OKOROCHA’S OPINION OF UCHE NWOSU
When APC members from Owerri visited Governor Okorocha on Tuesday, February13,2018, His Excellency told them:”Whatever he [Uche Nwosu] tells you in the morning is what he will tell you in the evening. Uche Nwosu is hardworking and never gets tired. He is a very humble young man. Not proud or arrogant. So, power won’t enter his head. Despite the position he occupies you can’t see him quarreling with anybody or maltreating anybody. I have checked him in and out. I have not found him wanting…. The young man is a team player, who does not use his office to molest anybody. He has the qualities of a good leader.”
Before we examine the qualities of a good leader which Governor Okorocha says his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, whom he is scheming to make the next Governor of Imo State, possesses in plenitude, let us digress a little on Democracy.
Ever since Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America, on November 19, 1863, at Gettysburg, made an axiomatic remark on Democracy in his oratorical speech, “…that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” his words not only form the bedrock and the fulcrum of democracy, but they also agree entirely with the dictionary definition of democracy.
But most good things that come to Nigeria turn awry! The people-quotient of Nigeria’s brand of democracy is abysmally lacking. Most elected officials are worse than dictators. To them dissent is tantamount to treason. Any contrary view is seen in the negative, as standing in the way of government, being a danger to the State or nation and supporting the opposition.
Imo State has suddenly become Governor Okorocha’s patrimony. Mark his words: “If Uche Nwosu will be home for governor, I will tell the deputy governor to go to the Senate.” He has also decided that Nnamdi Obiaraeri his commissioner for information will represent Okigwe senatorial zone and that the incumbent, Ben Uwajimogu, former Imo State House of Assembly Speaker, will not be given the party’s ticket to contest. Okorocha declared his interest to contest the Orlu senatorial seat in 2019 because, according to him, it would be a disservice to the nation if he failed to contest considering his “wealth of experience” as a governor for eight years.
Within the eight years, by January 2017, Imo State owned pensioners several arrears of their due earnings. In frustration, the state Chairman of Pensioners, Chief Gideon Ezeji, led pensioners to block Okigwe road as well as the entrance to Government House Owerri. Then Okorocha devised several plots to pressure the pensioners to forfeit between 50 and 60 per cent of their entitlements of arrears up to December 2016.
Traditional institutions were Balkanised by creating all manner of traditional stools out of political expediency rather than from autochthonous consideration of communities of interest. Local government elections were not conducted; a breach of the Nigerian constitution, that! The funds for local governments were used with state diktat, wherein the local governments were run like vassals of the regime. The Governor directed that 12,000 local government workers be suspended for questionable claims he made against them and directed the verification exercise of workers at the Local Government Area levels.
The Governor’s hammer did not spare the judiciary. Then the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Owerri Branch, rose to the occasion. The suit number NICN/OW/58/2017 filed against Governor Okorocha prayed the court, among other things, for “A declaration that the practice whereby the respondents withhold or refuse to pay the sitting Judges of Imo State High Court and Judges of the Customary Court of Appeal that portion of their remuneration released to the respondents from Consolidated Revenue Fund is a breach of Oath of Office of the 1st respondent as the Governor of Imo State who swore to preserve, protect and not to mutilate it.” Okorocha purported to sack the Chief Justice of the State without recommendations from the National Judicial Council. Some of his friends were outraged.
BACK TO QUALITIES OF A GOOD LEADER
In a study of 12 modern United States of America Presidents and the qualities that distinguished the successful from the others, Princeton University Professor Emeritus of Political Science and author Fred I. Greenstein, stipulated in synopsis the six factors:
1. Effectiveness as a public communicator.
2. Ability to forge a cohesive team and get the most out of them.
3. Political skill in forging alliances between varying factions and garnering public support for policies.
4. Clear and consistent vision.
5. Cognitive style of processing information and making decisions.
6. And most importantly, emotional intelligence. He warns, “Beware the presidential contender who lacks emotional intelligence. In its absence all else may turn to ashes.”
Q. Has Nigeria ever had a president having an average of the above-enumerated qualities?
Q. Are there governors past and present in the South-South and South-East of Nigeria possessing an average or above average of those six qualities named above?
A. Yes. Please name them: Ndubisi Kalu, a one-time military Governor of Imo State; Chief Onunaka Sam Mbakwe; Dr. Michael I. Okpara; Mr. Peter Obi of Anambra State; Mr. Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa State; Obon Victor Atta and Godswill Akpabio both of Akwa Ibom State.
If the above-named criteria are considered in choosing who will be governor of Imo State come 2019, does Uche Nwosu qualify? Absolutely No! Why? He is devoid of emotional intelligence. This assertion is attested to by the assault on His Grace, Most Rev. Anthony John Valentine Obinna, the Metropolitan of the Owerri Ecclesiastical Province by Uche Nwosu and his supporters. It was Lord John Acton who posits that: “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Imagine the scenario if, by any stretch of the imagination, Uche Nwosu, who is being recommended by his father-in-law, becomes the next Governor of Imo State. Then a Frankenstein monster will be unleashed and a situation more bleak, more dismal and more abysmal will be the fate of Ndi Imo.