Echoes of a clapping Governor, Rochas and the sons of Jeroboam
In 1534, during the migration of the sons of Oshikpa from the old Benin Kingdom, King Ugwunagu the first son of Oshikpa married three wives. Each of the wives had serial lonely son, which warranted the King to have two concubines, who also had lonely son each. These sons by their births were princes. The three elder sons were very prominent like their father, well honoured and admired in the kingdom as princes, while the other two, knowing their maternal statuses in the palace, were docile, humble, wise, creative, observant, obedient, diligent and industrious, and above all, they were always at the King’s courtyard even hours after the King retired to rest.
The King was so beguiled and enthralled that he was compelled to send his confidant chiefs to secretly go and pay their mothers’ bride price, and thus homogenize the two sons for the Throne. He yet continued his polygamous life, having further concubines and serial lonely sons. The two latter sons grew mightier than their father as adjudged by the citizens, but turned themselves into industrious, conscientious, cultured, and humble servants than popular princes.
Some years later, the King developed serious ailment that incapacitated him, and the three sons were busy soliciting for supports and canvassing for popularity among prominent citizens, the warriors, the chiefs, divas and maidens in the Kingdom, and warred adjoining neighbourhoods and molested the vassals. The King was always alone with the two sons of his former concubines.
Years after, his health condition became unbearable, and one day in the eveing, the King summoned his cabinet to an emergency meeting, which turned to be the eve of his passage, as he intuited his death and the need to name his successor after the royal customs. The three popular sons were present too, as well as the two sons from the former concubines. Before all, the King surprisingly called out the two latter sons, and asked the two to choose between them who will replace him.
Being bewildered, cultured and wise, they rather knelt before the King for his blessings. The King blessed them and whispered to their ears differently, to go and get him his evening favourite. One went and brought the King’s snuff box and the other, the ancestral royal staff, which the King thumps on his stool thrice at dusk before removing his crown for twilight rest. The dying King gave the latter the ancestral staff and declared him his successor and the kingdom’s Crown Prince.
The story above is allegorical to the present story of the worthy Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, and the crises rocking his Rescue Mission’s camp in Imo APC. The diligent Governor in the beginning attracted the admiration of Imolites, working very hard, loving all and received the peoples praises, which he re-applauded with his echoing voice- My people, my people!
Like the ancient King-son of Oshikpa, Rochas as an APC Governor begot three popular sons: Prince Eze Madumere, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu and Engr. Tony Ololo. These worthy personalities, by their status in the State today, are worthy to be Governors of the State, if they win the APC primary election. The Governor’s nomination is secondary to the election; just as proximity to the Governor by official posts and affinity, are secondary to being a worthy person to bear the party ticket.
Like the other sons of Ugwunagu in the royal story, the three are busy whirling their influences in APC and in the State, galvanizing support-groups, creating strong internal divisions, hatreds and rancour in the Governor’s innermost cabinet. To the extent that their supporters clash daily, campaign to the door steps of their brothers as perceived foes, with hate speeches depicting a warring kingdom; plotting to pull each other down and to pillory themselves, to the chagrin of the aging good King-Governor.
What they have not asked themselves or found time to verify, is whether the King does not have other sons- Legitimate, illegitimate or adopted sons. Or if the APC ticket is their proper patrimony, that it must be them that the King-Governor must nominate and elections will not be conducted? Is it the party rule? Is it how political parties conduct their primaries? Is it how other Governors do?
I doubt if they have ever thought of the King’s other sons like Barr Chima Anozie (Home Base), Sir Jude Ejiogu, and other worthy aspirants of the Rescue Mission camp. Certainly, there is no wealthy and polygynous man that does not have enlarged families, from where better successors often come. It is often a natural phenomenon to see such sons succeed their fathers better than those whom power, wealth and influence have swallowed up.
The ancient royal story above and the Rescue Mission’s Berlin Conference (where Gov Okorocha’s 8 years hard-labour like Africa, is partitioned and scrambled) could also be likened to the story of the biblical King Solomon and his servant Jeroboam. Jeroboam in the King’s house was said to have developed into a mighty man of valour, and seeing his industriousness, King Solomon made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph.
