Imo: Bye Okorocha, welcome Ihedioha

By Valentine Amanze

The elders say that whoever the gods want to kill they will first make him mad.
This captures the scenario that played out and ended in Imo State Saturday, March 9, 2019, with the defeat of Governor Rochas Okorocha’s in-law, Uche Nwosu, in the governorship election in Imo State. It also ended brigandage as governace and librated the Imo people from Draculan leadership of the Owelle Rochas Okorocha, who worked seriously to establish a political empire in the state.
It all began in May 6, 2011 when Okorocha won the gubernatorial election on the platform of APGA in Imo State and was re-elected for a second-term on the platform of the All Progressives Alliance (APC).
His eight years of leadership was characterized by sorrow, hardship and unfulfilled promises. The governor, who is already suspended by his own party for anti-party activities and gross indiscipline, once boasted to dwarf the achievements of the first civilian governor of the state, Mr. Sam Mbakwe.
Ironically, he did it by alleged grabbing both state and private properties, which Mbakwe never did.
While his subjects cried for the rehabilitation of bad roads and other social amenities, the governor was busy erecting statues of some African leaders, whose records at home countries were questionable.
When workers were crying for poor condition of service and non-payment of salaries, pensioners lamented and died en-masse, Okorocha told us he invested millions of naira in Imo Air, an airline project that never saw the light of the day.
Okorocha, aside insulting ndi-Imo with his style of leadership, became too disrespectful to his party (APC) leadership by floating a parallel party (AA), which he tried to use his in-law, Uche Nwosu, to succeed him in the Government House.
I salute Ndi-Imo for rallying behind Iheadioha to kick-out godfatherism in the state leadership.
The late Nigerian writer, Chinue Achebe, in one of his books, The Trouble with Nigeria, pointed out that poor leadership was the bane of the nation’s development. When Okorocha became Imo State governor with his sugar-coated promises, the people did not ask questions – What is his pedigree; what is his behavourial threats and mental steadiness. No wonder he created offices like Ministry of Happiness and made his sister the commissioner.
As he prepares his hand-over note to Hon Emeka Ihedioha, Ndi-Imo should ask him of the state commonwealth inclusive of Adapalm, general hospitals, Imo Transport Company, Imo Concord Hotel, the demolition of Shell Camp, Imo Air and many others.
In Ekiti State, as former Governor Ayo Fayose was preparing his handover note, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) wrote that they were waiting for him. Of course, Fayose did not want the agency to come after him; he reported to it the day his tenure ended as governor. Will the same happen to Okorocha? Time will tell.
But back to the main menu. Ndi-Imo did not make the same mistake they usually do during election. They got it right this time with the emergence of Hon Emeka Ihedioha. The man with the pedigree and the experience to fast-track the state again towards development.
Ihedioha, the former deputy speaker, Federal House of Representatives, has paid his dues in the National Assembly.
His rise to Imo State government, no doubt, will wipe away eight years of sorrow and gnashing of teeth by the people of the state if he keeps away from sycophants. He has been tasted at the National Assembly and never enmeshed in any controversy unlike the current leadership of the state without developmental agenda.
A writer, Frantz Fanon, said, “Every generation out of its relative obscurity discovers its mission; fulfills or betrays it”.
Ihedioha, in his maiden speech got my fancy. He said that he was not coming for vengeance but would set up an encompassing government irrespective of clan, class and political lineage. In the same spirit, he said, “My mission is to fulfill the great destiny of our Imo State by taking it to greater heights and making it a centre of human and infrastructural development.
“I am ready and willing to offer myself as the instrument for the transformation of our dear state. I solicit for the support and cooperation of the good people of Imo State to make this possible.
“Working together we can lift Imo to enviable heights. Let’s join hands in this enterprise to restore Imo and reposition it for greatness. We can do it, God being our helper!”
In his manifesto, the Imo State governor-elect showcased the potential of the state and how he would transform the state without depending on the handout from the Federal Government.
Again, he promised that he would return “proper” autonomy to the 27 local government areas of the state, boost agriculture and tourism.
Fine; good programme in deed. But much is expected of him – the revival of Adapalm is very paramount to every Imo indigenes. As developed economies are now deemphasizing petroleum products, the state government should be targeting exporting palm oil and cashew nuts to the world. After all, Malaysia made it big through Nigeria’s palm oil.
A humble Ihedioha will triumph if all ndi-Imo support him. After all Okorocha never commissioned any completed project in the past eight years.

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