So, Okorocha Knows God Exists?

Charles Okoh

Charles Okoh

Power indeed is transient. Nothing lasts forever and kingdoms rise and fall. For many power drunk leaders, they often fail to realize that one day; eventually the chickens will come home to roost. For those in power now who are drunk by the mere fact that they were elected to lead the people, so can now arrogate to themselves as their lord and master and approbate and reprobate as it please them, they must today learn from the travails of the once powerful, boastful, arrogant lord of the manor in Imo, Rochas Okorocha, that their day of reckoning must come.

Rochas as governor of Imo was a disappointment to say the least. He despoiled the land and appropriated, as it pleases him, government properties for personal use. He built roads and infrastructure that were washed away by the first rainfall. Many of the public properties he claimed to have built are dilapidated, abandoned or never built at all. He scammed the people into thinking that he cared for them. Okorocha was busy sharing palm seedlings to the ordinary folks, while he was allocating public properties to members of his family, cronies and himself.

One of the calamities that befell Imo people was Okorocha’s ruthless demolition of the famed Eke-ukwu Owerri Market, in spite of a subsisting court order. Justice S.I. Okpara had restrained his government from demolishing the market, pending the determination of a suit filed by the stall owners, but Okorocha ignored the court order.

The hapless people affected were neither given adequate notice nor compensation discussed or paid before bulldozers were sent to destroy their properties.

Hundreds of soldiers and policemen were deployed to pull down the market and pummel protesting traders. By his action, Okorocha demolished the honest means of livelihood of these hapless people in the name of a dubious urban renewal project. A 10-year-old boy, Somtochukwu Igboanusi, died during this attack.

Facilities in the health, education and other sectors collapsed during his reign, civil servants were not paid salaries for years. Retirees wallowed in poverty, due to enormous unpaid annuities. All these had resulted in so much poverty in this largely civil servant state. The state medical school could not produce qualified doctors during his reign.

Okorocha woke up one day and told the people of his acquisition of an aircraft which he said was part of his plan to establish Imo Air as an airline for the state. He came up with an aircraft, said to have been acquired with the funds of the state. He then went about celebrating, with the impression that this was capable of turning around the fortunes of the state. The impact of Imo Air was never felt; a white elephant project.

Okorocha’s tendency for impunity was legendary and few examples suffice. Recall that sometime in 2014, the leadership of South East Progressives Assembly, SEPA, had accused Governor Rochas Okorocha of high-handedness, impunity and imposition of his acolytes as party executives of All Progressives Congress, APC. The group, in a statement signed by Okorocha’s former media aide and SEPA president, Mr Ebere Uzoukwa, fumed that the governor’s excesses led to the shocking resignation of the then state chairman of APC, Prince Marshal Okaforanyanwu.

“Okaforanyanwu merely received his own dosage of the toxic concoction of Okorocha’s use and dump and politics, which many that equally worked to secure his first electoral victory in 2011, had taken before deserting him”, the group said.

SEPA officials accused Okorocha of completely refusing to pay former political office holders, including those he personally appointed into his administration, their statutory and constitutionally prescribed entitlements, as well as introducing vindictive politics in Imo ostensibly to erase the achievements of his predecessors in office.

“Why did he dismantle the provisions of the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) just to shortchange his political appointees? Why did he subject contractors to execute government projects with borrowed funds only to dump and deny them at the point of payment? Governor Okorocha cannot claim to be unaware that some of the contractors had lost their lives and valuables to banks on account of his failure to pay for work done.”

After eight years of erecting meaningless statues especially that of disgraced former South African President, Jacob Zuma, and demolishing homes of the people in a claim to wanting to construct roads, that he never built, he finally crowned his clownish reign as governor, when he tried unsuccessfully to impose his son-in-law Uche Nwosu as the APC governorship candidate in Imo State in 2019, an action which sowed the seed of the crisis in the APC in the state.

Who would forget in a hurry how Rochas Okorocha demolished the building belonging to a former Minister of Interior, Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho, for the second time in the guise of an urban renewal project?

Speaking on his demolished house, Iheanacho had said, “My property that was demolished by Okorocha had been there for 30 years and on three occasions, I secured court injunction restraining him from demolishing it but on these three occasions, he (Rochas) disobeyed the court order”.

After quitting office, he attempted selling the ruse to the people that his stay in office made him poorer. He claimed that the state government owes him N8 billion security votes.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had filed N2.9 billion fraud charges against the former governor at the Federal High Court, Abuja, hours after he formally declared his presidential ambition for 2023. He had described the fraud charges against him by the anti-graft agency as being politically-motivated.

He also tried in vain to drag President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and direct the EFCC to get off his back.

However, last week Tuesday, the EFCC took the fight to him in his Abuja abode after he failed to honour invitations from the agency and had jumped bail granted him by the court. What was particularly dramatic about the siege laid to his home was how the governor holed up himself in the house and refused to allow the EFCC operatives access to the house until they broke in.

For a man who has always claimed his innocence and who belongs to the ruling party, why is he afraid of submitting himself to the anti-graft agency? Who is the person allegedly persecuting him, is it the Imo state governor, Hope Uzodimma, and if so, since he is sure of having rendered selfless service to the people of Imo then he needs fear no accusation. He should cooperate with the EFCC and prove his innocence in court. His several failed attempts to truncate his trials do not suggest that of a person who is innocent and has nothing to hide.

Seeing the once almighty Rochas Okorocha lying on his stomach singing songs of praise and calling on God to rescue him from people who are after his life, proves indeed how cowardly he is and how scared he is to face the consequences of his misrule in Imo.

When I saw Okorocha calling God to deliver him and acknowledging that all powers belong to God, I could not help but to wonder if he has the fear of God and if he does why did he not also treat his legion of victims as governor with that same fear of God?

Indeed, kingdoms rise and they fall. Nothing lasts forever. Those who enjoy power today must look at the pitiable sight of Okorocha crawling like a snake to realize that one day, they will come face to face with the law and that whatever they do today will come back to haunt them in future.

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Professor Jideofor Adibe


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