“Rescue Mission” Comes To Grief

Posted by on Oct 25th, 2018 and filed under Last-Line. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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For starters, “Rescue Mission” is the name the incumbent Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha gave his political organization, under which he structured his rise to power in 2011.

Before Okorocha, Imo had witnessed such political structures before; the Chief Achike Udenwa’s era came with “Redemption 98”, Dr Ikedi Ohakim was the proponent of “New Face”. And Senator Araraume called his own, “Destiny Group” under which he has prosecuted Imo Governorship ambition without success till date.

However, under Udenwa and Ohakim regimes, “Redemption 98” and “New Face” were simply for their political expeditions, and were made up of those who believe in the former Governors and their political ideologies. While both were Governors of Imo State under Peoples Democratic Party, PDP platform, it was not binding that all members of PDP must belong to either Redemption or New Face before you were recognized with either Government appointment or contracts.

Provided you are a member of PDP is you could get Government patronage under the Achike and Ohakim’s dispensations.

Both Governors knew that within Imo PDP, there were other party chieftains who had their own followers and therefore may not be members of New Face or Redemption, but are strong party men.

This was the reason during the Udenwa and Ohakim’s regimes, patronages were shared among party members not based on Redemption or New Face affiliation.

Because of this, various political Cells were represented in the Expanded State Executive Council, and it created harmony among the different political blocks within PDP, for a healthy and robust rivalry which boasted PDP’s growth.

This method also circulated wealth in the State without exceptions, since all Groups benefited from Government largesse which were not restricted only to Redemption or New Face members or the Governor’s friends, inlaws and Relations.

And Redemption and New Face were quite distinct from the political party and operated on their own without friction with the party’s State Working Committee SWC. The party operated on its own, political Groups operated on their own, while the State Government does its own business.

However, all these changed under the present day regime in Imo State headed by Owelle Rochas Okorocha.

Today in Imo State, it is hard to distinguish between Okorocha’s personal political structure; Rescue Mission, and the All Progressive Congress APC State Executive.

In Okorocha’s own style of leadership, either you are a member of Rescue Mission, otherwise called “Agburu” or you are not an Imo citizen.

Being a member of APC in Imo does not guarantee you any Government recognition, unless you distance yourself from party and other Leaders and identify with Rescue Mission.

You can only gain entrance into the Imo State Expanded Executive Council or even Government House when you professes your total loyalty and obedience to the Supreme Leader of both party and Government, Owelle Rochas Okorocha. Under this scenario, you cannot recognize any other APC Leader, even in your Ward as normal in party politics, but Okorocha.

Unlike under the regimes of Udenwa and Ohakim, in the present Okorocha era you cannot be recommended for any patronage from Government if you were introduced by any other senior APC chieftain not known personally by Okorocha or the Rescue Mission family.

In the Udenwa/Ohakim administration, PDP members could walk up to SUBEB, NEPAD, NAPEP, MDG, FDADAM and other Government Agencies and be given little contracts, without even knowing anybody.

Therefore, since the only means through which you could gain Government attention was to identify with Okorocha’s Rescue Mission, APC members who cannot manage their ego and hunger were compelled to swallow “Rescue Mission” hook line and sinker, at least to survive.

Because of this hard condition which forced its members to bow to vagaries of life, Rescue Mission is populated by angry members, who found themselves in the organization just because of situations beyond their control.

Looking at this teeming but disgruntled crowd who follow him about just to make ends meet, the Governor of Imo State thought he has formed a strong army of foot foldiers who will follow him to the last day.

It was this false illusion that led Owelle Okorocha to elevate “Rescue Mission” higher and above APC in Imo State, and placed “Rescue Mission” as the parallel Government in power because the Rescue Mission means everything to him, since to the Governor, political power helps him subjugate the masses, and Rescue Mission structure helps him to achieve that.

Rescue Mission Members could therefore do anything and get away free. They felt protected by the powers that be, and anybody they see not seeing things through their own prism is an opponent and marked, especially those of us in the Media.

They chose when to demonstrate in the State, and have a free day, while any attempt by the other groups to do likewise is met with threats and mayhem.

Because “Rescue Mission” has become a power unto itself, every member of the Group sees himself/herself as a potential Government appointee, because it is from this sacred “Group” that all Commissioners, Special Advisers, etc are drafted from.

