Governor Rochas Okorocha did not make me Mayor of Orlu Zone – Professor Protus Nathan Uzorma [The Heartlander INTERVIEW]
Professor Protus Nathan Uzorma is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State and a political aspirant in the 2015 general election in Nigeria. In this interview, Protus corrects the widespread rumour that Governor Rochas Okorocha recently made him the Mayor of Orlu Zone.
You have been sighted for about eleven months now in several public events, giving lectures and keynote addresses. Don’t you think these appearances are probably taking you away from the classroom to politics?
That looks indubitable. But lectures are lectures, in the curriculum classroom and on the podia. Whenever a professor is called upon to deliver a lecture, it is obviously considered an academic task although the subject matter may be political or not but the essence of it is to educate. You should know that topics of public lectures are given to relevant hands that can do adequate justice to them. So, in the classroom or out of it, the audience and aim remain the same. However, that does not mean that I am not a politician, and cannot leave the classroom at any time, especially if my departure will favour the greater number of mankind and have more lasting effects in our society than being in the classroom.
What is your opinion about the forthcoming general elections in the country, do you think power will shift hand again in 2015, especially in Imo State?
The 2015 general elections will be more dramatic than previous elections in the State, especially on the gubernatorial seat. Before, in the State, there was only one strong opposition party. But today, there more than one and each of the opposition parties are more rooted and experienced in the State politics than the present party in power. The gubernatorial election will be one of the most peaceful, freest and fairest elections ever had. Gubernatorial candidate’s personality and connections will be just a factor that determines success. There are several other factors which some political analysts are gradually exposing. Some of them are the equity charter, the party flag and thicket bearer, the deputy gubernatorial candidate, the zones power-sharing formula which will be politicised, etc. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has all it takes to take back the leadership of the State; power of incumbency is a dead factor in contemporary electoral success in the State.
You were a thorn in the flesh of the former State Governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, and later shielded your sword, so you have been to Governor Okorocha. When will you shield your sword on him or perhaps he still has some more years ahead?
You see, I never was a thorn in the flesh to any human being but an ardent detester of bad leadership, which does not mean personality hate as one Prince Stanley Okoroji erroneously alleged that I hate Governor Okorocha with passion. I don’t hate him but I’m not comfortable and happy with some of his administrative styles and programmes. So it was with the former Governor Ohakim. I did not hate him. I simply detested some of his administrative skills and programmes at the beginning. But when he changed and started doing what a people’s Governor should do, I became his admirer although people hardly forget about the past even if you change like the Bible urges that man changes from his evil ways and live, in politics, even if you change, the past historic tails you. I believe Okorocha might change tomorrow, and that will be for the good of the State. What seems funny is the way some beneficiaries of a government hate those of us that criticise an erring government. Our criticism is for the commongood of the State. Without our criticisms, and if every body is capping for the Governor, he would not know when he errs in leadership.
Just a few weeks ago, news of your appointment as the Mayor of Orlu Zone by Governor Okorocha went like wild-fire. Are you eyeing any political position from the Zone?
Let me clarify this issue once and for all. Rochas did not make me Mayor of Orlu Zone. If he tries, trust me, he wouldn’t see me and I wouldn’t take it. That is a complete lie, which intension and source are yet to be unravelled. There is the former Mayor- Ichie Mbanaso, there is the present- Hon Obodo. It was the youths of Orlu Zone of over 10,000 that gathered in Orlu same day Rochas was in his Local Government tour in Orlu LGA and disgusted with his leadership failure in the State especially towards them the youths, they decide to make me the Mayor of Orlu zone with the full assurance that there redemption is very much at my perceptions. Historically in developed polities as in Europe, Mayoral positions are conferred by the people. They say who will be their Lord. Government don’t just rise in his office without due consultation of the people and declare somebody a Mayor or Lord over the people. I can’t take any position in Okorocha’s cabinet. I can’t pick any appointment from Rochas. I am not interested in working with him because he is deceitful in his administration. Come to the question, if I’m eyeing any political appointment in the Orlu zone, I think I for now, I need to remain silent but as a great politician from the zone I am destined for a great political appointment in the State or Federation come 2015.
Shortly before the Yuletide, it was rumoured that peace was about to be brokered between you and Okorocha. Why did it not materialise?
As I told you before, I can’t take any position in Okorocha’s cabinet. I can’t pick any appointment from Rochas. I am not interested in working with him because he is deceitful in his administration. Certainly, rumours may be true or false but they are evidences of possible facts. Many have threatened me, others have pleaded with me, while some could have either been sent or self-sent to convince me to join in the administration. The fact remains that I am not interested in working with Okorocha. Peace or no peace, we are not enemies, we are not quarrelling. He should simply change, be honest with Imolites and stop his panic measures approach in administration, which has led the State into inconsistent policies, programmes and many trials and errors. Human beings and their affairs are not laboratories where experiments are conducted with trial and error method. It is not obtainable in human management and leadership.