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Rochas Okorocha: The Truth Must be Told

If politicians were to be judged by what they say with their mouth then hardly will any of them pass an integrity test, so one will be eager to ask where then is the honour of a leader/leadership if they can’t say what they mean or mean what they say? If in a whole state or nation you are elected to be the number one citizen it then means to a large extent you are unique and highly or more qualified than the various options available. That equals a dignity in character, honour in words, courage to lead and other qualities expected of a leader.

Being a leader means you are the compass of your people, state and nation. You chart the course for them to follow, their fate lies on you, your decisions, actions, and inaction. In essence their lot in that vicinity or territory of your leadership depends on you. If they are made better it is to your credit and if they are worse for it, you are equally discredited.

Leadership is not a mere titled but a call for full-scale responsibility. Getting to such a position and abuse it means you have no honour in whatever capacity you occupy; be it family, club, church, kindred and what have you.

At the wake of his election as governor of Imo state, Nigeria, Owelle Rochas Okorocha boasted that he will surpass the records of Dee Sam Mbakwe (first executive governor) who laid the foundation of what Imo state is today. Most structures in the capital city were done by this man way back in the seventies. If Sam Mbakwe’s record was his yardstick for governance it then means we were deceived to believe he was going to offer 21st century leadership based on the record of a 20th century leader.

Abia state has a new governor in the person of Okezie Ikpeazu and from reports he is building roads and infrastructure that has the standard of the ones built by Julius Berger in Abuja. I can confidently say that the ones in Imo state are below minimum standards. Most are not completed or better put abandoned. All I can say is that he came with a mindset to woo people based on projects that are not feasible in any way. Spending so much on roundabouts that didn’t really have any challenge initially. I am only happy for my colleagues that got paid for building projects that won’t have an optimal effect on the people.

The recent news from the state is that a people’s governor decided to suspend workers in 19 parastatals in the state. These are people who have put in years long before he thought of becoming governor or even came to limelight. He came as governor promising heaven on earth, boasting of Imo Palm Plantation and how it generates billions monthly without having concrete plans on the self-sufficiency of the state.

This is one governor who has proved that oratory is not exactly the hallmark of every leadership. It doesn’t matter if you speak well and give the grandest of speeches; can you do well? Will the people benefit or become better after your tenure is over? Will your dignity and impact be intact by time you are vacating office? That should be the hallmark of any leader. Posterity and life after that position.

It is on record that Owelle desires to be the President of this nation but too bad his outing as governor even when his tenure ends won’t earn him a good name in the hearts of many Imo people let alone all across Nigeria. As much as some Imo workers rejoice when they are told they will be paid 3 months salary they very well worked for, not all of us are unmindful of our inalienable rights of being citizens in a Nigerian state.

Deciding to suspend thousands of workers for no reason that can be justified by law is highly unacceptable, inhumane and anti-people for a governor who humorous calls them out as “My people, my people”. This will teach the electorates a lesson; not to judge candidates by their goodwill of philanthropy but to dig deeper into who the man is in character and virtues or even vices.

I just hope our people are not left in the woods of realizing that their leaders should answer to them and to their bidding so long as it is in the best interest of the state and its indigenous people.

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