It was under this false belief that the Governor of Imo State and an APC member on his own, and personally from Orlu to Owerri and Okigwe political zones, without consulting the party or anybody, picked those who will represent the State constituencies, Federal Constituencies and Senatorial zones without input from others.

By February this year, Imo people had already known those going to the State Assembly, Federal House and Senate in APC courtesy the Governor.

Their names were announced after what they called “Mock Primaries” was held inside Government House and not in party office.

As early as July 2016, the Governor had told Imo people those who would not succeed him, including paging their age limits to Fifty years.

He followed it up by naming the Imo politicians he had retired and promised that he would hand over to youths, and was short of telling Imo people the fellow he had already appointed to succeed him.

Because Okorocha brought the issue of his successor to the front burner as early as 2017, it dominated discussions in Imo leaving Okorocha doing less administration but politicking, leaving Government assignments to suffer.

His birthday celebrations dominated matters in the State in the last two years than commissioning of projects.

Under this euphoria, Okorocha’s lieutenants assumed that all is well with them and their 2019 political ambitions without the masses and electorate, as long as Government Okorocha lives.

They looked at Okorocha as their god, and hardly see beyond their noses, forgetting that Heaven help only those who help themselves. To them, their party matters not, and Imo populace do not exist and of no consequence.

And you cannot blame the likes of my good friend, Uche Nwosu, my Pally Hon Chike Okafor, my senior colleague in the Imo State Executive Council Prof Nnamdi Obiaraeri, Uju Kingsley, Paschal Obi etc.

Okorocha had done it before, and would do it again, they thought. Remember how Okorocha pulled a magic by demolishing the Coalition when they took away the party structure momentarily from Okorocha after the congress.

The Governor went to Abuja and returned with Dan Nwafor as the State Chairman of APC, with Dr Hilary Eke sent into Limbo.

However, presently, things are no more working for the “Rescue Mission” as planned. It is usually from their public demonstrations that we get to know when Rescue Mission is hit hard.

Any time they take to the streets, know that it has not gone in their favour. But when they push it down the throat of others, it is the best thing in the world.

Gov Okorocha who has remained adamant in foisting Uche Nwosu on Imo people has been living in Abuja lately, following court cases which have collapsed Imo State Government House, as all that matters now is the litigations in Abuja courts.

As we learnt from their demonstration, all the names Governor Okorocha sent to APC for various elective positions failed to pass muster, except his name which shows the Governor will run for Orlu Senate.

This latest development is not a good news for the powerful “Rescue Mission”. It has a lot of implication for Okorocha over his trusted allies.

Check the list of disappointed Aides of Okorocha, who hung their political future on the Governor’s Shoulder; Dr Paschal Obi, his Principal Secretary who was seen as Federal House member in the-wating for Okorocha’s Ideato Nation.

Prof Nnamdi Obiaraeri, who at a time was already acting as a Senator is said to have lost the plum “Job” to Senator Benji Uwajumogu for Okigwe Senate.

That of Chief Kingsley Uju is hurting. The guy does many “Things” for the administration and Abuja would have been an ideal place for Uju to stay away from Imo for a while as Federal House member for Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta/Oru West.

From information available, the incumbent Lawmaker, Hon Nana Opiah is said to be preferred by Abuja to Uju Kingsley.

That of my good friend, Uche Nwosu is pregnant. Nobody knows what will be the final outcome. APC has told us that only Court will determine the Imo case. We also hear that on November, 2, 2018 we will see who is Imo APC Governorship candidate when INEC releases the final list.

But based on what is transpiring in court, the Senator from Orlu, Chief Hope Uzodinma seems to have outfoxed everybody.

In the event that Uche Nwosu did not pick the Governorship ticket of APC, how would Okorocha feel? The Uche Nwosu factor is the major issue that tore Okorocha’s political Camp apart, which led his Deputy and friend of almost twenty five years, Prince Eze Madumere, his two former allies and Secretaries to Imo State Government, Sirs Jude Ejiogu and George Eche to part Company with him.

If by November 2, 2018, INEC releases the list of candidates and these Okorocha Aides are missing, the Rescue Mission would have come Grief at last!

The situation will change everything around Okorocha because he would find it difficult to assuage these loyal Aides and convince them to follow him blindly again. If that becomes the situation, the political ambition of these guys would have been shattered and even if the wounds heal today the scars will remind them of many things tomorrow.

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