By Chuks Akamadu
Not just because of the crisis trailing the recent fracas-laced All Progressive Congress (APC) Ward congresses nationwide and the Imo version, Governor Owelle Roachs Okorocha of Imo State reminds me of King Sennacherib of Assyria in the Bible who in the twilight of his reign had occasion to take blasphemy a notch higher by uttering, through Rabshakeh, utterly provocative words of reproach against the Creator of all creatures.
King Sennacherib who had an expansionist dream, with an impressive war chest and pathetic disdain for God believed in error that he could rise against Judah and conquer her effortlessly; he sought to speak so contemptuously of the living God that King Hezekiah had to resort to sackcloth.
Filled with the vanity of power, King Sennacherib had boasting that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would not be able to deliver the seeds of Jacob from his powerful hands. I have heard similar lines repeatedly being dished out by the Douglas House Owerri Overlord. Nothing can irritate more!
But when it did appear that King Sennacherib indeed was invincible, Prophet Isaiah came to the rescue with the following words:
“Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.”
And the rest you can find in Isaiah 37. Make no mistake about it, Governor Okorocha could also pass for a poor imitation or better still a caricature of Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar combined! Ndo-nu, Ndi Imo!
I had in the past made frantic effort at dispassionately deconstructing the Rochas Okorocha phenomenon and part of my finding was that he is barely educated, does not have any pedigree to protect, and still do have savage appetite for raw power; and you see, when a man who neither has a calling for service nor a desire to serve finds power thrust upon him, there is the likelihood that his people would become vassals – or subjects at minimum.
Take it or leave it, one of the reasons we’ve continually had leadership failure in this part of the world is the failure of the followership to do due diligence. By “due diligence” I mean interrogate the track record and antecedents of those who aspire to lead them. We also do not place the right premium on background of would-be leaders. It is for this reason that a Rochas could happen in Imo. Same for his immediate predecessor, Ikiri!
Please can anyone compare Governor Okorocha to Chief Sam Mbakwe who prior to his ascent to power had had a successful legal practice in Aba? Yes, there have been instances where highly educated professionals, as leaders, chose the path of perfidy, but we still do have a duty to thoroughly scrutinize the past of whoever that puts himself forward for leadership.
To the best of my knowledge, “Rochas Foundation” is not a career. “Rochas Group of Schools” is no professional accomplishment and “Nigerian Red Cross” is no vocation. In any event, I cannot see how any of these preoccupations could have groomed anybody for leadership.
Till date, I do not know what Governor Okorocha’s political philosophy and economic thoughts are. Some say he is an orator, but his words have never been profound enough to produce a quotable quote. A toddler when one puts him side-by-side those who are blessed with gift of the gab like Ikemba Nnewi, Oyi of Oyi, Ike Nwachukwu and the like.
I know he is intemperate, immodest and inflexible. I also know that he is primitive – in every sense of the word. I know that he has literally overrun Imo with him as governor, wife as first lady, sister as commissioner, daughter as MD of the “largest FM radio station east of the Niger”, and Son-in-law as Chief of Staff and heir apparent.
Talking about Imo guber come 2019, I urge Ndi Imo to remain united in their resolve to scuttle vainglory-seeking Governor Okorocha’s desperate desire, driven by sheer hubris, to have his son-in-law succeed him. Some of us cannot wait for him to leave office next year and take his deserved place in Ndigbo’s Hall of Shame! My spiritual eye can see him already sitting in-between T.A Orji and Chimaroke Nnamani. You remember those two “great” sons of Igboland?
*Akamadu, a lawyer and public affairs analysts, wrote in from Umuahia, Abia State capital