Chief Emeka Ihedioha,
I salute you.
I write with Sincerity. Sincerity of purpose. I write with concern. I write with high sense of humility. I write with agape love. I write to you as an Imo man. I write as a media practitioner. I am not writing as an Aronta man or as an Mbutu man, Or as an Mbaise man. I am also writing as a patriotic citizen of Imo State. Once again, I salute you. How have you been coping, since you were declared the winner of the Saturday, March 9, 2019 governorship election in the State? I know it has not been easy with you since that day, especially when the popular belief in our clime is that position or wealth attracts many friends, but failure or poverty scares friends or discourages friendship.
I do know and I also believe that you know that, the voice(s) one hears at any time or at any given time matters a lot. They count to a large extent. That is why as a child of God, I always pray that any voice in my life that is not of God should cease. The reason being that the voices you hear either with your spiritual ears or with your physical ears influence your actions and perhaps, your inactions. One acts based principally on what he or she hears.
Few days after INEC had declared you winner, you said you would step on toes. That pronouncement was based on what you heard at that time from those around you. And recently too, your tone changed and that was indeed in your own compound and simple interest. You said you would not witch-hunt anybody. Meaning that you have come back to your senses also based on the voices you heard. And giving the options of stepping on toes and not witch-hunting anybody, those who love you would advise that you opt for the later. And the reason being that there are toes you would step on, your own toe will begin to peel, especially when you also remember that the office of the governor is not the ultimate. It is not the final word. The power you will exercise as governor will be grossly limited and will also be subjected to the whims and caprices of other Superior Powers or authorities you are not in control of. Then you have to exercise caution. Rochas Okorocha never stepped on toes. He never witch-hunted anybody even his worst critics. And that is the way you should go, in your own interest. As I had stated, not every toe is “steppable”. There are toes you step on, and it would be at your own risk.
Chief, you know that I didn’t support you in 2015. I also didn’t support you in 2019. I never wished you victory. In 2015, I supported and worked for my governor, my governor, the Hero, and the defending Champion of Imo governorship, Owelle Rochas Okorocha. In 2019, I supported and worked for Ugwumba Uche Nwosu. And as I write, I am also for Uche Nwosu for governor and I am praying that the tribunal would nullify the governorship election for another poll. So that, by the grace of God and with the votes of Imo people Uche Nwosu will become governor. And before I tell you something in this regard or in the circumstance, I remind you of this. You know I hate moving with security personnel. And in all the elections in our place, I never cared about moving with security folks, the ones the eyes can see. I move with the kind of security operatives the eyes do not see. The Guarding Angels. But because of what you did to me in 2015, I decided to come with a team of police officers in the 2019 election. And that was the reason your field marshals including soldiers and all that ransacked everywhere except my polling booth. You came first in my booth and Ugwumba came second. My joy was that the votes were counted and recorded as voted. You had 135 votes and Ugwumba had 45. I never expected Ugwumba to defeat you, knowing the gravity of the sentiment. The booth is in our kindred or village. So, the 45 votes I got was to me, one hundred thousand votes. In other words, you defeated Ugwumba with ninety (90) votes.
But Chief, there are those who have been working for or with you right from the day you joined politics or who worked for you in 2015 and in 2019 respectively without waivering. They have remained steadfast. Go for such people in all your appointments. Ignore all those from the Imo Coalition. Ignore all those from N-APGA. Ignore those from the Rescue Mission Government. Ignore all those writing in your favour or attacking Rochas Okorocha these days to attract your attention. Such elements are on sale to the highest political bidder. They are the real enemies of the politics of Imo State. They can only die for their bloated stomachs. They cannot die for anything credo or principle. Do not give Sam Onwuemeodo. If I come today and tell you that I am with you, it is not true. If I had wanted you to be governor I would have resigned and joined you either in 2015 or in 2019. Since I remained with Owelle Ndi-Igbo uptil now that is where I am. There are no two words about that.
Treat those in the Coalition as lepers. Reason being that there is nothing you will give to them or do for them that Rochas Okorocha didn’t give them or didn’t do for them two hundred percent. And if they could betray Rochas, they would eat you raw. They are all driven by inordinate ambitions. Such men cannot be partners in progress. Egocentrism is their watchword. Take heed of those from N-APGA. They have no case. If the APGA primary had gone the way they wanted, they would not have left. They were also teleguided or piloted by selfish interest. They cannot also be reliable political associates. Emergency political friends or associates are also good in making emergency political exit. They do not care about the implications. Their philosophy or stock in trade is, eat today and die tomorrow. Man must wack mentality. They incubate mischief. And do not have the words “thank-you”, either in their spirits or in their mouths. Do not make them to gain currency. Avoid elders like EJK Onyewuchi, Bob Njemanze, Marcellinus Nlemigbo etal. They are teenage-adults. They like to reap where they never sowed and their style is uniform or akin. They have their usual way of entering every government that comes on board, and they exit once the tap stops running. Do not give such men “Visa” even to Venezuela. I hope you are reading my lips correctly. Do you know that “Nti bu nka”. The ear is life.
