By Oguwike Nwachuku
When Azu Ishiekwene, Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of The Interview magazine, wrote “Okorocha As Imo One-Chance Bus” last year, he had in mind exactly what is playing out today in the state’s polity.
Azu has always known that Okorocha is taking Imo on a dangerous political ride into a cul-de-sac, even when he pretends to be the best thing to happen to Imolites.
Okorocha never ceases to shout “my people, my people” whenever he comes in contact with them, particularly the masses.
But behind the “love” is a deeper deceit, fabled love you would say, and Okorocha’s innermost thought is to take Imo indigenes for the greatest fools ever.
Azu took a panoramic look at Okorocha’s governance style since 2011, encapsulated in his iberiberism fad, and how he used the citizens as pawns on his political chess board to demonstrate his deep hallucination called governance.
The joke Ndi Imo did not catch on time was that Okorocha was plotting to foist his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, on them as the last vestige of his iberiberism.
Many had thought, including yours sincerely, that Okorocha truly liked his deputy, Eze Madumere, whom he eulogised as “my son in whom I was well pleased” at every opportunity he had to advance his unbridled deception.
It was a matter of time before what was hidden came to the open as Okorocha suddenly started to keep malice with Madumere, distance him from his inner caucus of sycophants and praise singers that litter Imo Government House, Imo House of Assembly and the Civil Service.
Today, Madumere has seen the light and has sworn not to return to the darkness called his boss.
Okorocha had, all along, cajoled those around him with another foolish word which only himself and perhaps Nwosu know the meaning – Rochanomics.
But we have discovered that Rochanomics means Okorocha’s penchant to acquire and embezzle (acquire as much state property and embezzle as much resources) as long as he remains in government and then find ways to cover his tracks.
He is bending over backwards to foist Nwosu on Ndi Imo willy-nilly because he wants his iberiberism and Rochanomics to continue to torment the citizens.
But for the deft moves of some equally strong personalities (those who know what he knows) in his All Progressive Congress (APC), Okorocha would have handed over the APC governorship ticket to Nwosu and deployed government apparatus, state and federal, to make Nwosu succeed him after his eight years’ tenure of humiliation, starvation, diseases, poverty, insult, degradation and worse things for Ndi Imo.
Nwosu was blocked from the ticket and frustrated out of the APC. Now, he clutches the ticket of Action Alliance (AA). Imo people have renamed AA akpa amu (scrotum) and are careful to deal with it because of its sensitive nature.
To Ndi Imo, the sensitive nature of the scrotum means it is the pedigree of the candidate who many believe lacks the major ingredients to succeed Okorocha who has taken Imo 25 years back from civilisation.
If Madumere’s disclosure during the week, at a fund raiser for APC governorship candidate, Hope Uzodinma, is anything to go by, that it will take 25 to 30 years to clean up the mess Okorocha has left in Government House, then we do not need an Uche Nwosu, another offshoot of iberiberism and Rochanomics, to compound our woes.
Nwosu has no blueprint of what he wants to do if he is entrusted with the governorship. All I hear him tell Ndi Imo at his campaign rallies is that he “will surpass Owelle Rochas Okorocha’s achievements.”
The question is how? Implementing budgets that did not pass through legislative process? Awarding contracts to family members and cronies at the Bush Bar without due process?
Ndi Imo, open your eyes because you have another bigger fraud on your hands in Nwosu if what he tells you in his campaigns are to be relied on.
He does not have a clear-cut agenda of how to be a governor the way we have seen governorship candidates package their ambition, not only in Imo but elsewhere in Nigeria.
A contestant who is intellectually and academically deficient will deploy razzmatazz and circumvent all governance processes the way Okorocha did for eight years.
That is my humble assessment of Nwosu’s electioneering, and I know discerning Imo people have also taken note of the hot air he blows that will result to no substance if we ever make the mistake of casting our ballot for him and his akpa amu (AA).
His supporters may say he has been chief of staff, commissioner, and other unidentifiable domestic roles he played for Okorocha, his wife and children.
But that is not what Imo needs in an era when brain power (not fraudulent or criminal sense) is needed to navigate a people out of monumental poverty, unemployment, diseases, misery, among others, all of which demand strategic planning and networking at levels that constructive intellectualism and creativity are key.
Ndi Imo, the best thing that can happen to you on March 9 is to reject Nwosu. Do not vote for a candidate whose tenure will compound your suffering based on the thoughtlessness and recklessness of his father in-law, Rochas Okorocha, the Eze Onye Agwalam of Imo State.
Having himself been rejected by his APC, Okorocha should know that Ndi Imo cannot afford to hand him a third term by proxy.
Obviously, Okorocha who appears vulnerable because of his suspension is prepared to use the power of incumbency in alliance with shameless election officials and security operatives to torment the voters. Ndi Imo must resist all that.
He will also want to induce the voters with money because of his desperation and that of his son in-law. Please, collect the money from them because it is your money and vote against them. Shame them because that is what they deserve now.
God forbid! Enough of iberiberism and Rochanomics.
If Okorocha had not been goading Nwosu to bite more than he can ever chew using our commonwealth, he would not have had the audacity, in all ramifications, to challenge the other contenders for the office of governor of Imo State.
I mean candidates like Emeka Ihedioha (PDP), Ikedi Ohakim (Accord), Ifeanyi Araraume (APGA), Hope Uzodinma (APC), Ike Ibe (ID), Tony Nwulu (UPP) or even Okey Ezeh (SDP), ADC Ejike Chukwu (ADC) or even Linus Okorie (YPP).
Here is part of what Azu wrote last year: “Where did Okorocha get his leadership lesson from? Benue? Neighbouring Anambra, where the government’s sensational claim of exporting $5 million worth of vegetables has caused a stir?
“Or from faraway Turkey, where he took over 100 people, including traditional rulers and his in-laws, on investment tourism?
“After electing the Okorochas of this world, voters wake up the next day feeling defrauded and wishing for what might have been. Whether in Imo, Ekiti or Benue, they’ll have to live with it until the incumbent’s tenure expires, and learn that their vote could alter their destinies.
“For now, it’s a one-chance bus they must endure.”
Okorocha’s tenure, thankfully, is about to end. Ndi Imo are happy about that. The excitement is huge. They now know they were defrauded. But will they be awake to make the same mistake they made eight years ago? Again, God forbid!
Once beaten, twice shy, they say.
Ndi Imo should use their ballot to alter (apologies to Azu) their own destinies which Okorocha manipulated for eight years, by ensuring that his greatest lackey, Uche Nwosu, is equally sent home to go and think about what he and his father in-law did to their state – rape for eight years.
A vote for Nwosu is a vote for Okorocha, and that is double jeopardy for Ndi Imo. A word must be enough for the wise.