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Okorocha mocked within and outside his party

Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha is a man besieged. He is fighting on all fronts. He is quarrelling with the Imo State branch of his own party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). He is also fighting the National Working Committee of the APC, the highest decision-making organ of the party. This is where Okorocha has made a fundamental error of judgement. He has shot himself in the foot. You do not fight the national leaders of your party and expect to win, except, perhaps, you have finalised plans to abandon the party.

Fed up with Okorocha’s frequent outbursts directed against the APC leadership, the national publicity secretary of the party, Bolaji Abdullahi, came out last week swinging his baton against Okorocha. He said the Imo State governor was spreading false allegations against the party. He warned that the party’s leadership would no longer watch Okorocha throw his brickbats against leaders of the party.

A statement released by Abdullahi last week said: “In recent weeks, the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has made libellous attacks on our party and its leaders a daily occurrence. Hardly a day passes by without Governor Okorocha verbally assaulting our National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and other party leaders over the recently concluded congresses in Imo State.”

I have always said a good fighter is one who knows the limits of his or her powers. Okorocha obviously does not know when he has exceeded the bounds of his powers. He is fighting just about anyone in his party who does not agree with his style or policies or his weird projects such as the construction of statues of people who contributed absolutely nothing to the development of the state. Does that say something about the man’s sense of political maturity, his ability to lead, and the way he perceives himself as the APC role model in Imo State?

Even as the national leadership of the party was cautioning Okorocha to respect the party’s constitution and the guidelines for resolving grievances, the Imo State governor was picking a quarrel with his immediate predecessor, former Governor Ikedi Ohakim. In the exchange last week, Okorocha described Ohakim’s administration as the most reviled of all the previous governments in the state since it was created in 1976.

Okorocha’s temperament seems to have taken a dive to the bottom of the ravine following his inability to overturn the results of the vexatious state congresses conducted amid rancour and ill feelings.

Okorocha seems to live on the misleading assumption that he is close to President Muhammadu Buhari. That proximity, true or false, is what has encouraged him but it has also constrained him from distinguishing between fiction and reality, between right and wrong behaviour, between light and darkness, and between good actions and bad, very bad, decisions. Okorocha has misjudged and indeed exaggerated his relevance in Imo State.

Rightly or wrongly, Okorocha believes no one in his party can challenge his authority or discipline him. A king cannot be sanctioned, his supporters say. He perceives himself as that king to whom all mortals must genuflect. In Nigerian politics, kingmakers can make and violate the law. They can fix anything because they are above the law. Indeed, they are beyond censure.

It is this disingenuous belief, this philosophical misunderstanding, that some politicians have used to propagate the view that some people are born to rule while others must follow and serve the rulers. It is this twisted way of thinking that informs the public misbehaviour of our officials in the public domain. Governors, ministers, commissioners, and other senior public servants go about with that arrogant misconception that ordinary citizens must worship them. These rulers believe they have that celestial authority to govern as they wish. They don’t believe they are accountable or beholden to citizens who elected them.

Over the period he has served as governor, Okorocha’s enemies have grown in number. And they come from diverse backgrounds. Some of his political enemies have drawn up a long list of allegations with which they hope to prosecute Okorocha once he steps down as governor. They hope to produce evidence to show how Okorocha has breached the Constitution, abused his office, abused the human rights of ordinary citizens, and intimidated his political adversaries.

In my part of the world, there is a saying that those whom the gods want to destroy they first turn deaf and blind. Is it too late for Okorocha to change his ways, to reconcile with his adversaries within the Imo State branch of the APC, to operate as a genuine servant of the people, and to apologise to all those whom he crushed or abused in his eagerness to rule? Only Okorocha can answer these questions. What he does not have is the luxury of time. Time is no respecter of high office or low office. Time does not respect economic status or institutional title, whether the person is a state governor or a commoner.

Some people have said Okorocha is a dogged and experienced fighter who does not give up easily. Perhaps they are right. But that proclamation would be tested by how quickly Okorocha resolves his current stoush with the leadership of the APC. Common sense suggests Buhari would be on the side of the APC national leadership rather than on the side of one man whose term is fast coming to an end. This means that even Buhari cannot save the beleaguered Imo State governor.

Okorocha’s odd projects and controversial appointments, his bizarre public pronouncements, and the way he carries himself around like an invincible wrestler, are not winning him any new friends. How would history record his term in Imo State after he has left office?

