The Rise and Fall of Gov. Okorocha
Ellerton J., in his celebrated vespers song, The Day Thou Gavest Lord Is Ended, says that 'every earthly proud empire must pass away;' while the Sage Proverb author says, 'pride goes before a fall.' Leo Tolstoy capped it all with a fable on the vainglorious cockerel. The fable has it that two cockerels fought on a dung heap. All the hens gathered around the cockerel and began to laud him. The cockerel wanted his strength and glory to be known in the next yard. He flew on top of the barn, flapped his wings, and crowed in a loud voice: 'Look at me, all of you. I am a victorious cockerel. No other cockerel in the world has such strength as I'. The cockerel had not finished, when an eagle killed him, seized him in his claws and carried him to his nest.
This fable is a perfect replica of the political sitz in leben in Imo State immediately after the 2011 gubernatorial election. The political and electioneering duel was a perfect combat; the praise-singing hens were Imolites that believed in Bellezza Faz (surface beauty) as quintessential beauty, while the Governor Okorocha's courtier impressionist acts were the contents of their lauds. Both the vainglorious cockerel (Governor Okorocha) and the praise-singing hens (the bellezza faz Imolites) remained ignorant of the follow-up events that are associated with vainglory. That is why Napoleon Bonaparte said that, 'the greatest danger occurs at the moment of victory'. Victory, especially pyrrhic ones or the unexpected and unanticipated, thrills excitement; while the victorious man remain ignorant of the follow up events of Bonaparte, Ellerton, the Proverb author and Tolstoy. This is because in the heat of victory, the irascible joy enthuse arrogance and overconfidence, which can push one pass the goals he aimed priory, and by going too far, the person crashes or makes more enemies that the previously defeated and worse still ends up in a grand fall.
Governor Okorocha immediately after being declared winner of the 2011 Imo State gubernatorial election, joined his Rescue Mission Agenda with the vainglory that was energizes by the victory aura. He embarked on missions impossible, extravagant generosity, fretful and short-sighted projects executed in panic measures style. The heat and over joy of his 'victory' however triggered him to embarking on projects he and his specie contemporaries can never accomplish, often seven time above what the Federal Government can ever achieve in a long term project. As an educator, I love evaluation and engage on it in order to gain and ensure positive societal advancement. On this note, it is good to assess Governor Okorocha's good intentioned speeches on the transformative agenda for Imo State vis-à-vis the accompanied practical realizations. How is the man Okorocha and his words faring? What meting points have Governor Okorocha's oratorios and his praxis?
After his inaugural address to the State on May 29, 2011, Governor Okorocha mounted the pulpit again after one year like his colleagues in the schist Christian Churches, and delivered speeches more excellent than those of the Medieval Latin Oratorio Magisterium that humanity has ever had. He reasserted his determination to provide accountable, responsive and responsible governance that would be totally focused on the needs and aspirations of the citizenry. He listed endless facets of administrative ruins he inherited from the preceding administration and thus swore to take immediate steps (which later turned to panic measures approaches) to recreate and restore Imolites confidence in the machinery of governance as a primary condition for their engagement and commitment to the development processes of the State. Consequently, he strategized plans that include building trust programmes while engaging the people, he listed 241 roads to construct and rehabilitate (which excluded the over 540Km rural roads he claimed then were under construction) as well as over 30 Public Buildings and Facilities.
On education, he promised 305 Primary School blocks, subvention increment to IMSU from #57 Million to #100 Million, as well as the establishment of 3 Universities in the three Senatorial Zones of the State, which would bring the endless controversy over IMSU relocation to a closure. He promised also daily stipends of #400 to #600 per diem per pupil, and the provisions of writing materials, school bags and uniforms and the computerization of all the schools in the State before the end of 2013. He budgeted #25,000 scholarship to Primary School indigene pupils of the State per annum and #40,000 for their counterparts in the Secondary Schools. He also declared a bursary of #60,000 and #80,000 for Imo State Polytechnics Umuagwo OND and HND students respectively as well as #100,000 for each indigene student of Imo State University Owerri, and instructed therein that the disbursement of the proceeds of the scholarship be made directly to the institutions, thereby granting them (the State's Tertiary Institutions) autonomy.
On health, he promised to construct new General Hospital in the 27 Local Government Areas of the State and the 15 other bogus and unrealizable dreams for the health sector. On Commerce and Industry, he swore unto the provision of constant electricity, good roads and industrialization for jobs creation. He also added the rehabilitation of the Standard Shoe Company Owerri and the construction of a modern Textile Factory at Nsu. On Agriculture, he promised a new Garden of Eden in the State, where abundance will be the portion of every Imolite and we all hailed him the new Saviour of the Imo-world. He assured of full rehabilitation of Adapalm (Imo Palm) and its privatization in order to generate at least 4,000 jobs for the youths, etc.
