By Chidi Emeagi
Permit me to start this piece with a bible passage so popular among both adherents of Judaism and Christianity. 1 Samuel 10:10-13 reads thus; “When Saul and his servant arrived Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the spirit of God came upon him in power, and he joined in their prophesying. When all those who had formerly known him saw him prophesying with the prophets, they asked each other, what is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul among the prophets? A man who lived there answered, “And who is their father? And it became a saying “Is Saul among the prophets? After Saul stopped prophesying, he went to the high place”.
Saul of course, history has it, was the first king of Israel. After such a long time ranging from the Torah (Patriarchal period) to the time of the Judges and Prophets, the Israelites needed a paradigm shift from theocracy to monarchy and Saul was in certainty an answered prayer to the people and a bridge between the old era of prophetic monopoly of God’s voice and a new era where people would have an earthly ruler yet with divine coordination and inputs.
Even with Saul’s choice in fulfillment of God’s design to uphold His eternal Yahwehism among His people yet he was mocked among his kinsmen as ordinary son of Kish and was curiously laughed to scorn for prophesying in the midst of other prophets which obviously was one of the many signs given by Samuel that would herald Saul’s kingship. Till date, the phrase “Is Saul among the prophets” remains an anti-prophetic satire and age long mockery among Isrealites against the tribe of Benjamin where the first king descended from thousands of years after Saul had been anointed by Samuel, ascended the throne, ruled and died according to God’s design.
In all, there are too many reasons as to why Saul became a King over his people but chiefly among them, was the fact that he was chosen by majority of Isrealites to ensure unity among different tribes to confront external threats. Saul was said to be very tall and huge with military ability and had in-depth knowledge of cosmologies of most federating units of the ancient Isreal. This was why he was believed to be the liberator of the town of Jabesh-Gilead from besieging Ammonites and great fighter of the Moabites, Amalekites and Philistines.
Back to our topic, “Is Okorocha among the prophets? Yes, I have presented a strong background and sure footing as to drive home my point and inference too that Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha is in the light of our very political context in Nigeria today, a prophet. We are looking at a Southeast person who can take a short at the highest and most critical political and leadership position in Nigeria come 2023 and I can tell you conveniently that Okorocha is among the prophets. He had prophesied before but because he is “an ordinary son of Kish” he was mocked and ignored.
Himself (Okorocha) alongside Peter Obi, Orji Uzor Kalu, Ike Ekweremadu, Ken Nnamani, Dave Umahi, Emeka Nwajiuba are among the key political prophets we have in the southeast at least for now. Suffice me to limit therefore my discussion around Owelle Okorocha and probably leave the rest of the prophets for another day(s).
Take it or leave it, Nigeria’s democracy is not yet very mature enough to have strange political actors to occupy governorship seats let alone the Aso rock. The United States as old as her democracy is, has a similar democratic tradition with Nigeria and ridiculously unbelievable funny phobia for women. In the US, you must have been one time this or one time that in politics and governance before you can emerge her President. Trump and probably two others were the only ones that emerged from the outside and you see how he historically lost his second term bid.
Let me shock you now, it was a law sort of, in America which I can’t recall when it was amended or repealed that for you to qualify to aspire to rule USA, that you must either be a member of the Anglican Church, Presbyterian or Protestants. John F. Kennedy and President-Elect, Joe Biden are the only two Roman Catholics that broke the jinx of getting elected outside the domineering denominations.
Let us not therefore be deluded into believing that a strange fellow from the Southeast will occupy Aso rock assuming the zone eventually wins this battle come 2023. One man among the many that are good to go in this presidential race who I suppose has the clout, guts, financial war chest, wider acceptance, charisma, panache and child-like character is Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha.
The pessimism and our impossibility posture as Ndigbo are not helping matters at all but I can tell you that the same way His Grace, Most Rev. Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba emerged Primate of All Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and His Eminence, Dr Samuel C.K Uche became Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria after many years of neglect because they come from Southeast are same way an Igbo from Southeast would emerge President of Nigeria in 2023. The ball is therefore in our court, only if we can close ranks now and score the goal in 90 minutes.
