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Rochas Okorocha: A political error Nigeria should never experience


Rochas Okorocha: A political error Nigeria should never experience

By Cajetan Duke

“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.”

Even before Senator Okorocha maneuvered himself into becoming the Governor of Imo State with fake promises, deceptive laughter, free education bait, misleading philanthropy and devilish propaganda against former Governor Ohakim, he had his eyes on becoming the President of Nigeria.

Recall that when democracy was restored in 1999, Rochas Okorocha competed in the primaries of the the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate for Imo State but lost to Achike Udenwa. He later moved to the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and ran for the party’s presidential nomination but a disappointing result in the primary in 2003 ended his ambition.

Thereafter, Rochas Okorocha formed the Action Alliance (AA) party in 2005, planning to become the presidential candidate for the AA in the 2007 elections.

After the failed attempts (whether real or mere grandstanding) to get the presidential ticket of any of the mainstream political parties at the national level became embarrassing, he returned to Imo State and hijacked the All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA, to run as its candidate for Imo State gubernatorial election in the April 2011 general election. A few weeks later, in December 2010, the APGA suspended Okorocha from the party over what it described as anti-party activities pending an investigation of his conduct, including allegations that he stole 10 million dollars. Consequently, it was reported that he stormed the Imo State Secretariat of APGA with dozens of thugs, who beat up several top officers of the Party. Okorocha and his boys also threatened the then Imo State Chairman and Secretary of APGA.

The forgoing historical excursion into the background of Okorocha – the man who wants to rule Nigeria, is necessary in order to properly let people know his true nature.

One thing fortuitous is that Imo people gave him the opportunity to govern the State and at a point with overflowing goodwill, which he squandered with greed and inordinate quest for self-aggrandizement.

Now, assuming, he was denied the chance to govern the State, the lingering aphorism would have been, ” Rochas would have made a good Governor,” alas! He got the opportunity, started with much promise but in the end, it turned out to be an avoidable accident, that Imo people are regretting to date.

As Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha popularized what was christened, “familiocracy,” which is government of one family, by one family and for one family.”

As Governor, Rochas Okorocha brought governance to an ignominious low, without standard. Contracts were awarded and terminated from the bush bar. White elephant projects littered the State, spurious ministries, departments and agencies like the outrageous Ministry of Happiness, headed by his sister and this made our great State, a laughing stock in the country.

Under his watch, the Imo educational sector became a shadow of itself because of poor standard. The prefabricated school buildings in almost every part of Imo State are today, lying waste because they were poorly constructed with substandard materials and many have collapsed.

Even under the regime of “Free Education,” Imo people were groaning because it was not really free but more of ‘abracadabra’ ” the more you look, the less you see.”

Few months after his exit as governor, the Imo International Conference Centre, IICC, collapsed; the Police Headquarters building and Nigeria Correctional Centre building all on Port Harcourt Road, were never occupied for a day because they were poorly constructed and as it stands the buildings are in terrible state of disrepair.

Under Okorocha’s watch, the Civil Service was non-existent as workers were asked to go home and farm.

Under his watch Imo became known as the State with the highest number of what has been described as “China Roads,” because they were not really constructed to last.

Some will say, ” But he created roads.” Yes, I agree but one thing certain is that majority of the roads are impassable and not motorable as they will require reconstruction and which His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma is doing presently..

The incontrovertible fact is that Okorocha created roads “China Roads,” and created more problems.

In attempt to cover his failure, Okorocha, once told Imo people that “acid rain” was to blame for the failed roads. This is laughable.

Out of the 27 hospitals he claims he built, only one in Ikeduru Local Government Area is functioning not because he, Okorocha made it possible – no. It is functioning because of the collective efforts of Ikeduru sons and daughters. The other 26 uncompleted buildings are now home for rodents, miscreants etc.

Strikingly, the buildings and State assets he will eventually appropriate and convert to personal and family asset, he did construct very well like the recovered University at Ogboko, The Royal Spring Palm Hotels, the Nneoma Skills Acquisition Centres in the three senatorial zones etc.

The road leading to his home in Ogboko was never given any attention and today it is impassable both by human beings and vehicles. Is this the kind of president that Nigeria deserves?

Just recently, Senator Rochas Okorocha, declared his intention to contest in the 2023 presidential election, through a letter read at plenary of the Senate by the President, Ahmad Lawan.

In the letter, Okorocha said, “ With elections drawing near, as the days go by, our citizens are concerned about the quality of persons to run the affairs of our nation, one who can address some of their major concerns which include:

A detribalised Nigerian who can unite our country.

A leader with a compassionate heart, who will care for the poor and downtrodden and the masses of our country,

A visionary leader who can create wealth for our teeming populace, thereby addressing the issues of poverty, insecurity and youth restiveness.

Like I stated earlier, the quality of great leaders is reflected in the standards they set for themselves and going by the ridiculous standards Okorocha set in Imo State for eight wasted years, I am at loss as to how he will unite Nigeria, when he failed with the “little Imo” test. Yes, Okorocha as governor, introduced a localized version of “apartheid” in the form of “Ndi agburu,” meaning members of his lineage – which maybe political and family lineage. That was how he divided Imo State and governed with impunity. If one does not belong to “ndi agburu,” one is automatically ostracized – then I ask, is this how he will unite Nigeria?

In addition, a leader with a compassionate heart cannot seize people’s land and appropriate it. A leader with a compassionate heart, will not render his people poor with failed policies. A compassionate leader will not underpay civil servants, owe retirees, waste public funds, siphon the much he could and struggled to succeed himself with his son-in-law after eight years of painful misrule and recklessness. A compassionate leader will not build a university with public funds and convert it to his own personal asset. The list is endless.

We all saw the visionary leader in Okorocha after horrible eight years of maladministration in Imo State. He lacks vision and the will to deliver good governance, which will address poverty, insecurity and youth restiveness in Nigeria because he failed in Imo State.

Okorocha succeeded in deceiving Imo people for eight years – but now they are wise though still gnashing their teeth in regret and do not want Nigerians to experience the ugliness, deception and hopelessness in Okorocha because obviously, nothing good will ever come out of him.

His gifts are Greek and my worry together with that of many concerned Imo people is that Nigeria will collapse under Okorocha because he is more of a liquidator, “grabbler,” than a leader. He will definitely partition the country for “ndi agburu,” but that cannot happen if he is stopped now.

May Rochas never happen to Nigeria!

Cajetan Duke is the State Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress APC Imo State

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