Certainly, this was not the scenario outgoing Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha envisaged – the swearing in of another person as governor other than his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu.
Mr. Okorocha in his hallucination, concluded that “there are no men in Imo State,” and in that delusion he believed, albeit erroneously, that he has pocketed the state and Imolites as he got irredeemably intoxicated by power that was freely given to him by the people he went on to oppress for the eight years he reigned as governor. Yes, “Owelle” reigned, he never served the people.
Okorocha got addicted to doing whatever he liked with Imo funds, land and properties. He could not imagine a life where he was no longer in charge. This was why he schemed to extend his tenure governing by proxy, using his puppet son-in-law.
This was the scenario he had envisaged. Uche Nwosu will take over, while he moves up the ladder to the senate as the final step towards his weird presidential bid in 2023. And the pursuance of that inordinate ambition was expected to be funded with Imo funds. Uche Nwosu was supposed to make available Imo money.
This was the plan; there was no plan B. And Okorocha never imagined in his life that this wish would never be realized. Afterall, “Imo enwe hu nmadu” (there are no men in Imo State). Ultimately though, Okorocha learnt sometime in March this year that he had been living in a fool’s paradise. Imolites did not only show him that there are men in abundance in the state; they also reminded him that power belongs to the people.
They rejected his plan of building a political dynasty. Neither would his son-in-law succeed him nor would he be going to the senate. Okorocha is still recovering from the psychological damage of that bitter lesson.
On top of that he will now wake up this morning with joblessness looming in a matter of minutes and unsure of what the future holds for him. This thickly underlines the transcient nature of power. But Okorocha was too foolish to understand it.
In my piece in 2011, Ohakim: Downfall Of An Impostor-Governor, I was so pissed with Ihedi Ohakim’s performance as governor that I concluded the article saying “Imolites will be saying to themselves that never again will they be visited with another plague like Ohakim.”
I thought there can never be anything worse. How was I supposed to know that a greater plague called Okorocha was coming?
I will leave it to political scientists/historians to figure out what happened to Okorocha – a man who rode to power enjoying tremendous goodwill, after he fooled the people into believing that he was one of them. He lied his way to power, claiming he was this and that – a husband of widows and father of orphans.
Today, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha will be sworn in as executive governor instead of Uche Nwosu. Since Sam Mbakwe, no man has come across to me as more competent, passionate and sincere to serve the people as governor than the former deputy speaker of Nigerian House of Representatives. And no one since then has been more qualified to be governor than him. I only hope he does not get intoxicated with power like Ohakim and Okorocha and prove me wrong.
So much enthusiasism and optimism have been generated by his election victory, following a war Imolites massively waged against Okorocha and his gang.
Looking at the number of Imo Diasporans, who came back to be a part of the history of Ihedioha’s swearing in ceremonies, you cannot but be shocked. It would be an understatement to say it is a record number. Such has never happened in the history of the state that many Imolites abroad will spend their hard-earned money travelling from far and wide just for the inauguration of a governor.
This shows the confidence they have in Ihedioha. It is simply to tell him that he has their support, as he begins, after the years of the locusts, the unenviable task of rebuilding a state financially raped by self-serving people who never had the interest of ordinary Imolites at heart.
Like Ohakim and Okorocha, fate has firmly placed Ihedioha’s political destiny in his hand. And whatever he decides to do with with, will determine his political future.
If he wisely serves the people, build the brand – IHEDIOHA – a second term is guaranteed plus a possible bid for president or vice-president if he has such dreams.
Taking a look at the governorship of Emeka Ihedioha, only others could rock his boat; his political boat. Especially, those that he will surround himself with.
The greatest mistake he would make would be to allow his Mbaise people to hijack it as their thing. If this happens, he would pay dearly in 2023.
Another possible error would be failure to grasp his primary mandate. I guess Imo people wants him to make Okorocha account for all his iniquities. Imolites believe that Mr. Okorocha stole the state dry and converted many public properties. They simply want them back. Ihedioha must fight to get them back, or at least do his best. If he fails, the political price will be too costly.
Be this as it may, I join my Imo people in congratulating Ihedioha on his swearing in as the executive governor of the state, as we look forward to a better life under his leadership. Certainly, Imo will be great again!