For some time now, there has been a sudden cataclysm of damage repair and turn-around-maintenance around the persona of the immediate past governor of Imo State, Chief Godson Ikedi Ohakim, with many Imolites hailing him as a ‘Misunderstood Patriot’ and an ‘Unsung Hero’. While this may be true to an extent, the basis for such warped ululation hinges on the comparison between the former and incumbent governors of Imo State.
It is this absurd comparison between the dismal performance of Rochas and the mediocre outing of Ohakim that has thrown up the latter as a local champion of democracy in Imo.
The most unfortunate part of this unfolding scenario is that those who are now hailing Ohakim’s unprecedented giant strides are the very ones who were shouting ‘crucify him crucify him’ when he held sway at Douglas House. Before the ‘Onye ahu piara fada ihe agaghii achi anyi ozo’ saga that proved to be the last straw that broke the camel’s back during the twilight of Ohakim’s administration, there were some other sundry happenings in Imo that belies the tag of ‘unsung Hero’ on Ohakim.
I remember reading about the ordeals of one journalist who was stripped down to his bom bom before being whipped ferociously like a habitual truant student by Ohakim himself. Apart from this, there were some other economic misadventures of the celebrated ‘Ikiri’s’ administration, such as the dredging of the ‘Nworie River’ and many other encumbrances. He was even called a 419ner. I will not be surprised when at the end of Owelle Rochas’s Okorocha’s administration, those who are calling him all sorts of unpalatable names will be the ones to eulogize him as the best thing to have happened to Imo State. The trend seems to be that we throw as much stones and pebbles, depending on the weight we can carry, on our elected officials while they are in office but immediately their tenure elapse and the masquerades are unmasked, the scales fall off our eyes and we suddenly see how foolish and blind we have been to the achievements of these our heroes past. Could this then be a case of not appreciating what we have until we lose it?
In all of these, and despite some scattered ‘giant strides’ of Ikedi, I do not think the entirety of Imolites will be proud to use Ohakim’s administration as a benchmark for good governance. What has just happened is that Owelle Rochas Okorocha seems to have lowered the bar of governance and which in essence has given Sir Ikedi Ohakim’s past administration an undue halo of reverence.