you can’t help it. Obviously, that Agu Diamond does not know Araraume and his politics.
Araraume has never taken any successful step in politics on his own. The only successful outing he has had in his politics was a Political donation or patronage. That time, he hadn’t found his feet. He rode safely on someone’s back. And since then, he has continued to mark time. Araraume is “Eze goes to School” or “Mama aloo” to Rochas, when it comes to Imo politics. And I am going to tell Agu Diamond the brief story of Araraume’s Politics at least starting from 1998 to prove my Contention that he has not done anything for himself in politics and cannot therefore give what he does not have.
In 1998, Chief Araraume was made the Pioneer State Chairman of All Peoples Party, APP, with Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Arthur Nzeribe, Dr. Josiah Odunna, and Evan Enwerem as his pay masters. Hon Mike Iheanatu was made the Secretary of the Party. Few months to the 1999 election, there was this issue about the finances of the Party. Those who owned the Party demanded to know what happened. Hon Iheanatu wrote to explain. But Araraume left the Party. At that point too, Evan Enwerem also left. In the PDP, Innocent Nwoga was the State Chairman and Senator Emeka Echeruo was the apex leader. It was Enwerem who had nominated Nwoga to be Minister when he was governor. So, Enwerem moved to PDP with Araraume into the safe palm of his man’s hand (Nwoga). And also secured ticket for himself for Owerri zone Senate and for Araraume for Okigwe zone Senatorial election.
Imo people had embraced the PDP because some big names in the APP had featured in the ugly story of Otokoto. From 1997 to 1999 was just two years. It was still a fresh story especially when the Otokoto six were executed in June of that year. That was how Araraume went to the Senate from 1999 to 2007. Two terms. Since that period he has not won any other election. He is also known to have fought all the sitting governors to be governor and all to no avail.
In 2007, he fought Achike Udenwa to be governor, he failed. He ran in 2007 as the governorship Candidate of the PDP. Ohakim defeated him. In 2011, he took the governorship ticket of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN. It was donated to him and he failed. And also know that it was Rochas Okorocha who defeated him in 2011 on the platform of APGA that was not on ground. With ACN, Senator Araraume didn’t win even in his Isiala Mbano State Constituency. Read my lips correctly.
In 2015, Emeka Ihedioha defeated him in the PDP’s Primary. He went to Court. He was in Court when the election was Conducted and Rochas won but the INEC in Owerri decided to Conduct Supplementary Poll in four local governments which Rochas also won. Then, what role did Araraume play to help Rochas win the 2015 election that he has not been able to play for himself to win in 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019?
Like I said, I won’t be vulgar like Agu Diamond, to begin to talk about the general impression of Imo people about Araraume and why he can’t win the guber Poll in the State. And do not forget that the same Rochas had run for the Presidency of this Country three times. And he had always given good account of himself by coming second in each case. Araraume has been Okigwe zone based Politician. His victory does not exceed Okigwe zone excluding Okigwe LGA, Onuimo and Ihette Uboma.
Again, Araraume has been a lover of himself only in his politics. We are yet to hear about anybody made by Araraume either in politics or in public life, generally. Has he paid School fees for anybody? We have not heard about that. Has he paid hospital bill for anybody? That we do not also know. Has he sponsored anybody in politics with his own money? We are also yet to know. It has always been about him only. Has he even a Business Centre anywhere in the State where at least two Imo people work for salary at the end of the month? This, we have not also heard. Self-centeredness is his choice word. In 2007, he came third after Ohakim and Agbaso. In 2011, he came third too after Rochas and Ohakim. In 2015 he could not be classified. In 2019, he also came third. And third class is after first class, second class upper and lower. Third class is allowed but it cannot attract an award of excellence.
Rochas has more than one thousand verifiable Projects to his credit as governor and what would Araraume say is his own achievements in Politics and as a Senator for two terms and since Contesting the governorship every four years cannot be counted as achievement. It is not an achievement. He has had one successful outing in his politics with high level assistance and four unsuccessful outings. In other words, he has scored one over four (1/4) which is not good.
In case some of these elements do not know or have forgotten, Rochas Okorocha will finish his second term on May 29, 2019 and very strong too. He is not running for governor again and he didn’t Contest the 2019 election for the governorship. But some write as if he was one of the governorship Candidates in the 2019 election. He is Senator-elect for Imo West Senatorial zone and by June he would be in the Senate as distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The antics of Prof. Innocent Ibeawuchi or Onyerieri won’t stop him, while we Continue to Clap for Jesus.
By: Sam Onwuemeodo