By Collins Ughalaa
What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground…”, Zachariah 4:7. “So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall (of Jericho) fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city”, Joshua 6:20. “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?”, Jeremiah 32:27
God has the power to save and to deliver. And he has time for everything. His thoughts are not same with men’s and He does not look at the face, like most men do. Only Him has the ability to read the content of every man’s heart and he pays everyone according to His deed.Sometimes it takes long. Some times it is shorter. For the Israelites who faced the obstruction of the walls of Jericho, seven days was just enough for God to answer them and the mighty Jericho wall fell!For job, it took years. For apostles Paul and Silas in the prison, it was a matter of few days and the prison gates opened. For the Israelites in Babylonian captivity, it took 70 years, and of course, it took the Israelites 40 years to get to the Promised Land.
For His Excellency Dr Ikedi Ohakim, it took four years for his own kind of Jericho Wall to begin to fall, and in the seventh year, it “fell down flat”.
It was in August 2014 during a Sunday service at the popular Adoration Ministry Enugu, that Rev Father Ejike Mbaka, the fiery Catholic priest who composed the destructive song that helped pull Dr Ikedi Ohakim out of office in 2011, said he was sorry for all his roles in the propaganda. The Rev Father, like most people believed the well financed political propaganda that His Excellency Dr. Ikedi Ohakim beat a Rev Father in Imo State.
He had been pushed to take actions and participate in the destruction of the innocent without getting to know the truth. But once he got to know the truth he did the right thing, not only by publicly apologizing to Dr Ikedi Ohakim, but telling the whole world that the allegation that Ohakim beat Rev Father was a lie. He said he was deceived into the propaganda.
The Reverend Father said that he had interrogated the Rev Father who was allegedly beaten by Dr Ikedi Ohakim, Rev Father Eustace, who swore with the Blessed Sacrament in the presence of other Rev Fathers, and confessed that Ohakim did not beat him; that he did not even see Ohakim and that nobody even beat him. Father Mbaka said that by the time he got to know the truth his music was already in the public, causing trouble.
That was about four years ago. But on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, something phenomenally awesome happened. The Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri confered the Best Performing Governor Award to Dr Ikedi Ohakim, stating how his reforms and policies in the Education Sector has brought bountiful fruits to the Church and society at large. They were pleased that Ohakim’s policy to hand over 44 schools to the missions who were the original owners, pay salaries of the affected schools and provide annual grants by law to the schools, provided the tonic for the turn around in the schools.
The policy of handing over schools to their original owners has been implemented in neighbouring Anambra State, and the people of the state enjoy good quality education. But the Church noted that Ohakim was the first Governor to do so.
Lovers of good things all over the word have since expressed joy at the bold action of the Catholic Church in making this timely restitution. They have noted that the declaration and Award from the Church is the last vestige of the wall of the propaganda that Ohakim beat a Rev Father, to fall.
Notably, the architects of the evil propaganda have known no peace since the Award from the Catholic Church on Ohakim. They are confused. They are miffed. They wonder how they did not get that prestigious Award from the Catholic Church, despite their over-hyped free education programme.
But who can recognize the fraud called free education that has only produced mediocrity; a system of education already abandoned by government officials? No one can recognise an illegal system that has no law backing it up, a system abandoned by the villagers who now prefer to spend their hard earned money on the education of their children because Okorocha’s public schools have failed them. Who will recognise a system of education that retards development? Just nobody!
The God of Justice, the Almighty God, has been making every mountain before Dr Ikedi Ohakim a level ground. Writing under the heading: The Negative Political ramitications of coverups, Dr. Kelechi Okpalaeke on Feb 18 2013, noted that the allegations of financial irresponsibility against Ohakim have also fallen like a pack of cards.
“On Sunday morning, January 27 2013, the Commissioner for Finance in a radio program on Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) announced to Imo public that the Okorocha’s administration had been granted a change of purpose by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the Bond proceeds”.
