As much as I have tried, it has proved extremely difficult to ignore the show of shame and ignorance of the present leadership of the heartland of the nation, Imo state. If my choice of words seem disrespectful then the I’d feel some level of satisfaction because there has been several other situations where the governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has displayed his callous and insensitive attitude towards the very people he is supposed to spread his wings over and gotten away with it. If the only step I can take is expressing my displeasure over social media then I would have at least done something towards curbing the menace troubling the state.
Memories before his election
I recall the short period before the present governor became the number one citizen of the state. I would have loved to use the phrase “won the election” but I cannot even boast of free and fair elections in Nigeria, not to talk of Imo state where the preferred candidate, who became the governor, has shown his true colours – cunning being the most visible at this present time. Governor Rochas, if you ever come across this post, do bear in mind that you no longer deserve to bear that title and would be grateful if you are stripped of it in the most painful manner as payback for the evil coins you have tossed at the people.
Shortly before the election of this man, he had won the hearts of everyone with his eloquence and sound choice of words. The manner in which he delivered his speeches with confidence and reassurance was very laudable. He had even gone further to make campaign promises, free primary education being the most notable, which he strong defended he could fulfill based on his philanthropic activities prior to becoming governor. Little did we know that it was all a movie scene set up to once again blind the good people of the state for his personal gain.
I remember sitting down with my father in my sitting room smiling at the television, and thanking God for finally projecting someone with a sound mind to take the people of Imo state to the next level, and luckily for him, he had won the hearts of the electorate so it would be quite an easy journey for him to the throne. He finally achieved his goal, and as is the norm, turned his back on his own people.
The Beginning I Realised Was Truly The Beginning
I wasn’t so conversant with how politics played out in the eastern part of the country as I have spent all my life on the western side. Being that my root traces back there, I found it necessary to familiarise myself with the ongoings over there and my very first major observation was nothing to write home about.
The widows with exposed bossoms and their curses
What had happened? The very Rochas Okorocha whom the people gave the mantle of leadership was being cursed in broad day light. It was an eyesore to see the old women of the state – grandmothers – walk the streets of Imo state in either red or black garments, I really cannot recall, with their breasts on display, laying curses on the governor. I remember they were widows. What could the governor have done to incure the wrath of those whom the Lord has promised to fight for when oppressed?
The parliament of the state and the demigod.
To the best of my knowledge on how a democratic government operates, I have always known the parliament to be a very powerful body, set up for many reasons of which includes checkmating the excesses of the executives. The reverse was the case with Rochas Okorocha and his government.
A picture had surface online where two members of the parliament, Stan Dara and Ike Amaka, were captured kneeling before the governor, with the speaker of the parliament, Ben Uwajumogu, looking on. It was the biggest insult on the parliament considering what it stands for. I was even more disappointed to see the speaker do nothing about it. He probably was, and still is, the right hand man of the governor.
The destruction and demolition of Ekeukwu market
Anyone who cared to follow the Nigerian media as at the time the demolition took place would have been able to see that the so-called governor of the state cared less about the welfare of his people. He even showed he had absolutely no regard for life and property.
The demolition had even caught the attention of the international community after soldiers had invaded the area and were shooting sporadically to keep off unarmed citizens trying to prevent the demolition. This was carried out on the instructions of the governor. Unfortunately, they took the life of a young, courageous boy, Somto, who begged for his mother’s shop not to be destroyed but his pleas fell on deaf ears and a bullet was put through his head. He died.
Pictures and videos of the incident had gone viral and it was beyond doubt than the boy had been murdered in cold blood. I had expected the governor to at least tender an apology for his actions but he rather insisted that no death was recorded. It makes me wonder if he thinks that the rest of the world but himself has gone crazy.
One more issue that cannot be ignored is the he thought himself smart and gave instructions for the market to be demolished the very minute the verdict was given in court concerning the very case. He knew the community would have appealed but he wanted to prove how powerful he was and had the people exactly where he had them.
What does he intend to use the space where the market was for? Rumour has it that he wants to go into cattle rearing business with the state’s resources. Whether this is true or not, what I am concerned about is the welfare of the very citizens he displaced. He provided no alternative settlement for them. The almighty governor of the state.
The extravagant birthday ceremony.
He celebrated his birthday just few weeks back and we saw the many beautiful cakes he received from all the local governments. I can beat my chest to say that those cakes were only sent out of courtesy and respect of office. They were probably made by the people who had benefited from him directly, financially or otherwise. I saw the many faces of those in attendance. It was a clear representation of “suffering and smiling”. The women who attended were probably forced to attend under the instructions of the leaders of the societies they belong to or did so just in case they got anything out of the visit. Whatever the reason was, it was not a birthday the people of Imo state would have chosen to celebrate if they had the power to choose.
The Latest Show Of Lack of Direction
The latest that has been making the rounds is the unveiling of the statue of Jacob Zuma in Imo state. The first question I asked when I tuned in to NTA station on TV was “what calls for the celebration?” There was absolutely nothing. I wondered what the president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, was doing at such big feast in Imo state. Not only was he at the feast but he was the reason for the celebration.
What has he done as a president that has impacted positively on the lives of Nigerians in his country? We know all the xenophobic attacks meted out to Nigerians and not a word of apology, sympathy or reassurance of security of lives was issued by the South African presidency. The height of the show of shame was the unveiling of the mighty statue of Jacob Zuma by the governor of Imo state who seems to have run out of ideas on how to move the state forward and gone on to build statues for people who have contributed nothing to our development. You chose to build him a statue for investing in your foundation that only fattens your bank account.
From what I saw, only one out of about seven statues has been unveiled. We can only watch and see “Governor” Rochas Okorocha display to the world his insensitivity, lack of knowledge and concern for the people he rules as he unveils the remaining statues. Who knows whose statue would be unveiled next. Maybe Bobrisky?
In conclusion, Governor Rochas Owelle Okorocha, you have failed. And the earlier you realise that, the better. Instead of you to put the millions of naira you are lavishing on irrelevant things into meaningful projects, you choose to waste the resources of the state. A good look at the roads in Imo state, those that were there before you became governor and those you claimed to have reconstructed but gone bad again, will tell you you have done nothing meaningful for the state. Nonsense.