Again, beyond the needless wailing or groaning of the elements of your party against the people’s governor Owelle Okorocha, and the antics of the elite, Imo people have seen the monumental achievements of Rochas Okorocha. They see these projects everyday as they pass. Any day you begin to criticise Rochas Okorocha or try to down-play his achievements you hit yourself. Rochas never attacked either Ikedi Ohakim or Achike Udenwa. I stand to be challenged on that with proof. We had only responded or reacted to their attacks. Check the records. You gain when you appreciate and commend Owelle’s achievements, but you loose political weight any day you try to do otherwise. And also know that some of us are still around to keep the record straight when you try to lower the volume of his achievements. You have every reason to be painstaking knowing that your governorship has some germs.
In case your political analysts have not told you, only Mbaise people are making noise or celebrating your governorship. The rest of the people of the State are still watching from afar. Yes, there are some known political figures from Orlu zone and Okigwe zone on your side. That is understandable. Those ones are the usual political bigots. Being with you would guarantee them political leverage they had missed since 2011. Also know that the most outstanding figure in Okigwe zone, hate him or love him, is Ifeanyi Araraume. He won in Okigwe zone and you do not wish him away. He is at the election petition tribunal with you. Interpret it, Okigwe zone is at the tribunal with you. In Orlu zone, Uche Nwosu, Rochas Okorocha and Hope Uzodinma are the most visible today in the politics of Orlu zone. They are (Nwosu and Hope) also at the tribunal with you. Narrow it down, Orlu zone is at the tribunal with you. In Owerri zone, aside the Mbaise axis and so to say, Ngor-Okpala dimension, who are your real political friends in the rest of the LGAs in Owerri Zone. Uche Onyeaguocha, is he really your political bedfellow in the exact sense of the word? Can the product of N-APGA like Emmanuel Iheanacho be also counted as your political ally? I do not think so. In other words, Imo people are still looking at your governorship with “yokometre” or one eye. You do yourself a favour by dealing with the clannish tag politics has hung on your neck and as quickly as possible.
In two days time, you will metamorphose from governor-elect to executive governor, with all the paraphernalia of the office attached. But bear in mind that there is no insult Owelle has received as governor you will not receive. It is in the character of Imo people to insult their governors. Let me start from Amadi Ikwecheghe. They insulted Ikwecheghe. They insulted James Aneke. Ditto Tanko Zubairu. They insulted Sam Mbakwe, Evans Enwerem, Achike Udenwa, Ikedi Ohakim and today Rochas. Imo people have never said thank-you to any administrator or governor that had governed them. It has never ended in praise. But castigation. So do not be carried away by what you hear now or see now. Your own won’t be an exception. History and posterity are what real leaders work to please. Once a leader earns the favourable verdicts of history and posterity, the criticisms of opponents become of no effect. Null and void. And guess what, Rochas Okorocha has earned the favourable verdicts or judgements of history and posterity. In other words, the jaundiced or polluted opinions of PDP elements and that of the displaced elite on his person or governorship do not matter again. The NPN elements who had criticised Mbakwe have been forgotten ever since. But history and posterity have continued to throw up his (Mbakwe’s) name as a man who did well as governor. Rochas is on the right side of righteousness with regard to his achievements as governor. The choice is now yours. To please PDP folks that have not taken their favourable drinks like Moet, XO, Hennessy since 2011 and who now see your governorship as another opportunity gotten for enjoyment or to hunger for the verdicts of posterity and history. Your party is also known for the slogan, ‘share-the-money’ and merriment always. Chopping party. The mood of Imo people has gone beyond that. Rochas has changed the political psyche of Imo people for good. The usual story of no-money in the State has also been rubbished by Rochas’ achievements.
Chief, you have a responsibility. Again, most of us who served in the government of Owelle Rochas Okorocha might not have made the kind of money the appointees in the PDP days had made. But we are better for it. The good news is that when history and posterity will unveil their favourable verdicts on Rochas, the name Sam Onwuemeodo and others will be mentioned as parts of the success story. And Praise-God will follow. That is the climax. The ultimate. That is the dollar. The pound sterling. The Euro. Nonetheless, we shall Continue to clap for Jesus. Have a nice day.
•Written on May 27, 2019. Sam Onwuemeodo from Aronta, Mbutu in Aboh Mbaise LGA, is Chief Press Secretary to Governor Rochas Okorocha from Ogboko in Ideato South LGA, Imo State.