In his 68 – page book, titled, The Trouble With Nigeria, written in 1983 and published by the Fourth Dimension Company Limited, Chinua Achebe said in chapter four (4) of the book, that, the Trouble with Nigeria among others, is leadership. But in the case of Imo, it is the followership. Or, to cut the long story short, the appointees. The next question would be, how? And I mount the podium to tell you, using Sam Mbakwe, Evan Enwerem, Achike Udenwa, Ikedi Ohakim and Rochas Okorocha’s administrations as Case Studies. Or, as my references. Just follow me closely and also read my lips correctly or accurately. In Imo, we have been talking about the administrations of the past governors of the State I had mentioned, trying to evaluate or assess them over what they had done rightly or wrongly and leaving the “followers” untouched. And not knowing that whatever went wrong with the governments in question, would not be easily detached from greedy and over-ambitious followers. You can also call them appointees. And I stand to be challenged on this claim.
Sam Mbakwe, who had governed the State from 1979 to 1983 had done very well for the State. But this good record of Mbakwe was never seen while on Seat. The story only changed in his favour after he had kicked the bucket. Some of the Mbakwe appointees or followers had sabotaged his efforts. They wanted to be good men and women to the NPN Federal government through Prof. Rowland Anyanwu who was the Imo Presidential Liaison Officer (PLO) to President Shehu Shagari then.
They felt that with the body language of the NPN Federal Government, the State would be taken over by the NPN in 1983. And again with the entry of Odimegwu Ojukwu into the Party (NPN). They began to sabotage Mbakwe and his efforts. They would visit Prof. Anyanwu at night and be with Mbakwe in the day. They made things difficult for Mbakwe to the extent that the man was not able to pay teachers again. And with the zeal Mbakwe had worked for Imo people, one had expected that the teachers would be on the same page with him (their crying-governor). But some of the Mbakwe appointees were instigating the teachers to remain adamant and they refused to call off the Strike action they had embarked upon for several months. Out of anger and frustration, Mbakwe announced mass promotion for all the students in the State’s owned Primary and Secondary Schools.
The same appointees had also concluded plans to bring Dr. Alex Emeziem, a Commissioner under Mbakwe, to Challenge the Obowo born governor for the NPP guber ticket for the 1983 election. And they meant business. It took the intervention of Nnamdi Azikiwe, the leader of the Party and Chief RBK Okafor, State Chairman of the Party for Mbakwe to have the Party’s ticket for the 1983 election and he passed through the eye of the needle to win the election after he had earlier declared himself winner on the State radio (IBS).
Even the information that led to the  arrest and imprisonment of Mbakwe by the military government then and the arrest of his daughter,  Patience Mbakwe were all given by those who had dined and wined with him as appointees. The moment Mbakwe was arrested, they all deserted him. It was only appointees like Tina Onyejiaka, Dr. Cajetan Duruji, etc, who showed interest. And none of them had resigned his or her appointment while the government lasted. But the moment the military struck, they sold Mbakwe out. Lack of committed followers.
Evan Enwerem’s administration was cut short also by the military administration. It was not upto two years. Yet, his appointees had begun to murmur how he was not carrying them along. Yet, none resigned and they had also begun the illicit deal when the military came and sacked them.
Then Achike Udenwa. He was also a victim of bad followers. Very greedy and over ambitious allies except few of them. They would always be faster than the man who appointed them. At the inception of his second tenure and unknown to him, his key appointees had already thrown up their own candidate to replace him as governor in the person of Distinguished Senator Ifeanyi Araraume. They never waited to see the direction the man who appointed or engaged them would want to go. At the EXCO meetings they were just laughing at the man. They were working with Udenwa’s Political opponents. They went and furnished Senator Arthur Nzeribe with the information of how Udenwa’s wife was doing the Controversial Romix Contracts which ended up to be false. Okupe was the Contractor. But before the truth came, Senator Nzeribe had brought up the issue on the floor of the Senate and it became a national issue. There was nothing confidential again about Udenwa’s government. Yet, none of them resigned for what Udenwa did rightly or wrongly. At the PDP Primary for the Selection of the Party’s governorship Candidate for the 2007 election, almost all his Senior appointees voted for Senator Araraume, some voted for Chief Hope Uzodinma. They never voted for the preferred Candidate of the man who deemed them fit to serve in his government and that was Charles Ugwu. That was also the Politics that made Chief Ikedi Ohakim of the PPA to become governor in 2007. You would be shocked also to observe that the appointees of Udenwa who carried the mock coffin of Senator Arthur Nzeribe to please him (Udenwa) were the same elements who carried Udenwa’s mock coffin to please Ohakim when they fell out. Call them, professional mock coffin carriers.