Granted, Okorocha may not have done wonderfully well as Imo Governor evidenced by his many unfinished and under-used white elephant projects. Some of them that were actually completed, were built with substandard materials such that successive governments considered them death traps and subsequently marked them for demolition. But jokes apart, Okorocha really wrote his name in gold as face of democracy during his reign as governor and equally achieved silently a lot that discerning minds can’t forget in a hurry.
Aside conceptualizing and building Imo State College of Education Ihitte Uboma and securing license for the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Umuagwo, Okorocha established from the scratch, a magnificent edifice, cynosure of all eyes – Justice Oputa High Court Complex, Malaysia market Obowo, Alaba motor parts market, Egbeada market, etc. His roads were china roads but he opened too many of them and exposed the city of Owerri and other settlements to the business world. The man in question ensured that security of lives and properties of Imolites were uppermost in his agenda and for that singular reason, Imo recorded low crime rate under his watch.
True to his campaign promises, Okorocha actually returned some schools to their original owners (MISSION) and gave the churches the needed funds to run such schools for some time. He has an unbeatable record of building and equipping the highest number of primary and post primary schools in Imo and gave students and pupils a new look by way of providing them with specially designed school uniforms, bags, lockers and writing materials. He was the first to introduce the home-grown school feeding system which I suspect the present APC led Federal Government copied that is uniquely feeding many under-fed children particularly in the North.
An Okorocha refused to run after and possibly crush the opposition and their hirelings when they insulted and called him all sorts of unprintable names, a character that is in deficit among many aspiring to rule their states and Nigeria today.
A time was when a few LGAs had all the Permanent Secretaries and Grade ‘A’ Directors in the Eastern heartland but an Okorocha put an end to that era, and democratically ensured that each LGA got one Permanent Secretary at least. Directorship was mandatorily by merit but evenly distributed under Okorocha. It is an unarguable fact that most Permanent Secretaries currently serving in Imo today had lost hope of becoming one as they were denied of such rights because of where they hailed from even when they merited it until Rochas Okorocha came to their rescue.
I beg to stop so far on this long epistle according to Okorocha’s silent achievements but may wish to exhibit a little of misguided boldness by rushing where even the Angels fear to tread. Where is that? I make bold to submit that Senator Rochas Okorocha knows the wahala of the North especially youths and children more than some current actors in the region because, that was where he grew up. He understands Nsogbu Ndigbo and their oppression that precipitated the Biafra agitation, why because, that is his home and birth place. He feels the pulse of the Southwest and her importance in Nigeria because he also sees Oduduwa as his Chiukwu. To the South-South, Okorocha views from their particular prism, a feeling of long neglect even when they are the hen that lays golden eggs. Okorocha has at his finger tips, the plight of the North Central because that’s where he lives till tomorrow.
No wonder he is the only philanthropist in Nigeria whose milk of human kindness flows like rivers of living water across all the geo-political zones and states in Nigeria. Rochas Foundation College, a co-educational Boarding School run free of any fee, all at the expense of this possible founder of New Nigeria in Owerri, Ogboko, Jos, Kano, Ibadan, PH, Bauchi, etc remains a reference point like no other across Africa and the wider world.
With his fluency and mastery of major Nigerian languages, good temperament, incomparable spirit of empathy and detribalized posture, Owelle Okorocha stands tall among all his contemporaries aspiring to rule Nigeria in 2023. As a political prophet who saw Nigeria’s tomorrow yesterday and led greater part of the eastern bloc then in APGA to a renaissance that metamorphosed into what is known today as APC, Sen. Okoorocha is strategically a leader ordained like Saul for all encompassing and all-embracing turn-around in the overall governance of Africa’s most populous nation.
His only blemish is that he is “an ordinary son of Kish” that ordinarily should not be counted among the prophets. The question I asked above “is Okorocha among the prophets” ostensibly depicting mockery now among many, will turn out to be a full statement of fact and physical fulfillment of ancient signs and prophecies in the life of a man who till date, does not know why he is so blessed and helped by a God whom his dwelling place is in the light unapproachable. Only time will tell.