9 June 2011
By Temitope Ajayi Opinion –
NOTHING validates the genuineness of the election victory of Owelle Rochas Okorocha in the last gubernatorial election in
better than the happy crowd of people of the state who converged on Dan Anyiam Stadium in Owerri to see their brand new governor. They came in large numbers from every corner of the state. To describe the crowd as massive would be an understatement. Imo State
Rochas is the greatest beneficiary of the peoples’ revolt and protest votes against former Governor Ikedi Ohakim. There were two categories of voters in Imo in the last election that threw up the new governor. The first category of voters were the ones who cast their votes for Rochas because they believed him and trusted his capacity to deliver on his electoral promises, however the votes of these first set of people would not be enough to make him defeat an incumbent who in his pre-election bravado described himself as Ikiri (Ibo name for an animal that holds tight in its hand any object that catches its fancy without letting it out except it is killed).
The second category of voters which were principally inspired by the voter education campaign of the Catholic Church were the people who used their votes as a protest vote against former Governor Ohakim, not so much, for his sacrilegious act of encouraging his security details to publicly brutalise and dehumanise a Reverend Father as alleged, for daring to obstruct his convoy in Owerri, but more because the erstwhile Governor no longer represented the ideals of democracy and good governance as brought home to them by the effective programme of the Justice, Peace and development Commission of the Catholic Church.