Politician, his many controversies and burden Imo – The Sun Nigeria
“If you have to say or do something controversial, aim to get people to hate that they like it and won’t like them to hate it.”
– Criss Jami
the Former Imo State Governor Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha comes across as a controversial man. What the 59-year-old former governor says and does, lets controversy spill over him, falling on him like a waterfall. Maybe he’s enjoying the swing of it and all the fun in it anyway. And it can say it all about the many hangars and colors of controversy.
Between 2011 when Okorocha came to power in Imo State and now, things have not been the same for him. Rather, they keep shifting and shifting – thus pushing it into overdrive.
Until 2011, Okorocha had remained somewhat on the sidelines. Although he was apparently active in the political field, he never won an election and never wielded executive power. But that changed later.
Okorocha, remember, contested the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) primary elections to become governor of Imo State in 1999. But he was defeated by Chief Achike Udenwa who later became governor. . Later in 2003, Okorocha participated in the primaries of the late All Nigeria’s People’s Party (ANPP) as president. Once again, he lost.
Then, like the average Nigerian politician, he became a nomad and had to change parties until 2011 when he ran for the governorship of Imo on the platform of the All Progressives Grand. Alliance (APGA). He later won after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the contest inconclusive. He was to serve at Imo for two eight-year terms.
Until Okorocha became governor, few people in Imo knew him. Some at the grassroots only knew that he was the head of the Rochas Foundation Inc. In their opinion, he was a philanthropist and a flamboyant politician. But he flourished politically when the Imo Governor’s pie fell into his palm. It was only then that the real Rochas was revealed.
Now ask any elder of Imo, Rochas’ reign in Imo came at a huge cost. He horribly destroyed the equation of the IMO Fairness Charter. It was a gentleman’s deal that the elders made, allowing the three areas of the state – Imo North (Okigwe), Imo West (Orlu) and Imo South (Owerri) – to take turns producing a governor. This gave Orlu such an unsettling advantage that they still enjoy.
After Chief Achike Udenwa, originally from Orlu, turned eight, the pendulum shifted to Okigwe. Ikedi Ohakim took his chance. But he had only served one term before Okorocha defaulted. The upcoming Okorocha destroyed the charter again following Hope Uzodimma’s emergency again by default; it was imposed on the state by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
Indeed, the early days of former Governor Okorocha in power were filled with good beginnings. He did his best to curry favor with the people. His relations with the army of state officials were excellent. He got them with this popular appeal: âMy people, my people! And they roared back: âMy governor my governor!
Then on the road, Okorocha realized he might not get far with APGA. Re-election was right on his mind. Then his appetite for a hold on the base increased. Pronto, he then spoke of the unthinkable – the fourth level of government. It was the municipal union government that was nowhere on the law books. But he got away with it anyway.
Further down the road, a need to get off the ship arose. The current All Progressives Congress (APC) was then in its formation phase. So on March 2, 2013, Okorocha tore himself away from the APGA and pitched his tent with APC, his new party. He was then honored with the chairmanship of the APC Progressive Governors Forum.
Then in 2015, he ran for the APC presidential primaries. For him, it was an exit mockup – more of a scripted drama for him to play and add vitality to the contestant, Muhammadu Buhari, who won with ease. Then the show was over and he happily returned to Owerri to secure his re-election as governor.
As soon as Okorocha returned for a second term, the bizarre started to tumble.
Gradually, things turned sour between him and the state workforce. He has lost favor with them. He began to owe them months of wages. The chants and cries of acclamation with and between them ceased to erupt in their encounters.
Then he created bizarre ministries and portfolios. Then he became a clan, populating them with his closest relatives.
In the future, the opposition started kicking, citing corruption. Citizens have multiplied complaints that their land was being taken away by the Okorocha government. Then he shot market after market in the state, leaving their rubble to crack under government bulldozers. Many lost not only their lives, but also their livelihoods in the debacle that was to follow. But Okorocha’s government has not listened.
As his tenure drew to a close, Okorocha fought for his successor. He oiled the cogs of his late party, the Action Alliance (AA) and went on a rampage to hoist his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, who was his chief of staff as governor. How daring, but she ultimately failed and fell!
Okorocha’s attempt to represent Imo West in the 9th Senate was going on simultaneously around this time. Again, this became controversial, characterized by charges of rigging and coercion of the local electoral arbiter to declare him the winner. He had his way. INEC asserted its victory; he was sworn in on June 13, 2019 by the Senate leadership as a senator representing Imo West.
Funny enough, Okorocha is awarded for introducing “Iberiberism” into Nigerian street jargon. He coined it from the word Igbo Iberibe, meaning either stupidity or madness, thus leaving his power to amuse unparalleled.
The election of former governor Emeka Ihedioha opened up new prospects for Okorocha. The former stepped up questioning about his eight-year reign. But it ended as soon as the regime was scuttled.
But for now, Okorocha is still mired in a never-ending battle with the current government of Uzodimma – everything is centered on corruption and self-enrichment. Uzodimma in particular fought vigorously against him, the university he built in his native Ogboko in the Ideato North council, allegedly with government money, and Uzodimma was successful in the battle.
Unfortunately, since taking over the Uzodimma administration, Imo has not known peace. For the first time in the history of the state, unknown gunmen were on the prowl, spreading terror everywhere. There is no part of the state that has not experienced unprecedented violence.
So far, the Orlu area has witnessed this. The army and the police were accused there of extrajudicial executions during a repression mission. Traditional leaders and young people are shamelessly slaughtered.
The governor had previously said he would name the perpetrators of the violence, while accusing his political opponents of the crime. But so far he hasn’t mentioned any names, leaving accusations and guesswork in the air.
However, the refrain on most lips is that the Okorocha-Udodimma fracture should be resolved and quickly too, claiming that the Imo have suffered the most. Last week, when Okorocha joined his son-in-law, Nwosu, to bury the mother at Eziama Obierie, Nkwerre LGA, Imo State, he lamented that the state he served as governor for eight years is bleeding out. cause of insecurity, claiming it was caused by poor governance. He begged the young people to stop shedding the blood of the royal fathers.
Rochas Okorocha born in 1962 is from Ideato, Imo State.