Nearly a month ago, the governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha drew the angst of the civil society by honoring his fellow distorted character in the people of President Jacob Zuma of South Africa with an effigy in Owerri, the state capital.
President Zuma's celebration/ceremony took place at a time an Imo State citizen, Iheanacho Obina from Okigwe was extrajudicially murdered by South African Police Authority. While the dust is yet to settle from the N520 million Zuma's statue, Okorocha invited the President of Liberia, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for the unveiling of her own statue!
The in-your-face affront to the sensibility of the people is beyond comprehension. It's clearly a case of total abnegation of the people's concern and demand by the impudent governor whose rhetorics on masses driven government falls to the dogs. All along, Okorocha has been preaching openness, contributory governance, and people-centered government, even as grand patron of my former union, NUPENG. Like those before him, he has committed ideological suicide of revisionism, the common ailments of transmutation from critic to power.
President Sirleaf deceived herself, Rochas Okorocha and the hired audience that the outing will inspire young girls and women in the continent to reach their potentials. Her declaration came while delivering a lecture on the topic “Women in Politics” at the International Convention Centre, Owerri adding that as a continent Africa has some good reasons to celebrate. The statue was unveiled after the lecture.
“We can achieve our dreams. We can stand tall among the many women of the world in providing the kind of exemplary leadership that will lift us up to stand, as I stand to represent women,” Sirleaf said.
While unveiling the statue, Governor Rochas Okorocha said Sirleaf has done Africa in particular proud and the world at large, stressing that the Liberian President deserves every honor because she has remained a woman of inspiration.
“Women in Africa are still behind in Politics due to social, cultural, economic and political constraints that limit their political participation. And the women in Africa have to do much more to get the equality that we all seek"
“Quality education changes the attitude and mindset of people. And equality means better performance, and also means a better life for everyone. Hence, we need to put more emphasis on education to enhance performance. And that is why what the Imo governor, Rochas Okorocha is doing with his foundation should be encouraged".
“In our political parties, we need to put more emphasis on recruiting female candidates including in and outside politics. Our governments need to do more to put females in up and down the hierarchy. We need to ensure that we as women take the advantages that we have and develop a strategy to deal with the disadvantages we face."
President Sirleaf is not entirely a bad person, even though she failed her country miserable for not standing up to the plague when it matters most. Her major achievement, being a holder of the Nobel Peace Prize, is the relative peace the country is enjoying since the exit of Charles Tailor. Also, she did extremely well in erasing Liberia’s mounting debts when she took office in 2006. It ends at that.
The truth is that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s administration is a failure. So also the entire ruling Unity Party’s government and all those who served and are serving in the current Liberian administration, even though the sycophants, praise-singers, graft beneficiaries and deceptive cohorts in her administration will say otherwise. Liberia is an international mockery and a depreciating nation with massive poverty, high unemployment, threatening physical and food insecurity, and worsening health care crisis and the comatose educational sectors.
"Since 2006, she has been entangled in a system that is, unfortunately, packed with white collar and petit criminals, indecent characters, traitors and deceptive personalities whose selfish interests have been responsible for her total failure as a leader of her ruling Unity Party and President", says Mr. Jones Nhinson Williams, a trained public policy professional. As a leader, she failed completely with her error of judgment for not appointing people of reputable characters, integrity, vision, and patriotism to serve in her government.
Why have all the funds and resources that were allegedly stolen at the ministries of agriculture; public works; finance; justice; health and social welfare; defence; information, culture and tourism; gender and children affairs; internal affairs; and at the various autonomous agencies such as the Forestry Development Authority, National Port Authority, National Oil Company of Liberia and more are not thoroughly investigated and those involved prosecuted by her government?
Obviously, President Sirleaf is not a leader the African child should emulate. One of the mark of her failure over a decade in office is that she is being deserted at the twilight of her administration. Many have or are resigning from the party and the government, putting all the blames of failure on her and her government.
As President, Sirleaf could not clearly define and communicate her governance vision for the Liberia people. She has no excuse because the blames and responsibility fall directly on her. More also, she could not make sure that her vision is in consonant with meaningful values, such as honesty, transparency, accountability, fairness, equality, and the rule of law. That is why all those caught or mentioned in the Sable’s corruption triangle and all other past corrupt acts since 2006 could not be made to face trial.
That is why Governor Okorocha's foolishness and ignorance of global politics is robbing off terribly on the failure of his local government in Imo State. Now, we can not tell how much Rochas Okorocha expended on Sirleaf's statue and the entire hosting. We can not also tell how President Sirleaf's statue might enhance the economic well-being of Imo State indigenes. We are much more at sea about the economic importance of a motionless effigy of a little known West Africa President by the Imo people? But we can easily hazard that Governor Rochas Okorocha will sooner or later embarked on another frivolity targeted at siphoning the collective patrimony of Imo people in the midst of unremitting poverty he visited on his people.
Erasmus, Public Affairs analyst writes from Lagos.
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