From time to time, a view appears in the media, comparing the Imo
State governor, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, CON, KSC with
the immediate past governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha. But such
comparison always expose the authors as comparing incomparable!
But for the fact that the two men are living beings, there are no
measurable parameters for making a true comparison of Gov. Ihedioha
with ex-governor Okorocha. Of course, human behaviourists and social
psychologists are on the same page that no two human beings are the
same; not even conjoined identical Siamese twins!
In name, date of birth, place of birth, autonomous community, local
government, Christian denomination, education career, work career,
field of endeavour, experience, national awards of honour, religious
awards of honour, traditional awards of honour nuclear family, likes
and dislikes etc, Gov. Ihedioha is very different from ex-governor
The fact that both men are citizens of Imo State and have been
privileged to serve as governors also count for the very few items on
which both could be compared. Instructively, those that compare both
of them do so based on their pedigree as leaders, as governors and
also lawmakers. Yet, any day, any time, Rochas can never compare
favourably when correctly juxtaposed against Ihedioha. The latter
will perpetually remain better than former!
Specifically, what moral justification does anybody have to compare a
governor of less than 100 days in office with a governor that had
3000 days in office? What are the bases and criteria? Is it on the two
revenue allocations received by Gov. Ihedioha and 96 received by
Could the points of comparison be the very solid and durable roads
that Gov. Ihedioha is planning for Imo State or the China cracker
biscuit roads that Rochas built that were all washed away by “acidic
Is it the trembling and wobbling flyover bridges at Orji and Amakohia
that have declared dangerous and unsafe for use by the Nigeria Society
of Engineers? Is it the collapsed bridges built without iron rods,
beams and any reinforcements at 4th Inland Road, Mgbe-Umuchima on
Orashi River near Ogboko and other places across the State?
Is anybody right in comparing Ihedioha with Rochas in the area of
contract values? Could Gov. Ihedioha ever try to justify building a
two storey structure with N11.2 billion and dashing same out to the
Nigeria Police as Rochas claims to have done? Building one house with
N11.2 billion?! Only a Rochas can do that and be justifying and
Conversely, all things bright and beautiful which Rochas could not
dream of doing for the people Ideato North and Ideato South LGAs for
eight years, Gov. Ihedioha has been making them happen. Am talking
about the reconnection of Ideato nation back to the national
Gov. Ihedioha, after paying the N500 million counterpart fund, has
ensured the return of the World Bank/International Development
Association/NEWMAP to the erosion menace site at Ezemazu Urualla in
Ideato North with reputable international construction company, Arab
Contractors in charge.
Rochas hails from Ideato nation but he denied his Ideato people joy
and happiness. Gov. Ihedioha, in his time as a national legislator par
excellence, ensured the joy and happiness of his constituents in Aboh
Mbaise/Ngor Okpala Federal Constituency. The famous Ring Roads in
Mbaise nation were courtesy of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha.
In all key sectors of the Imo economy viz education, health, power,
water, security, broadcasting, street lighting, skills acquisition and
empowerment programmes, securing of federal jobs and many more, Gov.
Ihedioha ensured that each of the 305 electoral wards and the 27 local
governments benefitted. Can Rochas be compared to have left similar
legacies in Imo State?
If with Gov. Ihedioha as a lawmaker, it was well with Imo State, it
will surely be better with the State now that he has become governor
by popular acceptance and massive votes. Nobody can rightly and
justifiably bear such testimony and witness for Rochas. There’s no
basis for comparing Ihedioha with Rochas!
Gov. Ihedioha has been very systematic and methodological in his
systemic approaches to issues of government and governance. He has
arguably achieved much more in less than 100 days in office than what
Rochas achieved in 3000 days.
At least, public water supply has resumed in Owerri the State capital.
De-silting of flood gutters, tunnels and channels is ongoing to free
Owerri of flooding in line with the Owerri Master Plan. Evacuation of
hundreds of tonnes of waste and refuse is going on. Work will soon
commence on a dozen critical roads in Owerri, Orlu and Okigwe zones of
the State. Four technical colleges across the zones are receiving
comprehensive renovations and refurbishing to drive the
industrialization vision and dreams of the RebuildImo agenda.
Rochas left all of those undone. Now, Gov. Ihedioha has also commenced
work at the Dan Anyiam Stadium and its adjoining Grasshoppers Stadium
both in Owerri. Concorde Hotel, Owerri has been renovated,
refurbished, rebranded, and repositioned to the Concorde Star hotel we
used to know. Rochas abandoned them!
Imo State House of Assembly is for the first time in eight years
enjoying constitutional autonomy, courtesy of the independence granted
them and publicly declared by Gov. Ihedioha. He doesn’t dabble into
the affairs of the Imo legislature in any guise. Ditto the judiciary
in the State. The traditional third arm of government now enjoys
palpable autonomy without any interference or intimidation by Gov.
Ihedioha. Rochas pocketed both the legislature and the judiciary
dealing harshly, cruelly and vindictively with them.
At the local governments, things have begun to happen. The LGAs were
granted autonomy by Gov. Ihedioha. They have been reviving the rural
life that Rochas allowed to faint and go into coma. Economic
activities are picking up momentum in the rural areas. Grassroots
people are once again feeling the presence of government.
Gov. Ihedioha’s administration is founded on respect for rule of law
and due process. Early in his ruinous two-term, eight-year regime,
Rochas publicvisionfessed his aversion to rule of law and due process.
And he went about garbed with and promoting lawlessness and impunity.
Truly, Gov. Ihedioha is very different from Rochas!
At the end of it all, Rochas failed woefully. But right from the
beginning, Gov. Ihedioha has been putting every foot right, saying and
doing the right things in the right ways and manners. Therefore, all
those that wake up and start comparing Ihedioha with Rochas should be
better guided. That butterflies and eagles have wings and fly doesn’t
imply they don’t have their different pedigrees. One is butterfly and
the other an eagle! Thank you!
By Ogu Bundu Nwadike, M.A
*Nwadike is the Special Assistant on Research to the Governor of Imo
State. Sms/WhatsApp only 08106819304.