Emeka Ihedioha: Why Owerri people, others, exploded in jubilation


By Codratus Godson

Imo people especially those from the Owerri zone and Mbaise areas had many reason for exploding into jubilation last night when Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha was declared winner in Imo State.

  1. They were happy that Rochas Okorocha has been defeated
  2. They were relieved that power would not be handed from father-in-law to son-in-law
  3. They were happy that power has left Orlu zone after endless years, actually 16 years all with only four years intervention
  4. They were ecstatic that the alleged boast that by the governor that despite being rejected by the Imo APC he would win back power from any party, and that he was ready to do anything, spend anything.
  5. Many were happy that power rotation has been restored
  6. Finally, the Owerri zone especially Mbaise were happy to perceive power again after the brief years of Evans Enwerem.

Most Imo people all over the world had thus remained in vigil from Sunday to Monday midnight when the victory of Ihedioha was announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Owerri, Imo State capital. Social media fireworks were flying across the world on many platforms where people were asking endless questions to find out what next.

From about 4.30pm of Monday when it was confirmed that collation had been completed and accepted from all the 27 local council areas till when it was eventually announced, many wondered aloud why it was not been declared since they had been announced one by one. Anxiety grew. Many offered open prayers from far outside Imo State.

Igbos seemed united in the desire to see Imo out of the Rochas Okorocha family into another hand, preferably back to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Imo had travelled from the PDP to PPA to APGA to APC and almost to AA. The quarrel in the PDP family over 1o years ago made the lords of the party such as Achike Udenwa and Charles Ugwu to lend the ruling party to Ikedi Ohakim, then of the PPA, thinking it would be easy to collect back banana from monkey. Okorocha came with ratmatazz and wrestled the baton from the self-proclaimed Ikiri, even when it was not the turn of Orlu zone that had just completed eight years.

Most Owerri zone people were under the illusion that Okorocha was to do only four years, right the wrongs he pointed out in the state, and hand power to them. He never did. He rather went full blast eight years. When it was time to prepare a successor, he anointed his son (actually son-in-law). This created silent revolt.

Another crucial reason is the difficulty of defeating an incumbent. Okorocha may be outgoing but his determination to hand over to a member of his family caused huge anxiety. Many feared that if the experiment succeeded, power may remain in Orlu and in Okorocha family for ever. Bringing it out first was a dream come true.

The Owerri zone had hungered for their turn for decades. Now, it is real. Cannons were booming in Owerri and Mbaise as well as Ngor-Okpala areas. Young persons were ordering cartons of bear all over the night. It was another war won.

Details of the significance of the Ihedioha phenomenon will come on these sites.