Why Buhari is angry with Rochas

When Adams Oshiomhole was elected as the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress in June this year, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State was exultant that his mission of foisting his son-in-law as his successor was accomplished. When also one of his protégées, Chief Emma Ibediro, was elected in a very controversial manner as the National Organizing Secretary of APC, Okorocha, in his heart could have concluded that no Jupiter or a man born by a woman could stop him as long as Imo APC was concerned. Alas, he was wrong and has been thoroughly humbled and humiliated.
When Oshiomhole was elected, I told Okorocha through my previous articles, that he had made the worst mistake of his life by pushing out the former national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun in preference to Oshiomhole. As national chairman of APC, Odigie-Oyegun used to be very close to Governor Okorocha. He visited Imo State more than any other APC state before their relationship gone sour and they fell apart. What caused their soured relationship is not what anybody could decipher, but it was not surprising to Nigerians that they became political enemies.
Ninety per cent of people who helped Rochas to become governor in 2011 have fallen out with him, only a handful of people who started with him are still in good terms with him. If he could dump his deputy who had worked and known him for over twenty years, who else can have a lasting friendship with him? He has a serious problem of human management and relationship. What gave Rochas the impression that he had found a robot in Oshiomhole as APC national chairman who would kowtow or do whatever he wished in Imo State is difficult for this writer to comprehend.
I had told Rochas that Oshiomhole as a former Labour Leader and two-time governor would not be easy for him to pocket as national chairman of APC.
Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Governor Okorocha were the arrowheads of the Oyegun-must-go project. Tinubu has succeeded with his mission of wanting Oshiomhole as chairman; he has, as usual, done whatever he likes in Lagos State. Tinubu has singlehandedly shared political positions in Lagos APC primaries. But, the reverse is the case with Governor OKorocha of Imo State. There’s an Igbo adage that says, “Oke soro Ngwere maa mmiri, Okochaa Ngwere, Oga akokwa Oke”? Roughly translated,” it’s a foolish rat that joins the lizard to soak the rainfall”.
Governor Okorocha is addressed as the Chairman of APC Governors’ Forum and as such, should have a peculiar or preferential treatment in matters that concern APC. Ordinarily, he should be the most favoured governor among his colleagues; he should be the least troubled or worried in the country. Unfortunately for him, that’s not the case. Okorocha is the most troubled governor among the APC governors in the country at least since this year. He has laid most complaints before President Buhari more than any other governor.
When the first congress took place in May, he was outfoxed or outwitted by the Coalition Group. He ran to President Buhari who was having his rest in his Daura village to lament his woes. President Buhari assured the delegation led by him that he would look into his case. It took the election of Oshiomhole as national chairman to nullify the congresses and a new congress was order. Okorocha and his group had a pyrrhic victory. Oshiomhole put smiles on their faces coupled with the election of their man as National Organising Secretary who would be their eyes and ears in Abuja. They were over the moon.
After the congress complaints, Okorocha had gone to President Buhari more than ten times to lay more complaints. One had thought that the election of Oshiomhole as national chairman would stop the complaints. Whosai! The governor is still complaining and may still go on bended knees to President Buhari to see if anything could be remedied before the closure of INEC’s deadline on December 1. As far as Oshiomhole is concerned, the APC brouhaha in Imo State is a closed and forgotten case because he (Oshiomhole) had told the governor unequivocally that he would never help him build a political dynasty in Imo State.
However, the Governor could be said to be ignorant and naïve if he does not know that the genesis of his problem is from President Buhari himself. Buhari, as the National Leader of APC, had and still has the power to call Oshiomhole to order and direct him to grant Okorocha the privilege to produce his successor if he thought Okorocha’s choice of successor was justified, right and equitable.
President Buhari’s brother-in-law (Aisha’s brother) failed in Adamawa State in the primaries and the President didn’t push him down the throats of Adamawa people, but here in Imo State, a “common” governor wants to have his way at all cost. Besides, President Buhari has been taking notes of all that has been happening in Imo State since 2015.

When Governor Okorocha invited sitting Presidents to Imo State, the President was reportedly baffled and felt slighted. But, he suppressed his anger waiting for the opportune time which has finally come. When Rochas invited corrupt Presidents like former President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with him and moulded his statue, President Buhari took notice of that apparent impudence of a State Governor. Imagine a situation where a Local Government Chairman in Imo State invites a governor of another state and signs MoU with him, I wager that the Imo Governor would fire him straightaway.
When 27 humongous and extravagant birthday cakes were used to celebrate the Governor’s birthday in a season of recession, the President was taking his notes. When Ghanaian President and former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, flew into Imo State directly from their countries and took guards of honour in Imo State, Buhari was taking notes. There are so many infractions which space cannot permit to enumerate here that put governor in the bad book of the president. In any case, the primaries are concluded. Even President Buhari cannot help the governor at this stage. December 1, is the final day for substitution of gubernatorial and Houses of Assembly candidates. Substitution can only be effected by voluntary withdrawal or death of candidate or through a judicial pronouncement.
Senator Hope Uzodinma, who’s the guber candidate of APC in Imo State, can never voluntarily withdraw for Uche Nwosu. Even if Senator Uzodinma voluntarily withdraws, Uche Nwosu cannot be the beneficiary since he placed a distant 7th position in the first primaries. The aspirants that came second, third, etc, have the legitimate rights to lay claim to the candidacy in the unlikely event that Senator Uzodinma withdraws. As I was writing this essay, news filtered in that a State High Court Judge had nullified or invalidated the second primaries that took place on October 6th which purportedly produced Uche Nwosu as the guber candidate.
There’s pending case at an Abuja High Court between Sen. Uzodinma and Uche Nwosu on the issue of Imo APC candidacy. Uche Nwosu claims that he has a strong case and would never defect to another party before December 1. If that’s the case, he should never defect no matter the pressure from his sycophantic supporters who are after whatever they will benefit from his pocket. If Uche Nwosu decamps before December 1, he would have made the presiding Judge’s job of given proper Judgment on the case easier. It would mean that he had abandoned the case before judgment thereby conceding victory to Senator Uzodinma. I have a feeling that the Judge is delaying giving judgment on the case to see if this scenario I painted above will happen. The judgment in this case will come after December 1 and not before it.

Governor Okorocha must campaign for Buhari for the sake of reciprocity. Don’t forget that Buhari saved him from imminent defeat in 2015. In the wake of the 2015 Presidential and National Assembly elections, Imo PDP had won all the 3 senatorial seats and 8 out of the 10 House of Reps. seats. The Governor was frightened down to his bones and marrows; he knew that his job was going. It took the two frequent dashes or consecutive visits of then President-elect, Buhari, to Imo State to help Rochas win the election. There are speculations that the then President-elect warned the Security Chiefs in Imo State of the dire consequences of allowing the PDP to win the guber election and, since the Security Chiefs knew that President Jonathan was going out and new government was coming in, they had to obey the instruction of the President-elect and that was how Rocahs won.

Governor Okorocha is the APC senatorial candidate of Imo West (Orlu Zone). If Uche Nwosu defects to another party as rumoured, the governor faces a Hobson’s choice of sort. How does he, with one mouth campaign for President Buhari and his own candidacy as APC candidates and with the other side of the cheek campaign for Uche Nwosu as candidate of another part against Sen. Uzodinma? Both state and national levels of APC will keep a tab on the governor to see if he will play anti-parthy activities during the electioneering because that will definitely attract a severe sanction on him from the national headquarters, and more importantly, from the President.

The governor is seriously embattled and has boxed himself into the tightest corner.

Maduako writes from Owerri, Imo State (08061562735)

Related posts