The South East Progressives Assembly (SEPA) has observed with utter dismay the recent political developments in Imo state with specific reference to the All Progressives Congress ( APC) and Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha, the leader of the party in Imo state vis-a-vis Ndigbo and 2015 general elections.
As a socio-political organization deeply committed to promoting good governance, democratic values as well as championing harmonized Igbo political interest, SEPA is sadly disturbed over noticeable inconsistencies between well known democratic ethos and recent actions carelessly exhibited by Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha whom we earlier thought was democrat.
Though we don’t intend to join issues with Governor Okorocha over the continued exodus of political actors and thousands of their supporters in Imo APC as such does fall under our schedule as a non-partisan organization, SEPA on the other hand is rattled over shocking revelations by the former state interim chairman, Prince Marshal Okaforanyanwu whose committed efforts to strength APC in Imo and south east ahead of 2015 polls were obviously immeasurable and outstanding. These revelations are utterly worrisome particularly when placed side- by-side with Governor Okorocha’s wide-mouthed boast to secure a better political placement for Ndigbo under his newly found APC.
Our independent investigation on this particular development only revealed that Okaforanyanwu merely received his own dosage of the toxic concoction of Governor Okorocha’s Use- and- Dump and Almajiri politics. Many close aides and associates of the governor had already taken their dosages before now and the remaining ones still hovering around him would definitely receive theirs after Okaforanyanwu. If not so, why did the governor completely refuse to pay former political office holders including those he personally appointed into his administration their statutory and constitutionally prescribed entitlements? Why did he introduce vindictive politics in Imo ostensively to erase the achievements of his predecessors in office? Why did he refuse to pay Imo civil and public servants their statutory entitlements and welfare packages payable to their counterparts in other states of the federation? Why did he dismantle the provisions of the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) just to shortchange his political appointees? Why did he engage those individuals that contributed several millions to secure his first electoral victory in a bitter political warfare? Why did he subject contractors to execute government projects with borrowed funds only to dump and deny them at the point of payment? Is Governor Okorocha unaware that some of those contractors have miserably lost their lives and valuables to banks that borrowed them the wasted funds?
Honestly, we had expected Governor Okorocha to copy the recent political strategy deployed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when its stakeholders resolved to remove the former national chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. Besides consulting critical stakeholders, President Goodluck Jonathan respectfully engaged the former chairman in several private meetings thus according him the recognition and dignity the office deserved. As the apex leader going by the party hierarchy as well as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Jonathan never jumped into disgraceful removal of Tukur. Today, the PDP has been repositioned while Tukur on the other hand enjoys his new assignment. That exactly was expected of Governor Okorocha obviously to save the party the embarrassment occasioned by Okaforanyanwu’s exit.
In the absence of such calculated political strategy, Governor Okorocha resorted to deceit, highhandedness and impunity in his desperation to impose party executives against the popular wishes of his party members. No wonder after he denounced zoning and charged his party men to mobilize for open congresses, Governor Okorocha and his family members returned to government house to draw lists of party officials at different levels in the state. The former interim state chairman was completely in darkness as he was busy mobilizing his supporters for an open congress. Even before last Saturday state congress, Governor Okorocha had already constituted state executive of the party in Imo state with Dr. Hilary Eke as chairman. There is no gainsaying that this latest imposition of party executives by Governor Okorocha has dangerously opened exit doors in Imo APC which dangerously signify disaster for the party in 2015.
Unfortunately, while Okaforanyanwu was kicking against the ill- treatment meted out to him, some over-zealous aides who definitely shall benefit from Governor Okorocha’s use-and-dump and almajiri politics resorted to name calling. They even called him an ingrate. Now we ask; If Governor Okorocha himself does not posses traits of an ingrate, why then did he in less than two years as governor fallen apart with those individuals that generously contributed their hard earned money to secure his first electoral victory as governor of Imo state in 2011? Can Governor tell us his present relationship with Chief Ifeanyi Uba, Chief Emeka Offor, Prince Arthur Eze, Chief Martin Agbaso, Chief Victor Umeh, Chief Peter Obi, Prince Macdonald Akano, Sen. Chris Anyanwu ? What happened his close political associates and former political appointees are completely detaching themselves from him? How come political appointees presently serving under his administration throttle at nights negotiating with the opposition parties ahead of 2015 elections?
That notwithstanding, SEPA has deemed it necessary at this point to advise Governor Okorocha to as a matter of urgency return to the political drawing board and strive as much as possible to open his ears for advice. Nobody can truly boast to know everything particularly in politics. He should equally remember that power remains transient and momentary as such would one day leave the governorship position which he presently occupy. We also urge him to be wary of his actions as a leader if he really wants posterity to be kind to him. Whatever political strategy available to his disposal should be urgently activated to woo Okaforanyanwu back to APC without further delay.