From Nnamdi Ofonye, Owerri
The doors might have finally been shut against the gubernatorial aspiration of Senator Ifeanyi Araraume following the release on friday of names of candidates that will contest the february 28th governorship election in lmo state by the Independent national electoral commission INEC.
This action has rattled the camp of Araraume who had these while remained optimistic that he will eventually fly the party flag in the election. The camp heaped their hope in the judgement from a federal high court that is entertaining the matter on grounds that Ihedioha was wrongly declared the winner of the primary election having allegedly come second behind Araraume from the valid votes cast in the primary.
Barely 24 hours after the election committee announced Ihedioha as the winner, the director general of the Araraume campaign organisation and a former member of the house of representatives, Hon. Independence Ogunnewe rejected the result arguing that Ihedioha was allotted extra 21 votes which catapulted his votes from 325 to 346 thereby pushing Araraume down the ladder to second position with 336 votes.
However,while Araraume and his suppoters made moves to seek reddress from the party at the national level who appeared helpless or at the same time compromised, it availed Ihedioha the opportunity to consolidate his hold on the ticket at the state level as he was even presented to the party,s stakeholders as their authentic candidate by the Nnamd Anyaehie led exco days before Inec released names of those to contest the election in the state.
However, Hopes had risen for the Araraume,s suporters last week when he returned from Abuja and told a mammoth crowed of his suppoters who trooped out to reciever him at the sam Mbakwe airport that he is back in town to kick start his campaigns. He even went ahead to test run his acceptability as he rode in an open roof car round the major streets of owerri, the state capital recieving large ovations from the people.
“I had meetings with mr president and my party in abuja. Mr president who is the leader of PDP assured me that justice will be done as he is a believer of justice” he told the crowed which was greeted with cheering ovation.
From the list released by Inec Ihedioha will slug it out against the incumbent Rochas Okorocha of APC, Capt Emmanuel Iheanacho of APGA among others but the case might be different at the end of 14th of january when the final judgement on the case must have been delivered according to reactions coming from the camp of Araraume.