Leadership is a very important business in any human formal and informal gathering. It helps homes, organisations, businesses, people and authorities to identify their goals, how best to achieve them, whom to hold accountable when those objectives fail and whom to applaud when they are met or surpassed.
Regrettably, our country has not been so blessed with men and women armed with the passion, zeal, desire, hunger and commitment to drive our nation out of the doldrums it has been mired into since Independence. Our collective welfare and security, a duty the constitution has placed on the shoulder of our leaders, has at best remained a cliche. It has remained a mirage that exists only on the figment of the imagination of the people while reality perpetually continues to elude it. Both the military and the civilian rule we call democracy have shown how helpless and ball-less they are in restoring hope to the people.
In Imo, where governor Okorocha holds swear, it has become a theatre of comedy in the past few years. A lot of Nigerians and foreigners have been thrilled by the mediocrity and epic joke Okorocha has infested on the people in the name of leadership.
Just when you think your ear cannot accommodate more, he strikes a surprise; he breaks a record and have the people hold their head in overdose admixture of disappointment, shame, anger and hope loss. When we heard that the state frittered over five hundred million Naira on Christmas decoration alone in 2016, we expected the governor and his media team to deny the image smearing allegation and put the records straight. Alas, what did we get? A deafening silence. A cold quietness.
As if the state was in a competition with Benue, where wheelbarrow empowerment preceded the reduction of work day to three, Okorocha asked workers to go look for their destinies elsewhere to alternate the salaries he premeditatedly refused to pay; Thursday and Friday eventually became work free days for workers in public institutions in Imo.
As a Twitter user succinctly captured it, ever since Okorocha returned home from a medical trip in UK some months back over undisclosed illness, his sense of reasoning became strangely distorted and a new Okorocha was birthed. This time, one that has completely lost touch with the people. Another said it was Imo state Jesus saw when He said “it is finished”.
At a time Nigerians fumed to the marrow in rage and anger over the wanton killing of our youths in their numbers in South Africa by their security agencies and of course the unpopular xenophobic attack mainly targeted at Nigerians and their businesses, Okorocha’s emotion was ticking anti clock wise, seeing nothing wrong with the blood of these Nigerians in their prime. He struck again like a thunderbolt and held us all spell bound. He brought Jacob Zuma to Imo and demo-godised him with the active support of knuckle heads he calls traditional rulers. The stomach infrastructure chasing chaps (dis)honoured Zuma, a man with multiple corruption charges against him in his home with the highest chieftaincy title in Imo, the Ochiagha, the people’s warrior. It didn’t end there. A street was named after him in Owerri the state capital and the big one was that his statue was erected in the state as a long term reminder that a great man once landed in Imo state.
With the wide backlash this attracted and the intercontinental shame it earned not only to Imo but Nigeria generally, Okorocha never lost sleep for a minute. He never gave up in his hot pursuit for vain adventures. Yet in another obscene and vexacious celebration, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became next in line, her statue became a tourist site in Imo amidst public outburst. Fifty million Naira has been quoted as the cost of each statue and this has not been denied by his excellency or his handlers. This is prodigality redefined and financial recklessness and imprudence taken too far for a state that still owes local government workers, teachers and civil servants in the state backlog of salaries. The people are still lost in thought of how statues of people who have contributed next to nothing will improve their living standard, take them out of despondency and despair and restore a sense of human dignity in their psyche. They are still bewildered on the kind of Imo Okorocha wants their children to inherit. They’re asking question if the governor is being manipulated by any voodoo influence. I’m sure Mugabe, the nonagenarian former president of Zimbabwe who held his country by the jugular for nearly four decades will soon stage a protest on why his statue has not booked a stand in Imo. In our people’s penchant to squeeze water out of stone and present a lighter side of every situation, Okorocha’s spoofing has since reshaped the greeting pattern in the state. Akpuola gi? Have you been molded is now the latest way to exchange pleasantries in the state of Imo. Pathetic.
There’s never a dull moment with the “my people my people” governor. In his usual style for setting new records, the governor few days ago added another feather to his already bushy cap of shame, dishonour and incoherent buffonery . He swore in new 28 commissioners and the one that caught many tongues wagging was the ministry of happiness and purpose fulfillment. Happiness from where? Do the people need a ministry of happiness to be happy? Will the people not naturally be happy and fulfill their purposes if their welfare is of utmost importance in the government’s scale of preference? Will the ministry give happiness to a man whose pension has not been paid in the past one year, family starving and children thrown out of school? Where will a man who cannot sleep with his two eyes closed on the account of activities of men of underworld find a purpose to live let alone fulfilling? For a man whose business has gone extinct on the account of epileptic or no power supply, will his heart be a hub of happiness? Since we’re a country so obsessed with copying and pasting, do we really need to copy when we can’t paste correctly? That such ministries exist elsewhere in the world, is it an alibi for us to import what we cannot operate the way it is operated from the copying point?
The second leg of the randy behaviour is that the governor thinks only his family can radiate happiness. He appointed his sister Mrs. Ogechi Ololo, his former deputy chief of staff and special adviser on domestic affairs and christmas decoration who has been up in arms in the social media in vociferous defence of her appointment to head the newly created ministry. A woman whose face, spoken and written words especially on the social media does not reflect happiness. After wittingly engaging in orgy of things that will naturally drain the water of happiness from the people’s mind, Okorocha now wants the people to be happy. Isn’t this an irony? A more acceptable nomenclature could probably have been “ministry of sadness alleviation” just like a colleague suggested since they have had enough it.
Imo has no doubt become a very popular brand in recent times for the wrongest of reasons. The beauty of the state is being subsume by refuse. Infrastructure decay is on the peak and insecurity assuming a frightening dimension. While these happen, the governor is fixated with concern of laundering his fatally injured image birthed by high wired visionless and irresponsible leadership style. A state that arguably has produced the best brains in various fields of human endeavour both locally and internationally in the entire South East does not deserve the humiliation it has kissed under Okorocha.
He is a toxic seed of the broom party and a bad market to the change mantra. A man whose major achievement is an extravagant annual birthday carnival for himself, wife and domestic animals directly from the state’s treasury cannot be said to be a man of the people. A man who sees nothing wrong in displacing thousands of people from their business environment as exemplified in the callous demolition of Eke ukwu market has sadistic tendencies permanently entrenched in his heart. Such cannot be trusted with the business of co-ordinating men and resources to promote the welfare, security and indeed the happiness of the people.
Imo people, very wise, intelligent and cosmopolitan know what is good for them. They can fulfil their own purposes by restoring the state back to the dreams of the Mbakwes of this world by vehemently rejecting whoever Okorocha’s anointed candidate could be come 2019. He has beyond every reasonable doubt proven that he was a wrong choice who shouldn’t have any business with Imo government house if the state assembly never made itself an extension of the governor’s domestic employees. The plight of the Imo indigene is in regions. As if the centre-induced frustration is a child’s play, the state has given them every reason to be unhappy. The power to bring to an end this comedy in governance lies on your PVC. Use it well.