The collapse of Ikiri’s wall of Jericho as Ethelbert Okere kisses the dust – Uche Onwuchekwa

Truly, it is saddening that people, in this age of knowledge, could still be so limiting in their course of reasoning in life. For Ethelbert Okere, he is comfortably content living in fools’ paradise.  In his sound brain, he has remained so stagnant and severed that one begins to consider a critical cerebral exercise on the discourse that bother on growth and development.

Ordinarily, I should not be responding to Okere’s diatribe for which I consider a product of frustration or possibly a means to eke out a living by impressing his boss. Well, on this note, he should not be blamed too aloud for his action. Ethelbert Okere, former Media aide to the former Governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim ikiri, was only doing his job to keep his job. Though, if he were an honourable man, he would either had resigned or at least advised his boss properly. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Case, which was Ethelbert’s basis for all his labour for that perfidy and production of hemlock, has been won and lost leaving Ohakim a more dejected, frustrated  and heartbroken one time Governor. Honestly, managing the remains of Ohakim’s image must have been a drudgery one indeed for Ethelbert Okere.

While putting the records straight and helping the duo of Ethelbert and his boss Ohakim against further anger and curses from aggrieved people of Imo State, it is also important to expose the inefficiencies inherent in his analyses against highly rated performing Governor Okorocha.


Yes, human beings could grow in physique just like our brother Dr. Ethelbert Okere, but may not be so lucky mentally for various reasons that may not be advanced here, which is no fault of theirs. I may not be able to give a good account of Ethelbert’s idiosyncrasy and other biological or environmental factors that may have influenced his thinking pattern. Ethelbert in person is huge and a very tall fellow. Intimidating posture he has got. His popping eyes are planted in perfect positions of the face that make them always appear as though they in constant guess.


Growth on all parts of his body appear even except out of proportion protruding belly; I cannot say what figure to expect when a tear off of clothes occur. Almost a perfectly carved nose from a master sculptor but a closer look reveals a seeming perennial nose -running toddler. Comparing the physical features of Okere with his cerebral capacity will get one even more confused as one may not be wrong to say that he may have out grown his intelligence. Sorry, this may not be roundly needed, but not out of place after all as this exercise can only allow readers visualize the man being talked about here.


In that Okere’s diatribe titled: Supreme Court, Okorocha and the “Back Door Theory” published on “” on February 24, 2012, in which he accused Governor Okorocha of trying to whip up sentiments in the minds of the good people of Imo State in his last State of Imo address. He also accused him of trying to influence the then yet to be known judgment of the Supreme Court.



 Suffering from analytical deficiency, he delved into areas he is so bare and naked, telling Ndi Imo that the average income of the State, which he put at Thirty-four billion naira, will at no time be enough to manage free education programme and other developmental projects going on in Imo State. He has forgotten that much as we cherish his devious concern for Governor Okorocha over the burden of funding his lined up developmental projects, it is also important that we bring to Ethelbert’s notice that leadership is not stereotyped. Leadership is all about vision. Leadership is creativity and productivity. Leadership means making unconventional changes thereby bringing into being a-never-thought-about possibilities. Thinking outside the box is the way to go.

Let’s not be in a hurry that Lagos State of today is what it is due to vision and planning beyond being the former Federal Capital Territory. Raking in an Internally Generated Revenue worth billions, took a strategic developments.


Prudence has remained a major backbone of Governor Okorocha’s led administration with its focus on its vision of creating desired changes for its people and residents. In Ngor-Okpala, the home town of Okere Ethelbert, what we hitherto had as workforce was found to be a farce as it was discovered that over four hundred were mere ghosts. Guess what, these people were all ghost collecting salaries. How much have we saved from this exercise?

From Ohakim’s Local Government, under his regime, we had over One thousand and five hundred workers but today, we could only record four hundred as real workers. How much have we saved? Leadership Okorocha buys into is not la dolce vita.

We shall remember Ethelbert’s boss for one of that beautiful edifice standing tall in the Government House built with Six Hundred and Fifty Million Naira of tax payers’ money. It took brother Ohakim almost four years to complete the ‘edifice’. For the cost analyses of that project, it has hollow designs, which has aesthetic value and cost reduction as its main essence.

Today, Governor Rochas Okorocha has done two of such buildings in less than nine months with less than Five Hundred Million Naira. That is why our brother Ethelbert will continue to wallow in confusion. It is not abracadabra. It is the science of management and wisdom.


