Ohakim the son of a Sergeant Major grew up in the barracks, so we can rightly qualify him as a “barrack boy’. A hustler just like other of his peers then, hoping to strike it big. He was in fact a former chieftain in the once notorious advance fee fraud era in Nigeria. He was also the youngest commissioner in Nigeria once a commissioner during Evans Enwerem’s regime as governor in Imo State. Luck dumped the enormous task of governorship of Imo State on his laps, just like that. He never expected it, so was total unready for the huge task ahead.
He first steps as governor were totally wrong. He surrounded himself with his former friends in the fast lane business, people with questionable integrity, conscienceless, arrogant and immoral. They had nothing inside them, so nothing to give out. Ohakim felt he owed Imo people nothing because they never elected him in the first place, his was an arrangement brought about by the political impasse in Imo State four years ago. So he was more comfortable in the midst of his god-fathers like Iwuanyanwu and co that ruined Imo State before. He concentrated all his efforts in taking care of them, by giving out contracts and other political patronage. He never wanted or tried to connect with the masses of Imo State. He completely alienated them as if they did not matter, treating them with total disdain. It was like he set out to punish them with all the anti people policies he was dishing out. The people were at his mercy, no one was coming to their help. The strange man that is their governor has succeeded in pocketing their so called representatives in the Imo House of Assembly. He talked down at the people at any given opportunity, the people in shock and horrified prayed for help.
With the masses now subdued, Ohakim with impunity went on doing whatever he liked. Deceiving the people as his god-fathers, friends and traditional rulers cheered him on. For four years this man did nothing for the people to be happy or associate with. All his achievement was on a bill board, nothing on the ground for the people to see. He claimed past achievement of his predecessors and other federal projects as his own. Fraud was written all over everything he did, his own idea of creating employment is duplicating functions in ministries. Like an ego-bloated peacock, he drove around Owerri often intimidating and harassing the people with his siren blaring security convoy. Ohakim forgot that governance was all about pleasing the masses. The little thing he was able to do like classroom blocks and digging bole-holes, he ignorantly personalized them (Built by Ohakim). He refused to constitute the local councils for three years running, thereby cornering their allocations for those years. When he eventually did, he arranged an election, and selected his cronies to take charge of the councils. To show how greedy this man is, he was taking 60% out of the allocation for each of the councils, forcing the chairmen to sign that they collected 100%.
As the 2011 general elections approached, it began to dawn on him that the people of Imo State no longer wanted him, so he started scheming how to rig himself back into office. He first ordered all Imo state workers to photocopy their voter cards and submit to his office. He went ahead to start appointing personal assistants like a crazy man. He had about two hundred and fifty of them; in fact he was trying to see if he can get one personal assistant from each kindred in Imo State. He went further to create new autonomous communities, all in a bid to please the people. But all these back fired, he was rather gathering more hatred for himself, as he tried to use the divide and rule tactics. It was all too late, the people wanted a change. A revolt was already building up, the people were waiting for their chance, and they found a rallying point in the philanthropist called Rochas Okoroacha. Through him, they will chase out the fraudulent man called Ikedi Ohakim.
Now that the people of Imo State have succeeded in chasing out the clown, so much is expected of the new governor-elect to clean the mess that is Ohakim. He needs all our support and prayers, and we can do this by not disturbing him with demands for favor and patronage, rather let us continue to give him good advice and counsel. Rochas must not make the same mistakes like Ohakim did.
First, the new governor-elect must as a matter of urgency reduce the cost of governance by cutting down on commissioners, Special advisers and other political appointments.
Secondly, he must allow the economy of Imo State to be private sector driven. The lean resources of Imo State must be channeled into creating an enabling environment for private investors to come in and create visible employment opportunities for the teeming Imo State youths. All the ailing industries in Imo State like the standard shoe factory in Owerri must be revamped and handed over to the private people that have the capacity to expand and create more employment opportunities for the people. The local councils must be seriously supervised for them not to derail this new era of accountability and service to the people, in effect the present council must be dissolve and a new council put into place to be handle by credible people
This new government is the people’s own, a new era of physical discipline and responsible services. The four years wasted under Ohakim will continue to linger as a bitter taste in our tongue. The people of Imo will want to forget in a hurry how a fraudulent man called Ohakim and his wife treated Imo State as if it was their personal estate. Together with his friends and god fathers they ran the government of 419 by 419 and for 419. Ohakim and his friends must be made to account for every kobo stolen from Imo State treasury, to serve as a deterrent to others that would want to attempt such. May we never experience such again, Amen.