Between Okorocha and Hope Uzodinma: Rejected Stone Becomes Cornerstone

Hope Uzodinma

Often times, events run so far out of hand that, looking back, one is still not able to see how and when the wrong turn was taken. But as a US psychiatrist, Thomas Szasz, explained, a child becomes an adult when he realizes that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong.

n a strange twist of fate not particularly outlandish in Nigeria’s political clime, the former governor of Imo state and Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, Owelle Rochas Okorocha ended up with the shorter straw from the results of the Imo State gubernatorial elections. Sort of.

Allegedly, during the preparations for the polls and general electoral process, there was an aspirant whose candidacy won the backing of notable party leaders in Imo State, to the point that these party elders endeavoured to get Senator Okorocha to join the chariot of believers in the desired APC candidate, Senator Hope Uzodinma. However, No, said Okorocha; he stood by his son-in-law, Mr. Uche Nwosu, against Senator Uzodinma, and Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, who was the PDP candidate.

At the end of the elections, Okorocha’s candidate lost the party ticket to Senator Uzodinma, who lost the gubernatorial elections to Ihedioha, declared the winner of the majority of the votes cast in the election, who even got issued the certificate of return to the office. However, it became a tug of war as this decision was contested by the APC, who petitioned against the declaration of Emeka Ihedioha as Governor of Imo by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

After winning at the Elections Tribunal and the Court of Appeal, Ihedioha’s victory torch has ultimately been doused by the Supreme Court. The unanimous decision was reached by a seven-man Justice panel, nullifying the election of Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP as the Governor of the state, and ordering INEC to withdraw the certificate of return from former Governor Emeka Ihedioha, to be reissued to Senator Hope Uzodinma.

If fate was twisted before, Senator Okorocha’s reaction positively wrenched it. He was one of the first ones to congratulate the new Governor-elect, even stressing that the judgment represented the choice of Imolites. He went so far as to enjoin everybody to be calm and “watch Uzodinma unfold what he has for Imo”. By implication, Okorocha is like the clairvoyant who faltered at his trade but does not hesitate to be diplomatic in falling in line with reality.