OKOROCHA WILL SURELY DELIVER
As the governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha releases programmes aimed at developing the state and engendering good governance, Prince Charles Ukeje, President South East Cooperative initiative has declared that going by strides Governor Okorocha has taken so far, the governor would implement all his campaign manifestoes.
According to him, the governor being a philantropist who has invested heavily in human development, would do more in delivering democracy dividend to the people.
May we know you
I am prince Charles Ukeje, Vice President Ohaneze Lagos State, President Imo natives in Ohaneze, and President South East Consultative Assembly (FICA), Lagos State.
You predicted correctly that Rochas would win. What gave you the confidence?
You will agree with me that a good product markets itself. Rochas is a good product. In the whole wide world, only two creatures can see their back without turning their heads, the rabbit and the parrot. All other creatures must turn their heads before they see their backs. Rochas is such a rare creature. He understands the challenges facing Imo state, deeply. He has the character and the principle to succeed. He cannot be overwhelmed by these challenges as every leader that came after Mbakwe has. As somebody who has performed wonderfully well outside government, we knew he would perform wonders in government.
When he came out, we knew it would be an easy ride and predicted so
Then, I told you that Imo people would vote personality and not political party. And that was exactly the case.
What agenda are you setting for Rochas?
A Chinese proverb says that the best time to plant a tree is 100 years ago. It equally says that the best time is now. Rochas is now effectively in control. He is ready to tap from the abundant human capital in Imo State. We are sure he is ready to partner with NGOs and other stakeholders to deliver democracy dividends to the people.
For example, to make the Free Education policy more effective, the government needs to partner the private sector to build more and affordable hostels. Again, the government needs to restructure and re-organise its revenue gathering outfits to reduce leakages caused by fraud. It needs to appoint trustworthy Revenue agents for the state.
Until Governor Peter Obi came on board, few knew that enormous revenue could be harnessed from motoparks.
What role did Imo Natives in Lagos play in the victory of Rochas Okorocha?
As you already know, the views of Igbo residents in Lagos are taken very seriously at home. Imo Natives in Lagos under my leadership, mobilized Imo stakeholders in favour of Rochas. Imo Natives in Lagos also printed fliers and handouts and sponsored Imo indigenes to go home and distribute them. Our people, through these materials were able to change their minds in favour of Rochas at the last laps of the campaign. The Southeast cooperative Initiative equally played a crucial role in delivering victory to Rochas.
Federated Igbo Consultative Assembly, which has me as their Board of Trustee (BoT) chairman, also played a very important role in delivering victory to Rochas. We are not ready to stop here.
So far, how would you describe Rochas policies?
The impact of Rocha's rescue mission is already being felt. Within few days of his inauguration as governor, he declared free education in primary and secondary schools. He became the first governor in Nigeria to cut down state security votes from 6.5bn to 2.5bn Naira so as to adequately finance education.
You would also recall that he reduce tuition fee paid in Imo state University from 150 thousand naira to 50 thousand. And recently, he disbursed money to local governments so as to rehabilitate schools in rural areas.
So, for a governor to take such steps within few months of his administration indicates that he has genuine interest of the state at heart.