The war between the two forces of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha and Hope Uzodinma continues to move from one new stage to another. It looks like they hate each other’s moral and ideological views – so they just disagree with each other perhaps inwardly, subconsciously, and outwardly.
Is it ever acceptable to wish another person dead? No. But I will not be surprised if by way of imagination, Uzodinma and Okorocha have not periodically wished each other death.
We will never know how much hatred they have for each other. Only God knows.
I dare say, for far too long the Imolites have suffered from this untreated divide affecting the State.
The inhabitants of Imo state, know, in their minds who has created a culture of corruption, like across Nigeria, they know many Nigerians with public power will wield it for private gain.
In general, the pattern of abusing powers for personal or political gain has reached an alarming level that hasn’t been seen in recent history and will have long-lasting consequences for the future of Nigerian democracy.
The personal and political war between Uzodinma and Okorocha is largely an institutional problem, rather than a cultural one, as it is reflective of a nation where everyone shows their own power and showcase who is more safeguarded by extended power or influence.
If truth be told, Nigeria is yet to act as a democracy and as a country founded on the rule of law with guaranteed fundamental rights.
In a real democracy, accountability, which refers to the processes and structures that hold the inhabitants and public officials legally responsible for their actions and that impose sanctions if they violate the law is almost fictional.
Any good observer of the Nigerian affairs will not be perturbed that the police invaded a church, jumped to the altar, interrupted sermons, and shot indiscriminately, and arrested Uche Nwosu, the son-in-law to former Governor Rochas Okorocha, who was doing thanksgiving service for his late mother.
Do not be surprised that a so-called police investigation could be carried out but end up in oblivion, like many others because the police is subordinate under an Inspector General (IG) that is under the thumb of the Presidency. Even when a good attempt is made to probe a matter, under the psychology of the “order from above’’ the police and its senior officials will instantly act in service to the interest of the master than to the rule of law.
In a weak or deficient institutional democracy, it is always about ‘show me I show you’ or ‘do me I do you,’ type governance, meaning, a system in which those with power make up their own rules and use personal influence to go against each other.
In a society propelled by persons in power, use politicized security agencies to cater for their selfish interests, the rule of man prevails.
On a psychological and political note, I have been an observer of these two interesting personalities in Imo State. They both appeared likeable persons. Now, let us dig dipper.
Okorocha to me, acts as a stand-up comedian governor in a solo manner. As a comic executive, he engaged in an endless need to get attention, and he did it with pride, impunity, and indifference, and sometimes with generosity.
Okorocha tends to appreciate aggressive humor, when he supposedly dismissed workers, sometimes refused to pay workers/contractors, engages in demolition of markets, ignores court orders, and have gotten vindictive with competitors he disliked, and he is known to destroy people’s houses.
Humorously, he appears as one who expresses authoritarian, venal, and dictatorial might. Okorocha made his sister the commissioner for happiness, he made his son-in-law Deputy Chief of Staff to the Imo State Government from 2011 to 2013, commissioner for Lands from 2013 to 2015, and Chief of Staff from 2015 to 2019. I am referring to Uche Nwosu who after been placed under ‘arrest’, was dragged out of the church, stripped half-naked, handcuffed, and flown in a private jet to a police unit in Abuja, as if there are no police stations and investigators in Imo State.
Okorocha, as part of his apparent delusional approach to power, made his sister serve as deputy chief of staff and commissioner. He gave a ministerial position to his daughter’s father-in-law. His fantasy extended to building and acquiring properties that included schools, hotel, hospital, estate, and others.
As part of his humorous poetics, he bult the Eastern Palm University, allegedly with state funds money but personalized it. After leaving office, he ignored government’s order by breaking into his wife’s sealed Royal palm spring estate and got arrested. At least for some hours. Is the case currently in court, keeping waiting?
To hold on to all his power and wealth, he finds his aggressive fantasies becoming actualized in aggressive behaviors. He has been known to use his thugs and aides to beat up top officials, and even a police officer was once pounded into a coma for delaying in opening the gate to the state government house.
His last huge fantasy was when he anointed his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, to succeed him as governor, it all crashed.
In a video clip, as a sitting governor, he said “The salary of a Governor is N750,000/month. So, if you don’t have a second office and you don’t have something else to do, you must steal; excuse me. Every political office holder who does not have a second office must steal.” A video that is now continuously used for anti-corruption education globally.
