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Ikedi Ohakim and walls of Jericho, By Collins Ughalaa

By News Express on 22/05/2018

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•Ex-Governor Ohakim
•Ex-Governor Ohakim

What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground...” (Zachariah 4:7). “So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall (of Jericho) fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.” (Joshua 6:20). “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27).

God has the power to save and to deliver. And he has time for everything. His thoughts are not same with men’s and he does not look at the face, like men do. Only he has the ability to read the content of every man’s heart, and he pays everyone according to his/her deed. Sometimes, it takes long. Sometimes, it is shorter.

For the Israelites who faced the obstruction of the walls of Jericho, seven days was just enough for God to answer them and the mighty Jericho wall fell. For job, it took years. For apostles Paul and Silas in prison, it was a matter of few days, and the prison gates opened. For the Israelites in Babylonian captivity, it took 70 years. And, of course, it took the Israelites 40 years to get to the Promised Land.

For His Excellency, Dr Ikedi Ohakim, it took four years for his own kind of Jericho wall to begin to fall. And, in the seventh year, it “fell down flat.”

It was in August 2014 during a Sunday service at the popular Adoration Ministry, Enugu, that Rev Father Ejike Mbaka, the fiery Catholic priest who composed the destructive song that helped pull Dr Ikedi Ohakim out of office in 2011, said he was sorry for all his roles in the propaganda. The reverend father, like most people, believed the well-financed political propaganda that Ikedi Ohakim beat-up a reverend father in Imo State.

He had been pushed to take actions and participated in the destruction of the innocent, without getting to know the truth. But once he got to know the truth, he did the right thing: not only by publicly apologising to Ohakim, but telling the whole world that the allegation that Ohakim beat a reverend father was a lie. He said he was deceived into the propaganda.

Mbaka said that he had interrogated Rev Father Eustace, who was said to have been allegedly beaten by Ohakim. And he swore with the Blessed Sacrament in the presence of other reverend fathers, and confessed that Ohakim did not beat him; that he did not even see Ohakim, and that nobody even beat him. Mbaka said that by the time he got to know the truth his music was already in the public, causing trouble.

That was about four years ago. But on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, something phenomenally awesome happened. The Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri conferred the “Best Performing Governor Award” on Dr Ikedi Ohakim, stating how his reforms and policies in the education sector has brought bountiful fruits to the Church, and society at large. They were pleased that Ohakim’s policy to hand over 44 schools to the missions who were the original owners, pay salaries of the affected schools and provide annual grants by law to the schools, which provided the tonic for a turnaround in the schools.

Although the policy of handing over schools to their original owners has been implemented in neighbouring Anambra State, and the people of the state enjoy good quality education. But the Church noted that Ohakim was the first governor to do so.

Lovers of good things all over the word have since expressed joy at the bold action of the Catholic Church in making this timely restitution. They have noted that the declaration and award from the Church is the last vestige of the wall of propaganda, that Ohakim beat a reverend father, to fall. Notably, the architects of the evil propaganda have known no peace since the award from the Catholic Church on Ohakim. They became confused. They are miffed. They wonder how they did not get that prestigious award from the Catholic Church, despite their over-hyped free education programme.

But who can recognise the fraud called free education that has only produced mediocrity; a system of education already abandoned by government officials? No one can recognise an illegal system that has no law backing it up, a system abandoned by the villagers who now prefer to spend their hard earned money on the education of their children, because Okorocha's public schools have failed them. Who will recognise a system of education that retards growth and development? Just nobody!

The almighty God of Justice has been making every mountain before Ikedi Ohakim to become a level ground. In his article, “The Negative Political Ramifications of Cover-ups”, Dr Kelechi Okpalaeke, on Feb 18, 2013, noted that the allegations of financial irresponsibility against Ohakim have also fallen like a pack of cards.

He averred: “On Sunday morning, January 27, 2013, the commissioner for finance in a radio programme on Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), announced to Imo public that Okorocha’s administration had been granted a change of purpose by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the bond proceeds.”

