It was a carnival-like ceremony last Saturday in Owerri when Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha’s first daughter Uloma was given in marriage to the state’s Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Planning, Uche Nwosu. It was a gathering of who-is-who in the country, from former President Obasanjo to state governors (at least six governors were in attendance) and other dignitaries. President Goodluck Jonathan, First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan and former Head of State General Muhammadu Buhari were all represented.
It was learnt that Nwosu had been having an affair with Uloma before he was appointed commissioner but on account of that filial relationship with the Okorochas, Nwosu is now a primus inter pares of sort among other commissioners. He is often at the Government House and even works more or less like a special adviser on special duties to the governor. Governor Okorocha is young in office; he has spent barely two years in his first term and would likely want to do a second term. So it’s too early to start talking about the governor positioning his in-law as a possible successor. But that’s how they start. Recall the moves by former Akwa Ibom State Governor Obong Victor Attah to foist Commissioner Udoma Bob Ekarika who married his daughter on the state as his successor in 2007. That move fell through following which Godswill Akpabio, another commissioner in Attah’s cabinet, emerged the PDP governorship candidate and the state governor.
As I indicated earlier, it’s too early to jump into any conclusion now. But if that’s the ultimate plan of Governor Okorocha, it will be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for his in-law Nwosu to succeed him. Why? Both Okorocha and his in-law are from Orlu senatorial zone. The same Orlu zone had earlier produced a governor in Chief Achike Udenwa for eight years from 1999 to 2007. After Okorocha would have done eight years possibly by 2019, it would be unthinkable to have another Orlu indigene as governor. The first civilian governor of the state, Chief Sam Mbakwe from Okigwe zone, spent four years in office from 1979 to 1983 while another former governor, Ikedi Ohakim also from Okigwe, was in charge for another four years from 2007 to 2011. Late Chief Evan(s) Enwerem was the only one from Owerri zone as governor of the state so far and he was there for barely 18 months, from 1991 till 1993.