On Security, Governor Okorocha's fast speaking tongue declared that during the past administration, killings, kidnappings and robbery incidents were on the average of 20 cases per week and reinstated his determination to combat crime and totally eliminate the activities of miscreants within our society. (This to some extent was achieved, grace to the emergence of the workaholic Imo CP, Bolanta who is not a Rescue Mission Police and his transfer was not effectuated by Rochas because his long, sweet mouth does not reach there). Other areas his oration covered were the Imo City Development Programme and the reduction of the cost of Governance in the State.
The Okpoko-born great orator of the 21stCentury also had series of vainglorious orations afterwards in various public gatherings. But what makes a man is not what he says or speaks volubly as elocutionary prowess (after all every man by virtue of his beingness, as Homo Sapiens, is as well a Homo Loquens) thus loquacity is no proof of excellent demeanour but a trait of chatterers otherwise, the parrot would be the best of all creatures. There exists a mind world between the chattering class (that Okorocha belongs to) and the praxis and achieving classes (that the likes of Governor Godswill Akpabio, Coach Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, etc) belong.
Governor Okorocha rose to glory with his tongue-strength and is falling into the disgraceful pit of his weakened pragmatic ideal, which is occasioned by the inertia-trait that characterizes tongue-powered men. Mrs Ann Nlemadim captioned one of her novels, 'Seeing Is Believing'. Talk, na do? It is true that ilu bu mmanu Ndigbo ji eri ji but, Nke onye siri, nke onye gwutara, nke onye koro? Today, how many of the 241 roads Governor Okorocha claimed being near completion are under preliminary construction? Today, where are those 540 Km rural roads? Today, where are those 305 Primary School Blocks? Today, where are those 3 Universities (instead, he attempted the Anambra State method of who is one seat transfers the State's Varsity to his backyard, and thus Okorocha's simulation. He rather wanted to relocate IMSU to his father's cocoyam farmland)? Today, how many pupils and students receive the daily stipends or has he ever accounted for the money voted for it? Today, did Okorocha actualize the disbursement of the Tertiary Scholarship funds to the Schools to ensure that autonomy he assured the Varsities Dons or did he not send the cheques to Senatorial Zone Traditional Rulers and back again to the Ikemba Ojukwu's Heroes Square Owerri, etc? Today, how many new General Hospitals did he construct (instead he half-sold 18 out of the 27 existing General Hospitals in the Local Government Areas of the State)? Today, did Okorocha rehabilitate the Nsu (Imo) Textile Factory or sold it? What of Adapalm (Imo Palm), how many Youths was he able to ensure their employment as he earlier sang like the Tolstoy's vainglorious cockerel? Today, have killings, robbery incidents and kidnappings gone from the State as he firmly assured or worsened, even to the extent that some of his Cabinet Members have fallen victims? When a giant is fighting a common man and the common man confidently comes to his bedroom in his presence and carries away some of his properties, does he still have the virility that characterize a giant? Today, how many Local Government Areas have been developed as he assured; worse still, his over ranted and pouted 4th Tier Government, Onde Stas? Has the cost of governance that he sang of been reduced, to which degree and has he accounted for the proceeds? In fact, this TODAY would be endless if I should continue.
The funniest part of his chute (Yes, I adore that French word for fall, because it has strength in its significance of 'fallenness') is that why Governor Okorocha clamoured for the arrest of his predecessor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, his own team- his immediate Cabinet members were stock at the EFCC net. While Ohakim enjoys in innocence, the Weeping Governor cries to EFCC to arrest Ohakim now or they are not! Is it not ironical? Today, the pursuer has turned the pursued. Today, Toynbee's Cyclic Theory of History is at Imo doorstep, when the Omehia-Amaechi political story of Rivers State arrives their neighbouring vicinity. Many throughout the various facets of human histories have risen greatly in life as Orators, but oratorios are common in biblical stories and there too, one finds endless fallen Egyptian, Israelite, Assyrian and Babylonian Kings. Governor Okorocha rose so high in the untrue and pretence and has fallen crashing so hard on the rock to split flesh, bone and blood. Pride has gone first by the Man, and now he has fallen!
BY PROF. NATHAN PROTUS UZORMA (THE REFORMER). Email [email protected]