Dominant in the wake of 2011 general elections in Imo State were the great expectations of what was not to come. The present governor, Rochas Okorocha, then a front-line contestant, had promised to make the state a “heaven on earth’’. The people believed due to his hyped resume as a philanthropist. The electorate, without crosschecking, fell heel over head in love with him. Yours sincerely was one of them, regrettably.
It wasn’t really our fault. The then incumbent, Ikedi Ohakim, a ‘‘spotless’’ braggart and product of that People’s Democratic Party (PDP), threw caution to the winds. He prided himself as the consummate ‘‘Philosopher King’’, built a political spliff and doped himself with some high grade arrogance while Imo citizens suffered.
His eventual unavoidable fall was the first time a sitting governor, armed with the instruments of office, was defeated.
As the 2011 Election Day inched closer, the main challenger loomed and intensified his false promises, a bait which we took hook, line and sinker. Today Imo people can comparatively tell better, as ‘‘strong holding politician’’ is quite preferred to a ‘‘thieving one’’. Don’t bother to decipher this aphorism. Only Imolites can figure it out.
Yours Sincerely would like to suggest just one thing to the Imo people: That in 2019, we should endeavour to elect candidates, whose education was on a ‘‘regular course’’, not ‘‘direct short service’’. This is what I mean: going by the unfortunate circumstances we long faced during the military era, a whole lot of people enrolled into schools, where they acquired ‘‘chamfered’’ education, by combining street hustling and academics.
The resultant effect was that they merely have been through, tangentially, mere certifications, without grasping knowledge, barely reading hand outs, without energy for what it takes for the intellectual rigour. And if by divine providence or dubious means they make it in life, they think they have arrived. Then they ‘‘spread their shoulders like hanger’’ and proceed to use their provisions as an instrument of revenge on the society, including you and me.
When you notice people with such background, together with their political stooges, please VOTE THEM OUT! Yours sincerely is not saying there are no persons of self-struggle, in an informal setting, who made it and are broad minded. No! I am not insisting that education is just being to school. I am actively looking upon those whose childhood stories still hurt, whose everyday mantra is ‘‘grab and grab’’, ‘‘win and conquer’’, without moral justification even for a win situation, who come with Grecian gifts, who chase shadows. If our lives are indeed not lived for the greater good and equity, with those we share a common humanity and nature, now tell me, what are we living for?
For instance, how could one explain it, that a sane man would attempt to multiply what passed for a general hospital in twenty-seven Local Government Areas? This would have been a wonderful feat, if it were do-able. But for a state whose only revenue, so to speak, is the federal allocation, such an act is misappropriation (waste) of public funds.
A governor, with a sound mind, would have fortified already existing general hospitals or, at least, started with handful pilot projects. But instead, a flamboyant lifestyle, a razzmatazz, drove Okorocha so hard that he lost touch with reality – a lifestyle too bogus that the accidental beauty, like butterfly’s, never matches the real substance.
Now we are left with white elephant projects, the carcasses of some would-have-been general hospitals, inhabited solely by Agamas and their cousin Geckos.
Such a colossal waste of tax-payers’ money is a grievous misappropriation of public funds – funds which could have made enviable differences in primary healthcare schemes or equipping primary schools.
Instead of a redress, Governor Okorocha now spends time trying to figure out how to sustain his lies, which have lingered, in chain draws, like carbon chain. He has appointed his family and cronies, including one Uju Anuka, into strategic positions, with a view to sustaining his stronghold in politics, as he warms up for his senatorial ambition, as ‘‘president-in-waiting’’ of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
When Okorocha was previously elected, he wasn’t chosen because of his trumped up ideology of philanthropy, nay, I doubt if he had any. The real problem here is his personality, which is pathologically impulsive and self-centred. The governor is so obsessed with publicity, and he always wants to be on the front cover page. Okorocha’s life is ruled by extreme materialism, and when he brags about his acquired property here and there, come and see pride.
The man who dreams of becoming Nigeria’s president only knows two positions in life – either you are a loser or the greatest. And he fights tooth and nail to dominate and emerge the greatest, not minding that virtue sometimes lies in the middle, and not considering the underlining morality.
Okorocha is ruthless and single-minded in pursuit of profit in every endeavour. His present political gains are the profits of years of trumped up philanthropic gestures. Who knows? If care is not taken, he might have a copy of collections of Adolf Hitler’s speeches, like ‘‘My New Order,” under his pillow. Azigbakwa!
This article is a summons to the good people of Imo State to stand up and be strong in faith as we confront this particular ‘‘roaring lion’’, which looks for everything to grab.
Without using sophisticated weapons such as atomic bombs and long range missiles, the incumbent is collapsing Imo State by mere lowering the quality of education in the state. But let’s leave the laughable free education aside, for a story for another day.
In a desperate attempt to salvage already damaged financial records, Governor Okorocha dipped his hand in the coffers of hapless civil servants and abused them, ‘‘broad daylight’’, robbing them of a substantial part of their life’s savings, when he cajoled them to sign off a chunk of their pensions. The governor made retirees dogs and blamed them for his flatulence.
I know that sometimes a wicked leader doesn’t just emerge on his own accord. Sometimes, God thrust him on the people so that they can know Him better. In my mind’s eye, I saw that Dee Sam Onunaka Mbakwe primed his tongue at Imo people, Obasanjo style, on that day the governor was elected, as, according to Igbo proverb, ‘‘the only misfortune a child can bring unto itself is rotten teeth’’. So on that occasion, Dee Sam Mbakwe primed his tongue because he couldn’t have approved of it.
Imo State needs to be rescued from the claws of Rochas Okorocha. But as we pursue this, we must avoid jumping from frying pan to fire. We need to turn to credible people, with proven record of public service to emancipate our people and help us realize our dreams – candidates like Hon. Ike Ibe, or someone in that character.
In any case, the burden of responsibility has finally weighed Governor Okorocha down. Talks and governance are worlds apart. With a backlog of unfulfilled campaign promises, Governor Okorocha’s motorcade is moving in and around Imo state, showboating with a tint of arrogance, until ‘‘my people, my people’’ mantra cliffs in the roof of his mouth. And until ‘‘my governor, my governor’’ fades in the mouths of sycophants.
*Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org