OF ARARAUME/UDENWA AND THE NEW IMO PDP
Literary scholars and critics who are interested in character portraiture or depiction always look at the characters understudy, what they do, what people say about them, their physical/mental strength and how they manage crisis and their environment especially looking into the future. By digging into a whole gamut of the personalities in question as well as their environment, literary scholars and in some cases critics then come out with a genuine authentic picture of the personalities in question. The above summation according to writers is literary appreciation in its compound sense especially because in the study of literature human beings are the main ingredients of literary events. Likening the above to the mundane, it captures succinctly the political picture that has been unfolding in Imo State PDP in recent times which has seen the principals' of two strong political blocs in Imo State, Destiny Organization and Redemption Group, Sen. I.G Araraume and Chief Udenwa come together in what many political watchers see as the “mother of all genuine reconciliation” in recent times.
Much as the observers are applauding the development especially as it targets to close ranks within ranks, recreate the party, make it functional and stop hawks who specialize in urinating in two bushes simultaneously from hijacking the party, the resolve of the two leaders to close rank did not come easy. At the last count over twenty reconciliation moves had been made between 2007 and the very last month when maturity which Leon Gobbles, a British poet described as the “greatest gift from God to man” prevailed and the much sought after reconciliation became a reality. Yes rather than high tech meetings which political leaders thought would do the trick of reconciliation, the opening of multi million Naira Exclusive Stores Ltd situated in the heart of Abuja the Federal Capital Territory capital did the magic. The Proprietor, Sen I. G Araraume had invited Chief Udenwa Achike in his capacity as the Minister of the Commerce and Industry as Special guest of Honour at the occasion but Chief Udenwa whom many see as the last standing apostle of “politics without bitterness”, a Political philosophy he learnt from his political Master late Aminu Kano, yes not only did Udenwa honour the invitation against the predictions of incurable optimist but made speeches to suggest that the war of friends as it concerns of the soul of Imo PDP should be over now. He did not stop there, he paid glowing tributes to of Senator I. G. Araraume describing Araraume as an irrepressible, go getting, intelligent and strategic politician that should ordinarily keep analysts and book makers busy. Senator Araraume obviously taken aback by the comments of Gov. Udenwa Achike especially remembering the bitter war between them did not waste time and as a man imbued with super midas political touch then latched in on the development beyond showering encomiums on Governor Udenwa. Much later after the event, visits were to follow, meetings were held without delay, committees to strengthen reconciliation were quickly formed and all actors appeared happy at the turn event leaving pundits churning out several helpless answers as to the reconciliation between friends who became enemies. A for no just cause or reason
But observers say the reconciliation between Senator I.G. Araraume and Ex- Gov Achike Udenwa is significant in many ways. Firstly it has reduced work load of National reconciliation committee headed by Gen Ike Nwachukwu in that attention will be less focused on Imo State since the men at the thick of the quarrel had counseled themselves, began the process and almost finalized reconciliation even before the National reconciliation Committee was set up by the PDP high command. In this direction observers have not ceased to salute the maturity, intelligence and sense of accommodation of the two fledging politicians who pundits predicted cannot come together under any political umbrella. Also the coming together of the two men and the their two political groups will no doubt end the bitter political acrimony that has been the lot of both Imo PDP and the entire State an ugly situation which led to the loss of Imo State to newly registered Progressive Peoples Alliance. Now with the celebrated reconciliation, the two groups which command over 95% membership of Imo PDP will work together and ensure that PDP recovers Imo state in 2011. It is also noteworthy to state here that the coming together of the two political blocs will ensure that strangers and interlopers who left PDP at the time of need do not hijack the soul of party for selfish end to advance their sit tight project of continuing in office after 2011 especially counting on their waning popularity in the state. Also the, reconciliation effort of Araraume/Udenwa in Imo also is tandem with the expectation of PDP leaders in the South East Zone who are continually upset with the loss of Imo and Abia States to rival PPA, a situation that has cost the Zone sizeable number of delegates, as well as opportunities at both the PDP high command and government at the centre. Besides the Imo PDP reconciliation is targeted to act as an adrenalin to other state chapters where bickering have become a veritable part of the chapter. Now in its quest to do a good job, the National Reconciliation will now point to Imo State as a reference point especially to warring sides who may not be easily disposed to a reconciliation, yes the question therefore will be “if Imo can do it why not you”, that way reconciliation across the land will made easy courtesy of two great politician who began showing the way on their own and not on the prompting of no one. Not also forgotten as a veritable significance of the reconciliation is the fact it will stop the total collapse of PDP in Imo State. For instance it is a notorious fact that the Emperor in Imo State has not hidden his mission to fragment and dismember Imo PDP as much as he can and this has been ongoing since he took power in 2007 so as to consolidate his amorphous organization which he now uses as a bargaining chip to any political party interested in him. Now with the coming together of the two groups the issue of sudden death of the Imo PDP as planned by those who don't wish the party well can be likened to the thinking of an idle man. And true to prediction, the coming together of the two has left the emperor distrust and confused leaving him with the option of floating one headless organization whose leaders neither believe in the organization nor in the Emperor, now the same fellow is now running helter skelter around PDP headquarters, hanging around the country home of the National chairman and dishing out huge monetary gifts to ensure that the reconciliation efforts in Imo PDP fails recognition by the National Headquarters. We need also to state here that the reconciliation effort will in no small measure finally bury the brigande that have been the lot of Imo state since 2007 when one impostor who had neither academic nor work experience took over the reigns in the state. Now with the coming together of the two blocks, the PDP at the National Headquarters should go to sleep and worry less on the outcome of the 2011 elections as the coalition will without stress deliver Imo back to PDP. Finally the new found love in Imo State PDP tallies with the spirit of servant leader, Umaru Yar'adua who is determined to rebrand the PDP as its leader and away from what it used to be before he became President. What therefore Araraume and Udenwa have done is to initiate the rebranding of PDP using their reconciliation.
As one Imo PDP faithful Dr. John Eze said in Owerri penultimate week “the development in Imo PDP no doubt signals a new beginning for a decimated party, now with what one is hearing of the reconciliation efforts, there is no doubt that a new PDP devoid of hate, acrimony, division has come to stay now all it needs is sincerity devotion and dedication to make it work”. Eze has a soul mate in Chief Sonny Hart Ibe, a Former Commissioner in Imo State who said of the reconciliation. “Everybody in Imo State knows that the totality of Imo PDP is the summation of the two groups of Destiny and Redemption, even though many thought it an impossibility, it has come to stay thanks to the maturity of Ex Governor Udenwa and Senator I.G. Araraume who are looking beyond self to revamp both Imo PDP and Imo State that have been in Comatose since 2007, we are indeed happy and excited especially the founding members”.
As one American, Thomas Jefferson once said, “if a House is on fire from within or without, what any intelligent must first do is to put out the fire before asking the cause”. Observers say, Jefferson's wise words have no doubt found home in Imo State where two political actors, Araraume and Udenwa have today done away with the dark days and embraced the light expected to shine not only on the new Imo PDP but also provide enduring illumination of confidence, hope and trust away from deceit, corruption and tyranny which took root in Imo State due to infighting with Imo PDP. Welcome home the new PDP as packaged by Araraume and his friend Udenwa.
Maximus Uba, a journalist lives in Mbaise Nigeria.