Okorocha’s unpleasant competitor, Uzodinma, a long-time federal Senator, who was declared by the Supreme court as the winner of the governorship of Imo State held in 2019, would come in with what I call the Uzodinma Reality.
Since Uzodinma assumed office, Okorocha’s aggressive humor and romantic powers, have faced a set of multiple Uzodinma’s consequential medicines. Okorocha’s world through executive powers of governor Uzodinma and the law has fallen, at least for now, and he knows that he is in deep stressful trouble. I do worry about his health.
There are nightmares rattling and pounding him. Everything he now associates with, including his very close supporters are affected. Okorocha is now tasting revenge fantasies but with realism.
Using the powers of the courts, Uzodinma, is recovering properties of the state apparently looted by Okorocha and his family members. Uzodinma, has returned lands said to be forcefully taken from the owners by Okorocha. Reality hit Okorocha gravely as his Eastern Palm University, by court order was renamed Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe University (KOMU).
Uzodinma, knows that Okorocha is not apparently delusional enough to think he has continued power.
Uzodinma, with the power of the law and influence, is bent on bringing down the cold-blooded and malicious acts of Okorocha, a man who now appeared as driven by wounded personal pride and wobbly energy.
In a non-institutional democracy like Nigeria, where ‘who pass you’ or personalized democracy dominates, Uzodinma, is more covertly and overtly supported by the powers that be, with a small handful, on Okorocha’s side. Although, Okorocha is clearly and forcefully pushing back in exasperations.
Nigeria, Imo Sate cannot continue this way. Those with personalized power boldly undermine democracy and the rule of law with recklessness.
Nigeria is a country where persons patently unfit for public office get power due to corruption and habitual dishonesty.
It is difficult to say anything is institutionally correct in Nigeria, including the presidency, police, and the judiciary as each operates generally, not according to the rule of law, and not for the full interest and fate of the Nigerian democracy.
The air is filled with so called leaders who are always waging war against the rule of law, ethics, and morality.
In the Nigeria society, rule by position, whereby an occupier of government is considered above the law. The rule of law, which implies that everyone in society is bound by the law, including the government is under duress and dismissal.
As for the Imolites, majority feel worn out by the amount of political stress in the State, constantly unsure about the future in terms livelihood and personal security.
It is a fair to say that these two warring men are lovely Imolites, who have done some good things for the people.
Today one is a politically wounded Senator, and the other is a Governor under public test.
If they are alive their bitter poetical relationship will continue but let us hope they will be thinking more in the spirit of institutional democracy.
And focus on developing the state, enhancing governance, and pushing to help the people of Imo environment out of impoverishment, hardship, insecurity and assist in providing lifesaving surroundings.
On the larger side, those who abuse public power, occupy position for personal advantage, exploit tribal loyalty to advance personal gain, and pursue parochial interests need to be more open to the psychology of trustworthiness and competence.
In the absence of these inner qualities, all of us will continue to experience poor governance, painful poverty, infrastructure deficit, a deteriorating economy and protracted insecurity.
May God/Allah give us good thinking men and women filled with the psychology of commonsense and rationality.
John Egbeazien Oshodi who was born in Uromi, Edo State in Nigeria, is an American based Police/Prison Scientist and Forensic/Clinical/Legal Psychologist. A government Consultant on matters of forensic-clinical adult/child psychological services in the USA; Chief Educator and Clinician at the Transatlantic Enrichment and Refresher Institute, an Online Lifelong Center for Personal, Professional and Career Development. A former Interim Associate Dean/Assistant Professor at the Broward College, Florida. The Founder of the Dr. John Egbeazien Oshodi Foundation, Center for Psychological Health and Behavioral Change in African settings. In 2011, he introduced the State-of-the-Art Forensic Psychology into Nigeria through N.U.C and the Nasarawa State University where he served in the Department of Psychology as an Associate Professor. A Virtual Professor at the ISCOM University, Benin of Republic. Founder of the Proposed Transatlantic Egbeazien University (TEU) of Values and Ethics, a digital project of Truth, Ethics, Openness. Author of over 40 academic publications/creations, at least 200 public opinion writeups on African issues, and various books. He specializes in psycho-prescriptive writings regarding African institutional and governance issues.
John Egbeazien Oshodi wrote in via email@example.com