This confession came after the propaganda from the state government that Ohakim accessed N40 billion bonds from the capital market, instead of the actual N18 billion; and the denial that Ohakim did not hand over the balance of N13 billion from the N18 billion bonds already accessed for the purpose of sundry developmental programmes, including the proposed Oguta Wonder Lake.

Okpaleke, realising the danger of the serial denials and propaganda, warned: “The stories and revelations trailing the N13.3 billion bond proceeds left behind by Ohakim’s administration could possibly ruin the promising careers of some Imo politicians as a result of the elaborate cover-up surrounding it.”

Imo people are aware that Ohakim had insisted that he left more than N26 billion, which he handed over to Governor Rochas Okorocha, and that the state government had sought for ‘change of purpose’ with the NSE on the bonds proceeds. But since telling lies against Ohakim makes the Okorocha government happy, they continued to lie. But gladly, Imo people know that what they now have is a government that feeds on lies for survival.

The dredging of Nworie River was another propaganda tool used against Ohakim. How the people of Owerri bought this lie is still a shock to most people. Despite that a prominent political figure in Owerri zone had investigated the matter and absolved Ohakim of the allegation, some people seemed to have something to benefit from believing the lie, and not accepting the fact that the Nworie River dredging was NDDC project. Today, despite that the Okorocha government is dredging sand from the river, the government has constricted the twin rivers Otamiri and Nworie. In no time, the people of Owerri will have no more rivers, against Ohakim's tourism programmes.

The reason Okorocha’s government has taken falsehood as state policy is because of the numerous lies they had told against Ohakim. In protecting their lie, they have become afraid of their shadows and now spreading fresh lies against Ohakim, especially since he declared his intension to run for the governorship election in 2019.

Having realised how the walls of Jericho are falling flat, and mountains becoming plain grounds, the state government has been spreading fresh lies: that Ohakim did not achieve anything in four years as governor. Most people would think that Okorocha did not receive the handover note from Ohakim, but he did. The handover note is about 300 pages, with about 50 pages additional summary. The documents will obviously not be contained in any one newspaper. They contain all the government needs to know about the Ikedi Ohakim administration. But when they ask: what did Ohakim achieve? This only goes to confirm the allegation that Governor Okorocha don’t read even official memo. It is also important to note some of Ohakim’s achievements are distilled in two books: The Legacies That Speak, Volumes 1 and 2 and it is available for all to read.

While this piece is not about listing Ohakim’s achievements, Imo people know that no sane person can compare Okorocha’s substandard brick and mortar achievements to Ohakim’s real and impactful achievements.

For example, when Okorocha and his appointees visit Imo Polytechnic, Umuagwo, one wonders whether he realises that it was the Ikedi Ohakim administration that established it, from the College of Agriculture with about eight courses to a polytechnic with 18 courses, all accredited, with 150 academic staff?

o people know that the Okorocha government loathes institutions and due-process, but it must be pointed out that it was the Ikedi Ohakim government that changed Alvan Ikoku College of Education to Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education. When one considers that societies run on their institutions and not on substandard brick and mortar projects, it becomes clear that Ohakim was building a decent society when he brought the Appeal Court to Owerri, in line with his reforms in the judiciary, after upgrading the conditions of service of judiciary workers, particularly judges and magistrates.

To build the Imo economy, Ohakim set up the Imo State Investment Promotion Agency (ISIPA); he brought the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE)to Owerri; created Imo Roads Maintenance Agency (IROMA), the Imo Job Centre, etc, all backed up by law.

When Okorocha plies the 32-kilometre Ngor-Okpala/Eche Road, the 32-kilometre Isiekenesi/Osina Road, with six bridges, etc, he should recall that the Ikedi Ohakim government built them.

While Imo gets fresh light, and rejects the lying Okorocha government and its cronies, they are grateful to the almighty God with whom there is nothing difficult. At his appointed in time, all the walls of Jericho have come crashing down, and all mountains have become level ground before Ohakim.

•Collins Ughalaa writes from Owerri. He can be reached via

Source News Express

Posted 22/05/2018 10:36:05 AM





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