In Imo State, our people are very quick to run into conclusion of comparison between persons of presumed qualities, influences, capacities and opportunities. It is usually a common place to hear that Mr. A is better than Mr. B or vice versa, given the same circumstance of opportunity to exercise influence, capacity and quality.
Today in every corner of the state one turns to, the most common conversation among our people is the evaluation between former governor, Rochas Okorocha and the incumbent, distinguished Senator Hope Uzodimma. For me, I strongly hold that it’s most uncharitable to place side by side the two personalities for any appraisal. I don’t think there is any moral justification for such assessment, because the material evidences against such a judgement are glaringly before us.
Yes, while Rochas was the governor, Uzodimma was at the red chambers of the national assembly, and just like in a reverse order, Rochas is today at the red chambers, while Uzodimma is presiding as the executive governor of Imo State. Beyond this slight coincidents or fate, there is no basis of comparison between the two men.
Within the first one year in office as the governor of the state with the unforseen global pandemic and it’s attendant economic casualties, Governor Uzodimma has demonstrated an unmitigated distinction between him and those before him, particularly Okorocha.
While Okorocha was given to temporary and quick fix (Ogbu ngwa ngwa) wait and take solution, Uzodimma has a knack for durable and sustainable solution.
While shortcuts and manipulations appealed to Okorocha, Uzodimma pays attention to details, processes and procedures.
While the former could use twenty million naira to advertise a fifty thousand naira worth of project on national television, the latter finds it practically unwise to spend fifty thousand naira on adverts for a twenty million naira worth of project.
While Okorocha craved mindlessly for momentary applause and vain glory, Uzodimma believes that result- durable and sustainable result give greater joy and fulfilment.
For Okorocha, governance was a business of deception and manipulation. The more you deceive and manipulate, the more access to power and influence. On the contrary, governance to Uzodimma is an open and inclusive business for the attainment of common good of the people.
Okorocha as a governor was very facetious with promises. Very quick to make promises and quick to fail or even renege same. On the other hand, Uzodimma is not in the habit of making promises. He never makes a promise he will not keep, no matter the pressure.
While Rochas believed so much in the power of his mouth and his gift of oratory, Uzodimma banks on his power of articulation and the superiority of his cerebral fecundity.
While Rochas believed in quantity no matter the quality, Onwa Oyoko believes in quality no matter the quantity.
While the name of the former is synonymous with anything substandard and uncompleted, the later is gradually and consistently building a legacy of standard, strong and reliable infrastructural development.
The list is unarguably inexhaustible. That Rochas was a monumental disaster to governance in Imo State is to say the least. No discerning Imolites will after all these mindboggling revelations from various recovery panels, ever stand behind Rochas and associate anything he represents.
While Imolites were busy singing and chorusing the Rochas’ crafted manipulative anthem “Imo must be better, Must be better in our time” the man and his immediate family as well as cronies were themselves busy feasting on our collective patrimony.
While we were praying and singing “corruption must stop, must stop, in our time, corruption must stop. This is our prayer,” Okorocha and his cartel were themselves everywhere converting public assets to personal uses.
Owelle as his followers and admirers call him, was indeed a classical case of a man who came as a rescuer and left as a devourer.
CAJETAN DUKE is the Director-General, APC MEDIA CENTRE, IMO STATE.