Imo: Beyond The Fall Of Iberiberism ~ By Charles Ogbu
Now that we are done celebrating the fall of Iberiberism in IMO State, here are some lessons we must never dis-remember from the incident.
(1) Ndigbo as a people akarigo mmadu ikwo n’azu n’emeki love to their mother (The Igbo are not the kind of people you back while making love to their mother) That is one insult we don’t take and that is exactly what the Imo state governor tried to do.
(2) Rochas Okorocha is a socio-cultural cum political Deviant. In other words, his socio-cultural and political actions are a very far departure from what is acceptable in the Igbo society. For the record, let me state that his biggest sin was not trying to plant a successor.
Ndigbo don’t frown at a politician planting a successor or anyone sponsoring another into a political position with the aim of controlling him. No, that is not a problem on its own. Politicians do it all the place, all the time.
We really don’t bother because our value system has a way of taking care of this in that it is almost always certain that the Successor will fight with his god father, break free and refuse to be puppeteered.
Instances abound: from Jim Nwobodo vs Chimaroke Nnamani, Nnamani Vs Sullivan Chime and Chime Vs Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (all in Enugu).
In Abia we have Orji Uzor Kalu Vs Theodore Orji.
Anambra has numberless cases from Emeka Offor Vs Mbadinuju, Chris Ngige Vs Chris Uba where the latter even kidnapped the former while he was a sitting governor and of course, Willy Obiano vs Peter Obi who brought him from the banking sector and helped him to power.
So trying to play a godfather is not the issue at all.
The major problem was that this man Rochas demonstrated absolutely no regard for fundamental Igbo value system of justice, fairness and equity by trying to pick his own son-in-law as a successor from the same zone as himself after the collective desperation to kick out Ikedi Ohakim brought him in.
This is in a state where zones such as Mbaise where the newly elected governor hails from are yet to sit on the governorship seat. The exact thing the Fulani Oligarchs have been doing to the rest of the country.
And he went about this in the most arrogant ‘What-Can-You-Do-Manner’. This is the worst disregard for our unwritten charter of equity in every Igbo state which ensures that political power is rotated among all of our people to give everyone a sense of belonging.
It is instructive to note that the people who played a major role in stopping Rochas are mostly from his own zone. That should tell you how much the average Igbo man values justice fairness and equity, the very thing we are protesting for in Nigeria. But I really don’t blame Rochas that much.
Having lived so long in the North, he probably felt he could import their feudalistic world views into Igbo land. This is the only explanation I could think of because even a goat could have done better.
I mean, finish your term, get a compliant replacement from another zone whose turn it is to govern the state, manipulate him into agreeing to do just one term. You can even smuggle in your son-in-law as his/her deputy or keep him standby till the end of the person’s tenure.
Anything at all but not acting as though the state is your personal property you can gift to anyone just for marrying your daughter. If you need gift for your in-law, buy him a Dunlop slippers, not a whole state nah. Haba!
(3)What happened in Imo yesterday was the most practical way of demonstrating seriousness by a people desirous of freedom.
Ndi Imo did not only register for the election, they came out to vote en mass, slept in front of INEC office for two days and two nights to ensure they defended their votes. And when it was time for some madness like vote padding, they matched Uche Nwosu bone to bone.
When Uche Nwosu group went out to KANOnize Ideato vote and later smuggled it in, someone was serious enough to do what was necessary to stop INEC from announcing that fraudulent result by tearing it into shreds.
I am not justifying anyone tearing result sheets. No. I am only saying that if you need real freedom, you don’t have to sit one place and complain, beg or act gentleman. You must be ready to go out of your way to achieve your freedom by matching your oppressor bone to bone.
If your oppressor is mad, you have to be mad too. This is the only way. Sitting down and complaining or running analyses of how the system is skewed against you won’t cut it.
Waiting for some foreign powers to come help you won’t work either as this past presidential Poll has proven beyond doubt. Our quest for liberation must start from the grassroots.
(4) If the people of Imo had boycotted the governorship Poll, Rochas would not only have gotten his 3rd term by proxy, he would have equally secured a seat as a Senator. Now, he seems to have lost both. Because the people resisted him by voting and defending their mandate.
(5) It is not yet Uhuru for Imo. The incoming governor must understand that the people celebrating on the street are not celebrating his ascension to the seat at Douglas House. They are only celebrating the end of their iberibe governor, Rochas and his arrogant boyi boyi puppet son-in-law.
So the green capped man must earn his own celebration by being a governor for everyone. All eyes are now on him. If he must succeed, he must shun familitocracy and all form of clannishness and iberiberism.
Most importantly, he must waste no time in recovering all private and public property fraudulently appropriated by Rochas and his family for personal use. This should be his very first assignment
The question yet remains, how did a character like Rochas managed to secure a second term to sit on the noble seat of the Mbakwes for 8 solid years even when he showed his greedy hands early enough?
Congratulations to all of us.