Ordinarily, like in some other States of the Federation, Imo State ought to have forgotten about the former governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, and moved on to search for a new beginning. But not so.
For three months now Okorocha left office, his name has remained in the realm of discussions and has refused to abate. But unfortunately all these are for the wrong reasons.
Many had asked why the present Governor, Emeka Ihedioha cannot forget about Okorocha and chart his own course.
Unfortunately, what many do not realize is that Okorocha’s name must continue to crop up at least for the next four years. The simple reason is that what he wrought on Imo socio-political atmosphere, including fiscal and physical will take time to be corrected. It was humongous.
And to come to think of that, Okorocha himself does not want Imo State to live in peace without his name springing up in various fora.
Just when Imo people were trying to settle down for a new life and forget the locust lost years, Okorocha stormed Imo State with drums of war, thereby raising more issues than quenching them.
Okorocha arrived into town as if the 2019 general election was yet to commence, mounted the rostrum at his campaign office in Okigwe road Owerri, and openly lampooned his successor without restraint.
He told his followers not to respect the current Government led by Ihedioha and even charged them to resist any attempt to make them comply with the Government policies.
As if that was not enough, Okroocha the next day headed to his Radio Station where hauled all manners of abuses at the sitting Governor, calling him unbelievable names that should not spew out from the mouth of just a three months past State Chief Executive.
However, judging from Okorocha’s latest attitude and posturing, it showed he is afraid of his own shadows. He has even said that he suspects his successor wants to jail him. Then you ask: How and Why? Well, only the guilty is afraid, wrote James Hardly Chase.
But looking at Okorocha’s recent outing in Imo as a former Governor, his appearance in the State after just three months out office would not have been contemplated by any other person other than Okorocha.
As the drama unfolds, we get more reassuring that God really exist and only Him can determine the fate of man, no matter how highly you think you are placed.
Could this fellow whining like a spanked toddler be the Emperor that ruled Imo State as if tomorrow does not exist.
Was this the same Okorocha that stayed in his house and shared what belonged to the State, including that of the representative of your own family?
In 2011, Governor Ikedi Ohakim left Imo State on May 27, two days ahead of the swearing in of Okorocha as his successor, and never touched in Imo for nearly a year. And whenever he visited Imo, he would quietly drive straight to his home Okohia in Isiala Mbano LGA, and later go to his simple three Bedroom Bungalow in Prefab Owerri, without notice, where his close friends pay homage.
One day I asked him why this attitude? He replied that as a former Governor, he does not want to distract his successor or cause a breach of security as his open appearance in any spot in Owerri many generate reactions from those who believe in, whose end he many not control.
But just for a few weeks out office, Okorocha was yet to realize that the party is over. He is yet to know that another Governor has been sworn-in and that except he acknowledges this stark truth and respect the office and the person who took over from him, he will continue to wallow in the hallucination that he will one day step back into Imo Government House again. But I can only be to pay a visit to Ihedioha, at least till the next four years.
If it were Ihedioha that did what Okorocha exhibited in his latest return, obviously the State would have been in turmoil now. A person like Okorocha, with his Majestic and Imperial power would not have condoned where a past Governor invades the State and start to address a crowd.
For Eight years, Okorocha never allowed even a peaceful protest in the State. When such was planned, he would unleash his own goons to clash with the other protesters, which the organizers tactically avoided to escape blood bath.
What Okorocha did was petty, and showed that he is yet to wean himself of the delusional imagination that the power which Imo people bestowed on him through their mandate in 2011 has since expired and is now in the custody of another Governor, Emeka Ihedioha.
I had expected that Okorocha after leaving Government the manner he did, which was an opposite of how he rode in in a glory, should have taken a quiet reflection in his private moment in any of his palaces across the clobe, ask himself what led him to squander an opportunity to live in the hearts of his people for years.
I was thinking that the Ex-Governor would have asked himself how a people who could commit suicide for him some years ago, suddenly haunted and hunted him out of Douglas House.
I felt he ought to have asked how those he saw as confidants ran away from him, and plotted even and conspired against him to the extent that at a point he became suspicious even of his own blood relations.
In a normal clime, what Okorocha ought to have done by now is to face his job as a Legislator since he is lucky to have “won” the Orlu Senate seat which still keeps him in the lime light of political power which he cherishes with passion.
He should spend more time with himself and ask the pertinent questions that men in his present situation ask; to reinvent and launch themselves back into the heart of people that previously loved him.
Okorocha would be mistaking if he thinks that the best thing he should do now is parade himself around Imo people who are trying their best to at least forget and forgive an administration that tormented them for an endless eight years.
Whoever that is advising Okorocha to be showing himself or going to Radio Stations to insult the sensibilities of a majority of Imo people is not doing him any good.
I know that most people who found themselves in political power usually end up in a cocoon where only their Aides have access to them and dish out those things they wish to hear.
As a smart fellow whom I know he is, Okorocha should have used the last three months to ask genuine questions how Imo feel about his administration. He should have sneaked into Ogboko his home town and consult with true Elders of that community for them to boldly intimate him what Ogboko people feel about him, and from there he can go further to Ideato clan, Orlu zone, and then to Imo State in general.
However, he could not do his home work first, and stormed Imo State thinking that he was still the Emperor that knows it all.
It is unfortunate that he came dishing out orders to his followers to “resist” Government directives. Who could have done that under Okorocha’s regime?
Okorocha destroyed markets without asking what happens to the Traders, he pulled down Shopping Malls that took Government Millions of Naira to construct, he demolished Government structures without consulting Estate Valuers, he sacked Permanent Secretaries without due process, he creates Ministries and appoints Commissioners without passing true State Law, he gives contracts with pointing of hands, he selected Traditional Rulers by balloting, he allocated lands with “mouth”, sacks Local Government Chairmen by Radio Announcement, he constructs roads and bridges without Engineering Specifications, he removes Deputies at his whims and caprices, he does not know the difference between private and peoples wealth, he was the Chief Executive, legislator and judiciary put together.
Public holidays we declared in Imo to celebrate Okorocha’s birthdays, Civil Servants suddenly became farmers.
During Okorocha’s era, you can park your vehicle and enter a shop only to come out and see a gutter dug across the road and your vehicle is stuck there until when the gutter is completed which is infinitum.
You park on the road to answer a call on phone, and you are compelled to pay
N20,000, you stop for minute to wave to a friend and you find your vehicle at Heros Square, you pass a road now and on your return, the same road is cut into two, without any warning to motorists.
At a time all the roads in Owerri were under “construction” including the Orji and Amakohia over head bridges putting Imo people into the state of madness. It is endless.
Okorocha should please go home and stay with his family and Orlu Senate constituents and leave Imo people alone after Eight years of suffocation.
Imo needs a fresh breath of Air. He got his Eight years and only posterity will judge how he used it.
The days of gathering jobless youths at Heros Square and Convention Centre for frivolous chants is over. Imo has passed that era, and now looking forward to what the next Governor will bring to the table after which Imo electorate will put him on scale in 2023 election.
For now, Imo still is looking at how to reconstruct all the dead traps Okorocha left behind as roads, the shaky structures he left as Buildings, the Iron rods and pillars he hung on our roads instead of planting trees, the civil service that is now a rot, the white Elephant projects strewn everywhere, the badly battered psyche of our youths deceived and brainwashed for Eight years, the Health Sector, Education, and Economy that are in ruins, the LGAs, and Government House that was rendered bare, even without important records, documents and information.
Imo needs a break from Okorocha. Enough of this Invasion.