Chief Bonocks Onuoha is the National President of Greater and Better Nigeria Development Initiative (GABNDI). In this interview with Muyiwa Omobulejo, he highlighted some major issues in the political landscape of Nigeria, particularly Imo State. Excerpts
In your opinion, why did the candidate former Governor Rochas Okorocha supported fail in the last election?
It has to do with the candidate. That is the only place I will tell you former Governor Rochas Okorocha got it wrong. By bringing his Son-in-law to succeed him, he got it wrong. No. that was not good enough! I must confess. Imo people felt he didn’t see any other person in the whole of the state except his son-in-law. They believe he wanted to take them for granted and with that he missed it all. That is why they didn’t vote for Uche Nwosu.
But some people are saying he wanted Nwosu to cover some things for him?
Which thing? What atrocity? His government is the only government that brought free education in Imo State. He fed our children in the school. Nobody was killed in his reign in government. No MASSOP/IPOB boy was killed or detained in his tenure. So what atrocities are you talking about?
It is just his succession plan that worked against him. Imo people didn’t welcome that idea at all, and that was how his problem with the people started; had it been that he chose someone else as the governorship candidate and made his Son-in-law the deputy, it would have been okay. Nobody would have blinked an eye. He wouldn’t have fallen apart with the people. Any way; as the case may be, everybody is born to make mistakes because we are not God and when you make mistake, you learn from it.
What about his Certificate of Return as Senator Elect?
I, Chief Onuoha is calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to release the Certificate of Return of Rochas Okorocha because what they claimed that Rochas did, is even minimal compared to what so many of them did and yet their certificates were given to them. They should not persecute him for nothing. They should release his certificate to him immediately.
Do you think there is any reason they want to withhold the Certificate of Return in the first place?
Yes! In 2015, APC was saying that if the Southeast vote for Buhari, the presidency will be zoned to them in 2023. In 2019 they still maintained to give it to the Igbos but some said it is the Yoruba’s turn. Immediately after the election, we started hearing that the Northerners will cling to power till 2031. So this is the way they want to remove Okorocha from the scheme of things. They don’t want him to be positioned at all ahead of 2023. They know that he has the ambition to become the President of Nigeria one day. He was born and brought up in the Northern part of Nigeria. He knows everything about them and if Igbos are to get the presidency in 2023, Okorocha remains the only one that can stand them in 2023. That is why they want to silence his ambition now. The same way they will stop any other person that will be a hindrance to them to govern till 2031.
You claimed Okorocha is the best governor Imo State has been priveledge to have What about former governors of the state?
The former governors, Achinke Udenwa and Ikedi Ohakim’s achievement put together is not worthy of what Rochas Okorocha’s government achieved in one year. I don’t want to start mentioning his achievements one after the other, because if I start mentioning them, this interview will not be over today. But what I want you to do is to just take a look at the picture of the capital (Owerri) nine years ago and then look at the picture of Owerri today. Then you’ll understand what I’m talking about. The beauty of the city today shows clearly that Rochas Okorocha worked every day tirelessly of his eight years tenure in office without resting for one minute so as to achieve what he had achieved in Owerri and beyond. Today, Owerri is a real capital. Owerri is a new heaven, a place of relaxation, a place of emulation. Owerri is now a place you can do any type of legitimate business and you will be happy every day. Owerri is too beautiful. All these and many more are done and achieved by Rochas Okorocha within that short period. We, the Imo people, are supposed to say thank you to someone who have done and achieved this great feat for our state.
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