Rapheal :

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    Come February 2019, the general elections according to Independent National Election
    Commission (INEC) Time Table will commence for another four year term from the Presidency
    to the last political posts in the land of Nigeria. In all of these, the ones that are generating much
    interest, publicity, and euphoria are the presidential, and governorship elections considering the
    nature, and political stature of the few candidates which the system is throwing up at the moment
    especially from the big parties.
    However, my focus in this piece is Imo State governorship race in 2019 elections that promises
    to be a hard fight among parties and within parties. This is ostensibly because of the much
    vaunted interest of the sitting governor Rochas Okorocha who is on the verge of fostering his
    son-in-law on the people of Imo State at all cost having almost completed the maximum second
    term of eight years in Office. The action, and strange intention of the governor has intensively
    heated the political atmosphere across the state, and country, and his regime has been refereed to
    as family business. In order to accomplish his inordinate ambition, he has engaged in a fight of
    the absurd, running rough shod party guidelines, and procedures within the party by mastering
    and unleashing ungentlemanly act of character assassination against the person of Senator
    Ifeanyichukwu Araraume, and former Governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim all from Okigwe senatorial
    zone. One wonders why Rochas chose to pick on these gentlemen, especially Distinguished
    Senator Ifeanyi Araraume who helped him immensely to win second term in office against
    Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP in that epic governorship contest in 2015 in Imo State. One is also
    tempted to asked what constitutional right Rocahas has to pontificate who becomes governor in
    Imo State or not? Does Rochas as a person have more rights than Senator Araraume to have been
    governor in Imo State? What crime has the former committed that will deny him that plume
    office, that Rochas has not committed per se? Does the immunity provided for governors in the
    1999 constitution offer Rochas such power as to debar Senator Araraume this governorship
    opportunity? Has Rochas not contravened that section of the constitution which dwells on
    fundamental human rights of Senator Araraume, and Ikedi Ohakim? These salient questions are
    begging for answers. Be that as it may, who becomes governor of Imo State in the said 2019
    elections is for the future to tell.
    As the buildup to the 2019 governorship race continues to unfold, some notable individuals have
    indicated interests to test their popularity. To smoothen rough edges in the process, these
    politicians have embarked on high level consultations across the landscape of Imo State to drive
    home their suitability for the post to stake holders in all the local governments in the state.
    Consequently, political activity has been on the increase day and night. The coarsed adoption of
    Uche Nwosu initiated by Rochas Okorocha in a desperate bid to install him in office after his
    own tenure has drawn public ire and condemnation and subsequent interests of other people to
    come into the governorship scene if anything to extricate Imo State from the clinched claws of
    Rochas Okorocha.
    But notable among them is Distinguished Senator Ifeanyichukwu Araraume from Okigwe
    senatorial zone who is yet to complete its own terms of office. From all indications, due to the
    disposition of this governor, who has been routed by the recent congress conducted by the APC
    nation wide and in Imo State, Senator Araraume is the only candidate deemed to have the
    capacity, structure, and popularity in all ramifications to rescue Imo State from the ravaging and
    power intoxicated governor. Whether you like him or hate him, he is one politician who has
    structure in the 305 wards in Imo State which he brought into APC that solidified the feet of the
    party. Apart from this, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume quiet mien, and articulate disposition places
    him far above his opponents. Coupled with his mastery of politics as instrument of economic and
    social development, Senator Araraume will bring into governance what has not been seen in this
    part of the world before given his wide traveled experience.Otherwise, it was the PDP that holds
    way in Imo State. This is a man who believes in using government money to work for the people,
    instead of enmeshing oneself in looting, and personal aggrandizement.
    Quite unlike some people who go into public office for personal gain eluding themselves of the
    rigor and comportment which leadership demands, he had prepared for leadership in order to
    have the vantage of being in a better stead to evaluate the developmental needs of the state. He
    believes in the equitable distribution of infrastructures across the senatorial zones instead. To
    accomplish this task which he would set for himself if given the opportunity to lead, he possesses
    the qualities that will facilitate the realization of set objectives in his development agenda or
    party manifesto. He is intelligent, well educated, independent, articulate, organized, and
    emotionally well adjusted to face any daunting task. Doubting Thomas should tarry to ruminate
    over his life progress, and observe that it has been steady. He runs conglomerate of companies
    across the country that are breaking even; a fit which many businesses fail to achieve in a record
    time. His next name is success.
    Having achieved much in his private life, he has acquired public service experience by
    contesting and winning senatorial post twice. While in Senate, he held both chairmanship and
    membership positions which place him atop other contestants. Not quite long ago, President
    Muhammadu Buhari appointed him Commissioner of NCC, a none executive post which he
    holds till today in recognition of his ability in delivering Senator Uwajimogu, and Hon. Dr.
    Collins Chiji in the 2016 rescheduled senatorial and Imo House of Assembly elections in Imo
    Against the myopic conclusion of Rochas Okorocha that he had done all the work that needed to
    be done in Owerri as the capital of Imo State recently, the incoming governor will have the
    onerous duty to redefine the development agenda of Imo State from that of buildings Schools,
    and constructing roads that do not last more than six months. The governor should end this era of
    impunity in the destruction of local markets without first providing alternative places of
    commercial activity in the state. It is unbelievable that Rochas who prides himself as the only
    honest man in Imo State, made series of travels to overseas without returning home with even
    investors that could have built sachet water companies in the state. Even when he went to Turkey
    with largest entourage, nothing promising was heard about that wasteful trip. Meanwhile, he can
    not deny watching governor of Kano State attracting eleven investors from abroad in different
    areas of Kano's economy to mark the state's 50th years of creation in 2017. Just the other day,
    governor of Cross River State Prof. Ayade brought three companies from the U.S.A. including
    the verse banana farm, and the processing plant he built after visiting Hungary.

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