While very obedient, industrious and humble, God lifted Jeroboam to become King of vast kingdoms, through prophet Ahijah, who rent Jeroboam’s garment into 12; gave him 10 pieces representing 10 tribes of Israel out of the hand of Solomon. But this swelled the head of Jeroboam to later organise mightier warriors to wipe away the lonely Kingdom of Rehoboam, son of Solomon, during the reign of his son Abijah. The rest of the story is the future of Imo Rescue Mission and APC after Governor Rochas Okorocha.
The degree of rancour, bitterness and envy erupting from the corners of the three most possible favourites of the Governor, must have been a deep food for thought to him. Perhaps, he may have started regretting like God, having created man. He might have also regretted like Yahweh, having given Jeroboam, a mere palace servant, the kingdoms of Israel to rule.
As the Governor approaches the end of his tenure, and party primaries fast approaching, Rochas as an astute King must be aware that his erring sons are not good for public-outing, and as such will certainly embark on intra-party wars if he finally nominates any. As Jeroboam was always at war with Rehoboam throughout his life time, crisis will always rock the Rescue Mission after him if any of the three succeeds him.
If Prince Madumere is nominated, how would Rochas’ sister and husband see him? What will be their relationship in the Rescue Mission family and with the Okorochas? If Engr. Ololo is nominated or backed by the Governor during the primaries to win the party ticket, how would his wife, Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha see the denial of her son-in-law, Uche Nwosu and her daughter from taking over after them at Douglas House, which has turned into their family house? Would there be a peaceful family? Will Engr. Ololo’s family be comfortable with it? The solution is declaring no victor, no vanquished, and eliminating them from the non-infantile race.
As it is rumoured and alleged, the confusion about who to pick as successor has also caused friction in the Rescue Mission family, with elements of supremacy battle between the wife of the Governor and the other Okorochas. In fact, the house is on fire, ‘things have fallen apart, and the centre can no longer hold.’
Rochas like the old King is at cross-roads and given the fact that the 10 pieces of tribes given to these three are blowing off their heads to the extent of forgetting that ‘O wu ekpe ka a na-eri Rochas na ndu.’ He is not death yet, and his labours and properties are scrambled before him. If any of them clings the power, will become power drunk, will be precariously intoxicated, and may forget their builder.
If the news carried by the This Day newspaper, February 17, 2019 is reliable and true, then Gov Okorocha has got many sons of Jeroboam, who are out to ruin all he laboured over the years because of selfish desperation. And the faster he thinks of an alternative, the better, and if possible, for an alternative to the alternative, since it appears Imo APC does not have any other camp besides the Rescue Mission and Araraume’s camps, which the Senator has secured very well, prepared and packaged for critical outing.
Without this serial decisive alternative, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume may definitely win the Imo APC’s primaries. The best thing Rochas should do and fast too, is to retract the declaration on Uche Nwosu, not because he is his son-in-law, but for the sake of the equity charter on rotation of power in the State and the intra-family wars going on and very inimical to the future of his legacies. Rochas has to keenly consider other qualified Owerri zone’s Rescue Mission aspirants, who are cool-headed, humble, capable, serious and well disposed for the leadership.
In this, Barr Chima Anozie (Home Base) and Sir Jude Ejiogu stand most proximate, especially Home Base, who is no enemy to anyone, but a master team-maker and a good team-player, and has been at the King’s courtyard mastering and acquiring all the needful royal wisdom and arts, like the King’s son that brought the ancestral staff that won him the Crown Prince, while the other sons are busy with ego-battle.
Sir Jude Ejiogu is good too, but his sack, which he sees and umbrages as alienating antics and calculated frustration from the Governor towards his ambition, makes him like the allegorical son in the story above that went to bring the King’s snuff box.
Certainly, it is obvious, Rochas is very astute and like the wise King, he just put his sons to test and the first three have fallen out because of pride. It has dawned on him that his primary choices and alternatives have fallen apart, and mere anarchy is found everywhere around the Rescue Mission camp. And like William Wordsworth, “the best lacks all conviction and the worst are full of passionate intensity.” These alternatives have to be explored and considered if Imo APC and the Rescue Mission camp want to outlive Rochas by 2019.