To say that the governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha has been humbled is merely stating the obvious. He has been boxed to a corner, by a combined force of those he had vowed to retire from politics in Imo state.
Unfolding events in the past fortnight have in no small way rattled Rochas Okorocha. Unlike before, the doors he has been knocking recently have refused to open. His panic stricken dash to Daura to see the president upon his realization that he has been outsmarted and outmaneuvered could not yield the desired results. Moreso, the fact that he had a few days ago at the IICC boastfully arrogated to himself the alpha and omega of the party in the state, exacerbated his fury.
The meeting in Daura, as we learnt, was more or less a tragic denouement as all his promises towards the president’s re-election could not get Buhari to yield to the pressure of prevailing on John Oyegun, the national chairman of the party, to influence the circumstances surrounding the contentious may 5th ward congress in favour of the Imo state governor. Failing to achieve that, he left Daura more perplexed than ever with an eerie premonition of hopelessness, uncharacteristic of the man who once had Imo State under his feet.
His rise to power as governor of Imo State in 2011 was phenomenal. He became a beneficiary of the people’s revolution against the mega loquacious, loud mouthed and egoistic governor Ikedi Ohakim. Rochas Okorocha rode on the back of the peoples disdain for former Govenor Ikedi Ohakim, combined with his pledge of free education, over time the masses of Imo state aligned towards him and the rest, they say, is history.
Today, Rochas Okorocha appears to be facing the biggest political battle of his life. His unconscionable impetration to foist his son In-law, Uche Nwosu, as his successor remain the harbinger of this festering political quagmire threatening to liquidate his political capital. His obdurate, inflexibly callous imposition of the aforementioned Uche Nwosu becomes the centrifugal point of convergence among nearly all stakeholders in Imo State who are even more determined than him to bring his once fledgling political empire to its knees.
Nevertheless, it is important to clarify succinctly that Uche Nwosu whether inlaw to the governor or not remain qualified as an Imo indigene to run for the office of the governor of Imo state, his filial relationship with the governor notwithstanding. The ferocious opposition against his aspiration centers on the need for equity, balance and political equilibrium among the diverse interest groups that make up Imo state which the governor, as a father figure is expected to uphold.
At the mediation meeting in Abuja, convened at the instance of the vice president, Yemi Osibajo, it became crystal clear where the balance of power in Imo APC had shifted. Whereas, governor Rochas Okorocha attended that meeting with his son inlaw in the eye of the raging storm and his current Chief of Staff Uche Nwosu, Kingsley Uju, Hon. Chike Okafor, Barr. Asimobi, Charles Amadi, the opposing team comprised of indisputable stakeholders like, the deputy governor, Prince Eze Madumere, Senator Osita Izumaso, Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu, Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba, (chairman Tetfund) Jasper Azutalam (BOT member of APC) Hilary Eke (A.P.C.Chairman), APC Deputy Chairman, Organizing Secretary, Secretary, 25 APC LGA Chairman, Senator Hope Uzodinma, Rt. Hon. Kelechi Nwagwu, TEO Ekechi , Sir Jude Ejiogu, Hon. Matthew Omeghara, Goodluck Nana Opiah, Etc. This meeting as expected ended in a deadlock as both parties remained intransigent in their position. Prior to this meeting, Rochas Okorocha had characteristically vowed that the May 5th Ward Congress Election for Imo State must be rescheduled. However, to the dismay of his supporters, drawn mostly among his serving appointees, and people directly connected to the government, unfolding events in Imo State do not offer any glimmer of hope as evidently Rochas Okorocha appears to have been over powered by the rampaging allied forces, united on a singular mandate, wrestling the party structure away from the Imo governor and are in no way deterred by his incumbency.
Aside this trajectory, perhaps, the pertinent questions to ask should be, how did it all come to this? Is this still Rochas? The protagonist of free education and the governor who had declared himself greatest of all governors in Nigeria, living or dead?
At these rhetoric questions, cogent answers readily come to mind. It is important to note that upon securing his second tenure in 2015 Governor Rochas Okorocha became dictatorial and abandoned his people- oriented inclinations. His abolishing of ridding Keke in town could have been better managed. His urban renewal policy negatively affected may families, the harsh economic troubles that pervaded the entire Nigerian landscape. Relocation of markets was disastrous particularly using a combined force of army, mobile police, civil defense, air force, as well as government sponsored thugs to forcefully eject suffering artisans from their sources of livelihood leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Moreover, that an only son lost his dear life in the course of this ignominious eviction, not to talk of so many others who were wounded by the trigger-happy security men working in “concert with the aforementioned” thugs is an indicator that the people will vent their anger some day. It was only going to be a matter of time.
Moreover, despite all entreaties to the governor to rescind his unpopular choice, of his son in-law as his successor, he is said to have remained inflexible and obdurate. Add this to his insistence on taking the senatorial sloth for Orlu Zone, his sharing of nearly all elective political offices across Imo State among his appointees, insistence on keeping the only Imo ministerial sloth among his family through Prof. Awuka who hails from his Orlu zone, supervision of five ministries appallingly carving out a ministry of Happiness to quell internal family strife, alleged conversion of Government properties for personal use, nonpayment of pension as gratuity, Etc. have laid a monumental foundation for another revolution, similar to the same that brought him as his Rescue Mission to power.
Rochas Okorocha insistence on pursuing this inglorious cause despite the alarm bells ringing around akin to Hustler’s obsession to invade Russia and which eventually consumed his deluded convictions.
One does not need to be clairvoyant nor prophetic to see that the towering “Rescue” mantra has clearly lost its appeal to the toga of “Familiocracy”.
The evolving political scenario in this scenario points toward an end gone, for this short lived dynasty of some sort. Although it is important to note that as it happened in the French revolution it may have to be at a heavy cost to uproot this well crafted filled hegemonic empire built with. Malevolent desperation at the detriment of the suffering Imo People conclusively, it is evident that the sun is setting on this sordid rescue that has placed the interest of clan (Agburu) above that of the state. If it is only sunset then, there is twilight, very dim but it’s light still however, what if it is the eclipse? Yes, just as the rescue mantra appeared from nowhere like that flute playing fluid piper in German folk tales who used his mysterious shrill sounding pipe to ride Holmium of the plague of rats, later came back, for the dismay of the city elders with the same flute but with a different tune, charmed all the children of that city to their doom. It is not just a sunset. For the rescue mission, it is an eclipse that majority of the composition of this allied forces are sludgy character who would even be worse that Rochas Okorocha. Then, why are these men being celebrated as heroes in Imo State today? The answer is that the people are left without option than to hope the Rescue Mission goes away sooner than later.