Again, sustaining quality leadership entails going through the labyrinth of mental and technical paths. It is not jamboree or talking vulgarly insulting the decency of the led. It is not about pinning the led to the floor with the security apparatchik lashing them with koboko. It goes beyond that. I was astonished when I heard somebody talk about robust intellectual engagements. Governor Okorocha is too technical to be placed side by side with celebrated beings with anachronistic ideas only geared towards avaricious plundering. Today, the previously free- for -all – Imo Concorde Hotel for Governor’s aides, their girl friends and cronies, is paying people’s salaries and also contributing to the progress of the State.

In his perfidious manner, Ethelbert had accused Governor Okorocha of incitement and using State of Imo address as a political rally.  I then begin to wonder the manner of persons that were on the saddle in the last dispensation. Yahoo! Yahoo!! is usually mistaken a strategy to govern a people. It has so eaten into the fabric that even in their relationship with a kinsman, they see such as gambling and that is the reason an Ohakim (ikiri) could still go to court to gamble. Well, I would want to know who wants to smuggle himself through the back window.


Today, Imo State schools are going autonomous for quality and high standard. Again, it will be pleasing for Ethelbert to go and learn from the ants. Ohakim must have been leaking his wounds by now. This was a man who said it was impossible to achieve free education at all. At the inception of Governor Okorocha’s administration, the first thing he did was to declare free and compulsory education for every child. The only sin committed is that Governor Okorocha has decided to raise the bar of governance.

Feeling for Rochas Okorocha is neither here nor there. The best Ethelbert can do is to first and foremost admit that his boss goofed and was rather a political Lilliput as it were. Secondly, he should also admit the fact that Okorocha has a four year plan to achieving his developmental projects for which the House of Assembly passed into law. Can you appreciate a vision? Furthermore, I would want my big brother Ethelbert Okere to also agree that Ohakim somersaulted so badly by his coercive and bullying adoptions as the essence of power even to the people of ecclesiastical calling.


Transparency is another hard to come by attribute of quality leadership. Penultimate week, Owelle Rochas Okorocha had called on all Ndi Eze, Community Speakers, the Presidents General of various communities and other stakeholders to brief them on the MDG fund with a view to sensitizing them on the scheme as well as creating room for them to make input to achieving a maximum output by getting better pricing.

If it were in their days, just like Ethelbert agreed, Ohakim had no business with the people as he was never elected by them. The then Government would have gathered people only to hoodwink them during the main thing by making sure that prices for projects were highly inflated to make it attractive to Ndi-isiukwu. He would not have had any recourse to getting back to them. He would have just gathered select Ndi Isiukwu of PDP and based on their booty sharing template, whatever that happens on transit does not matter.


That is why all knowing Ethelbert would frown at Governor Okorocha who had the mandate of the people for inviting Ndi Imo to brief them on his stewardship so far and to also intimate them on happenings in the State. That was most uncharitable coming from a supposedly well educated and a rational personality of Okere. Another issue raised by Ethelbert was Governor Okorocha’s coercion of the civil servants to attending the State of Imo Address. It showed pettiness and that Ethelbert and his fellow analysts are suffering from analytical myopia. Was there any circular against the State of Imo Address? Was there any attendance? Did we not have traders, artisans, academics and other people drawn from differing fields and social stratification?

For Ethelbert’s and his master’s approach, it should have been just for the ears of those on power sharing template. Ethelbert also contradicted himself by speaking from both sides of the mouth. How could Governor Okorocha have rented a crowd, forced the workers to the venue and also addressed Imo people that had gathered to listen to him?


Spirituality is an aspect of leadership that we canals often take for granted. For Ohakim and his serfs, it is only bookish and possibly invoking negative spirits for negative ideas. We have a prayerful Governor in Imo state today. Little wonder, discussing faith and positive religion is attempting to tamper with the tail of a rattle snake. May be, this could also account why Ohakim and his men are always on the side of negativity. Heart searching will do them a world of good.


And finally, drawing from spirituality and lack of knowledge that brought good governance to its knees under the “regime of Ohakim”, by now, the large scale unwise decisions of unprepared Ohakim when he was thrown into the ring of governance, which he saw as mere prize won from gambling and therefore did not understand what it was worth, should be haunting him wherever he may be.  All they did was to build walls of Jericho round about Imo State.

People were helplessly subjected to unprintable inhuman treatments and of course had to take a lot of curses and abuses from almighty Ohakim. Imo people became determined to change their situation with practical steps and prayers.

And now that Ethelbert, who is supposedly, an adviser to Ohakim could not advise his boss, has kissed the dust as well, I will call on them to yield themselves for cleansing and atonement for their ill treatment against the good people of Imo State or be haunted and mortified for the rest of their lives.

Uche Onwuchekwa

Government House, Owerri



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