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Senator Ifeanyi Araraume.
APGA Governorship Candidate in Imo State.

Distinguished Senator Ifeanyi Godwin Araraume is a man of many parts and his name means many things to different people.

I met him for the first time at a popular restaurant in Zone 4 Abuja called MacDowal in the company of Chief Eddy Onuoha who was like a guardian to me, while I was serving out my NYSC in Jos Plateau state. Chief Eddy Onuoha was the president of Igbo cultural Association Plateau state (he was a very vibrant and revered Igbo leader in Jos in those days).

That chance meeting was after a long drawn political battle between my late father Chief G.C Anyanwu and Senator Ifeanyi G. Araraume on who was going to be the chairman of our Local Government Area, Isiala Mbano in Imo state.

Isiala Mbano had never experienced such fierce politicking and injection of resources, it was indeed the first major political awakening of our L.G.A. When the battle was over and election results released, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume’s candidate won and the outcome of that battle gave birth to the merger of Chief G.C. Anyanwu and Senator Ifeanyi Araraume as strong political associates, my father took him in as his son and he took my father in as his leader.

On that day at that restaurant, Chie Eddy Onuoha introduced me as the son of Chief G.C. Anyanwu, a lawyer based in Abuja and he gave me his card as a Director in the defunct Inland Bank.

After that chance meeting, I had series of other meetings with Senator Araraume, some were personal, and some business related.

In 2003, in one of our meetings, he suggested that our relationship be made official, he signified his intention to retain my firm (ST. DOMINIC AND COMPANY) as personal solicitors and for his sundry businesses. We exchanged letters and we have been on for 15 years now.
I am sure I would not be exaggerating if I say that 15 years of working closely with Senator Ifeanyi Araraume has somewhat conferred on me the locus to assess him as a person, having not just worked in his business but having been involved in some personal aspects of his life and transactions.

The first thing, he told me when we needed to close on a property transaction was that he will not shortchange government on any statutory payments (not that I would encouraged that too), reason being that he would always like to be on the right side of the law so as to stand on a sure footing when there is need to either make recoveries or defend the transaction. This left a lasting impression on me.

Over the years, I have handled both legal and non-legal matters for the distinguished senator and his meticulous penchant for excellence, is a recurring character trait that is follows him constantly.

Let it be known by all men that I am not writing this to praise sing the senator but to highlight my personal impression of him as against the public misconceptions that have surrounded his person.

Distinguished Senator Araraume is a highly cerebral man whose attention to details is almost unequalled, his ability to read through documents, make corrections and suggestions before appending his signature has made a lasting impression on me, as I do not submit documents to him without going through them severally and ensuring that the submitted copy is exactly what I want it to be and something I can thoroughly defend.

I thought my father was the most organized person I ever met, until I got close to the Distinguished Senator, who never shreds a document unless he is totally sure he would not be needing it ever, every document that comes his way must be reproduced in triplicate. He once told me that he still has files of the first house he ever built, containing every expense made in the building project. 

He is not a man to miss any detail. I told him jokingly in one of our meetings that he runs his office like a government parastatal.

Distinguished Senator Araraume is a shrewd business man and sometimes a hard bargainer who must get a discount out of every and any bill presented to him. Sometimes he drives his bargains so hard that I wonder at such tenacity. 

To defend my bills, I never go to him casually. He is rich, richer than most people can speculate but he has one thing going for him, he is not a ‘money miss road’ and does not carelessly throw money around, he puts down money on things that will bring value and human development, he will not entertain flimsy money extorting gimmicks and so people are not happy with that.

Araraume is a man who believes in quality and elegance, he could pass for the age long reference of ‘British’ because of his neatness and insistent on proper adherence to procedure. He is a very patient man who is never in a hurry, he will think through everything no matter how juicy, he is a very good listener and once he is convinced of an issue, will give all it takes to bring it to fruition.

Senator Araraume likes to enjoy his meals, he is health conscious and careful with what he eats. His table is usually set out in a banquet style, he loves to eat with people, he rarely eats alone. You can request a particular dish and rest assured that he will ensure that it is prepared and will put a call through to you when it is ready for consumption.

Senator Araraume is a thorough family man who puts a lot of premium on family and training of children. His children most of whom are happily married are well mannered and properly educated. His wife who incidentally is my professional colleague is a lawyer and very hard working, humble and a disciplinarian. She is down to earth and not afraid to get her hands dirty to earn a living despite her status in life. She is the backbone of Exclusive Stores Ltd, their retail super store located in the Wuse 2 area of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Senator Araraume is a man given to planning and budgets for anything he intends to do. He will hardly go outside a planned curriculum. It is on record that he built the magnificent Exclusive Stores Abuja for about 10 years, ensuring that it would meet the desired timeless shopping specifications. He is goal focused and result oriented.

Araraume is a philanthropist. I have met men who have worked for him for more than two decades and they confided in me that their children are all graduates and were trained by the Senator and that they remain eternally grateful to him.

He has a team of builders with different specializations, who have worked with him also for more than two decades. They are responsible, well to do men in their own rights with tangible progress from their association with the Senator to show for it. 

Worthy of note is the verifiable testimony of Mr. Christian Njoku, who came to work with the senator as a security man and after showing exceptional brilliance (Araraume is a perceptive man), Senator Araraume moved him closer as a steward and then said it would be humanly unkind, to allow him to continue as a steward having seen the potentials in him. He trained him to university level, where he studied accountancy at University of Nigeria Nsukka without knowing his village.

Today, Christian is an accountant with Exclusive stores Abuja and is happily married.

He is not given to much publicity and will not take out a talking drum to shout out his achievements, but I dare say that he has a lot going on. If I say all there is to say about the Senator, it will become a book and that is not my intention here, I enjoy very close and cordial relationship with him and I write from firsthand experience. 

I have written this to make known my unequivocal and unalloyed support for the distinguished Senator’s bid to occupy the Imo state Douglas House Owerri come 2019.

I am well convinced that his audacious insistence on excellence, patience, intelligence, love for the people of Imo state and good nature will be brought to bear on his administration to effectively deliver democratic dividends to the good people of Imo state.

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