This confession came after the propaganda from the state government that Ohakim accessed N40bn Bonds from the Capital Market instead of the actual N18bn; and the denial that Ohakim did not handover the balance of N13bn from the N18bn Bonds already accessed for the purpose of sundry developmental programmes, including the Oguta Wonder Lake.
Dr Okpaleke, realising the danger of the serial denials and propaganda warned that “The stories and revelatios trailing the N13.3bn bond proceeds left behind by the Ohakim’s administration could possibly ruin the promising careers of some Imo politicians as a result of the elaborate cover-up surrounding it”.
Imo people are aware that Dr Ikedi Ohakim had insisted that he left more than N26bn which he handed over to Governor Okorocha and that the state government had sought for Change of Purpose with NSE on the Bonds proceeds. But since telling lies against Ohakim makes the Okorocha government happy, they continued to lie. But gladly, Imo people know that what they now have is a government that feeds on lies for survival.
The dredging of Nworie River was another propganda tool used against Dr Ikedi Ohakim. How the people of Owerri bought this lie is still a shock to most people. Despite that a prominent political figure in Owerri Zone had investigated the matter and absolved Ohakim of the allegation, some people seemed to have something to benefit from believing the lie and not accepting the fact that the Nwaorie River dredging was NDDC project. Today, despite that the Okorocha government is dredging sand from the river, the government has constricted the twin rivers Otamiri and Nworie. In no time the people of Owerri will have no more rivers, against the Ohakim’s tourism programmes.
The reason the Okorocha government has taken falsehood as state policy is because of the numerous lies they had told against Ohakim. In protecting their lie they have become afraid of their shadows and now spreading fresh lies again Ohakim since he declared to run for the governorship election in 2019.
Having realised how the Walls of Jericho are falling flat and mountains have becoming plain grounds, the state government is spreading fresh lies that Ikedi Ohakim did not achieve anything in four years as Governor.
Most people would think that Governor Okorocha does not have the handover note from Ohakim, but he does. The handover note is about 300 pages, with about 50 pages additional summary. The documents will obviously not be contained in any one newspaper, and they contain all the government needs to know about the Ikedi Ohakim administration. But when they ask, what did Ikedi Ohakim achieve, they only prove the allegation that they don’t read even official memo.
Moreover, some of Ohakim’s achievements are distilled in two books: THE LEGACIES THAT SPEAK, Volumes 1 and 2 and it is available for all to read.
While this piece is not about listing Ohakim’s achievements, Imo people know that no same person can compare Okorocha’s substandard brick and mortar achievements to Ohakim’s real and impactful achievements.
For example, when Governor Okorocha and his appointees visit Imo Polytechnic, Umuagwo, one wonders whether he realises that it was the Ikedi Ohakim adniniatration that established it, from the College of Agriculture with about 8 courses to a polytechnic with 18 courses, all accredited, with 150 academic staff?
Imo people know that the Okorocha government loathes institutions and Due Process, but it must be pointed out that it was the Ikedi Ohakim government that changed Alvan Ikoku College of Education to Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education. When one considers that societies run on their institutions and not on substandard brick and mortar projects, it becomes clear that Ohakim was building a decent society when he brought the Appeal Court to Owerri in his line with his reforms in the Judiciary, after upgrading the conditions of service of the Judiciary workers, particularly the Judges and Magistrates.
To build the Imo economy, Ohakim set up the Imo State Investment Promotion Agency (ISIPA), he brought the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), created Imo Roads Maintenance Agency (IROMA), the Imo Job Centre, etc, all backed up by law.
When Governor Okorocha plies the 32 kilometres Ngor-Okpala/Eche Road, the 32 Kilometres Isiekenesi/Osina Road, with six bridges, etc, he should recall that the Ikedi Ohakim government made them.
While Imo get fresh light and reject the lying Okorocha government and their cronies, they are grateful to the Almighty God with whom there is nothing difficult. At his appointed time all the Walls of Jericho have come crashing down, and all mountains have become level ground before His Excellency Dr Ikedi Ohakim.