Ohakim also suffered in the hands of his appointees. None resigned. They remained in the government, destroyed the man and his government. The ENTRACO that caused a lot of problem for that government didn’t have Ohakim as Chairman. Willie Amadi was the Chairman. When the chips were down, none could come out to defend the man or any of the actions and inactions of the government. The Catholic Church rose against the man, his appointees recoiled and left the man to his fate. They dropped the “Ochinanwata” name and began to call him “Ikiri akampa”. I am talking about his appointees. They created division between the man and his deputy, Ada Okwuonu. When the contentious issue of the Reverend Father’s bashing came up, it was an appointee who came up with a manipulated photograph of the Rev. father in question with a woman which further angered the Catholic Church. The appointees of Ohakim brought down his government before the 2011 election that finally saw his exit. It was his appointees that gave the information that something was going on in the Government House with regard to the 2011 governorship election. And that effort became history. It could not fly. And the moment the man failed the election, the same appointees said they told the man to change style and he didn’t listen. Yet, none of them resigned from the government for any reason. They would always look forward for the next government.
Rochas Okorocha also saw his ears with his eyes in the hands of some of his appointees, most of them Senior appointees or functionaries. At EXCO meetings, they told Rochas to empower the local people through contracts. That was how Okorocha’s road projects both rural and urban and other major projects were given out to indigenous Contractors including some of them and members of the House of Assembly to handle or supervise. They did the roads or brought the contractors who did the roads. Yet, when the roads were branded China roads, they could not come out to own up the roads they built and defend themselves. To cover up their tracks, they said it was Rochas relations who did the roads, until the man came out openly to challenge them or any other person to mention any contract or road executed by any of his relations. At meetings, some of the appointees would be videoing and recording proceedings and transmitting them to the perceived opponents of the administration. And in some cases, while the meetings would be on, you watch and see the proceedings on social media.
In their imaginations, some of the appointees had believed that blackmailing and sabotaging their boss, Okorocha, would make the man’s opponents to love them. They all had ambitions to be governor. Have you ever seen a government where Nine Senior government functionaries all wanted to be governor, without waiting to see the direction their Principal was going. They had gone haywire joining forces with both external and internal foes of the then governor.
At an enlarged EXCO meeting where the issue of who would be the preferred guber Candidate for the 2019 guber poll was discussed most of them mentioned Uche Nwosu because they had known that he was the most preferred by both Junior appointees and Party members. It was the outcome of the meetings to that effect and delegations upon delegations from the Local Governments led by these same Senior appointees that made Okorocha to finally settle for Nwosu. It was not his brainchild. At that time, the external forces had given some of the Senior appointees the assurances that they would not only give them the guber ticket but would make them governor. They believed such gimmicks out of greed and political inexperience. None of them resigned his appointment for any reason. They began to print posters and holding meetings for the governorship, throwing caution to the wind, and while still serving in the government. These senior appointees were the ones handed over the major projects of the government to either execute or to supervise and they got diametrically empowered. But they had their hidden plans and became termites. Today, they criticize Okorocha in a government they were part and parcel of, from the beginning to the end. There was nothing that happened in Owelle’s government that was not discussed at EXCO meetings for implementation or execution. And these senior appointees were always vocal in support of such policies, projects and programmes. They helped to a large extent to destroy Imo APC and gave INEC the opportunity to declare the PDP Candidate winner not minding whether he met the requirements or not. And with the votes and spread, Uche Nwosu had, as the Candidate of AA showed that he was the preferred Candidate, all things being equal. And the irony is that all those who sold out or betrayed Okorocha to enable them become governor none of them is governor today and none had the governorship ticket of any Party, including APC? And some of them may not find their feet again in politics, either at the State level or elsewhere. Honestly, Hope Uzodinma was not originally part of the conspiracy. He was thrown up by the bad politics of the appointees in question. Osita Izunaso who was their anchor-man in Imo APC is today in APGA. Again, he was the Pioneer National Organizing Secretary of APC by the grace of God and by the instrumentality of Okorocha’s position in APC at the early stage of the Party.
If Okorocha’s Senior appointees had known that all the promises to give them guber ticket(s) and make them governor, were all cock and bull stories, they would have all acted their parts very well. And that would have been where their true honours would have lied. Imo Politics is yet to witness followers who are following because of what they believe in. And not out of greed and over ambitiousness. Nobody had governed the State without having upto 50 appointees of various categories. And they had also functioned. The governor at any time was just one person. And none of these past governors had experienced either mass resignations or individual resignation of appointees for any reason. Then, the problem has never been with the then governors but the followers or appointees. Sycophancy or praise singing was the sin we all were guilty of. If all the appointees or most of the appointees had not supported their principal on any issue, he would not have gone ahead with such action or policy. But agreeing on those policies or actions and only to claim innocence when issues arose from them, is not patriotism. To say the least, the focus should mainly be on the followers or appointees, because they have always been the starting point of the success or failure of any government. Finally, we look forward to seeing appointees resigning from Ihedioha’s government because of his ineptitude or unpopular actions and inactions. While we shall Continue to Clap for Jesus.


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