In an interview printed immediately, Governor Anayo Rochas Okorocha of Imo State jabs at his critics over the statues he erected, the Jacob Zuma go to, the Ministry of Happiness and the plans by his son-in-law to succeed him within the state. Okorocha says he stirs controversy throughout him as a result of the critics lack data and refuse to hunt it.
“I have realised that there are so many educated illiterates in this country; analysts without ideas, historians without knowledge of the past”, he says.
On his new Ministry of Happiness and Purpose Fulfilment, he says its creation was a fulfilment of his electoral promise to his folks, in any case he was elected to make them glad
IT appears that despite your well-meaning efforts you draw quite a lot of controversies in a lot of the belongings you do. Can you clarify why it’s so?
I don’t perceive what you imply by controversy. Maybe you’ll clarify. I don’t suppose there’s something controversial in what I do. It is simply that many individuals don’t perceive. There is a whole misrepresentation of details, and nobody appears to grasp the depth of my actions and pronouncements. So, they misplace details. By any requirements I cannot make a careless assertion or take any motion that isn’t correct. I feel I’m sensible sufficient to know what is sweet or what’s unsuitable or improper. When among the issues I do should not understood by many, it turns into a problem. Is Rochas a failure in any facet of life? My enterprise life, my political life, my household life?
You had been one of many politicians who got here into workplace with quite a lot of goodwill due to Rochas Foundation Schools. Lots of people felt that changing into the governor of Imo State was a becoming reward on your efforts. But by some means, among the belongings you did turned the image the opposite manner up. Like if you went to the US, you took an image with former President Obama and got here again to place up a billboard right here. Many folks had been flabbergasted and located it slightly bit humorous.
When I got here into authorities, I got here with my guarantees. I’ve delivered on all my guarantees. All! It is only one space, which I’m attempting to sort out. My administration has impacted on Imo State far more than another administration, be it navy or civilian. This administration has constructed extra infrastructure than all the opposite administrations put collectively. I need to be challenged by any residing soul that what I’m saying just isn’t proper. I’ve constructed extra colleges than all the opposite administrations put collectively. I’ve constructed extra roads, extra hospitals. When I got here into authorities, all I noticed was eleven rickety hospitals. Today I’ve constructed twenty seven hospitals. I’ve developed the town of Owerri, I’ve developed the town of Orlu and I’ve developed the town of Okigwe. I’ve launched free schooling from major to the college which no authorities within the historical past of Nigeria has executed. So, why can’t folks see these? People depart the substance and pursue shadows.
I went to the White House within the US and took an image with President Obama and the image was all around the web. That image was taken after Mr President allowed me to deal with Obama and I did. When the image went viral, in fact we’ve supporters. People thought that it was one thing good and so they needed to welcome me with it, to let me know that the social media is working for them.
Actually it wasn’t you that put it up?
No. Why ought to I? I’ve by no means put up any billboard right here in Owerri for myself. But folks all the time construct billboards of me, some good, some additionally dangerous. But why do folks use these items to make it sound like authorities has turn into a joke? You depart the problems of governance and you might be speaking in regards to the frivolities of billboards. And they haven’t seen some billboards that tackle me as “OKOROAWUSA, a Northerner, a non-Igbo man”.
Did you enable the dangerous ones to remain?
Of course! I exhibit political tolerance greater than anyone. When I say these, I would like folks to problem me on points; not issues that make them busy. It doesn’t make sense.
Maybe it’s best to tackle this Okoroawusa subject. Some folks say you’re a son of the late Gbong Gwom of Jos, Fom Bot. So, you’re a prince of the Jos ruling home. If you might be, how did you come to be a governor right here?
I feel I’m some of the misunderstood Nigerians these days. It makes me giggle. I get pleasure from it, you realize why? People don’t face the actual points. You know too nicely the place I come from. I’m from this state. But I used to be introduced up within the North. The North gave me childhood, gave me schooling. I used to be born right here. My mother and father had been Igbo. They went to the North looking for greener pasture. I used to be introduced up there. But after I went into enterprise it was my contact with the West that made me what I’m in enterprise. I declare, and I do know, that I’m a profitable businessman. I can’t afford to hate the North or hate my folks. Whatever they need to name me – Okoroawusa, Okoroyoruba or Okoroigbo – I don’t care as a result of it doesn’t have an effect on my id. Out of the 15,000 youngsters I’ve, about 7,000 of them are Muslims. These are my youngsters. They have turn into members of my household. I can’t love them and reject their religions. These are statements from my political opponents who need to painting me in another way to make me seem like a jester or a joker.
There can also be that is subject of creating your authorities a mirrored image of your loved ones, naming authorities establishments after your father, mom, spouse and so forth, and now ending up appointing your sister as Commissioner for Happiness
Happiness and Purpose Fulfilment. Everyone from Imo State is a member of my household. I see the entire of Imo State as my household. Rochas is larger than Imo State. I’m greater than Nigeria…
No, no, no. That just isn’t attainable. No one will be greater than a state or his nation!
No, after I say “bigger”, I imply that this isn’t the one place I belong to. I imply I’ve gone past being an Imo man, past being a Nigerian. I’m now an African. So, don’t put me like a small rat in a small gap. I’ve an even bigger picture than what folks see. If you say I run a household authorities, meaning I run a really huge authorities. I’ve thirty commissioners. All of them are members of the identical household with me. What a unbelievable household! I’ve 27 Special Advisers and 30 Special Assistants. They are all members of my household. I’ve Perm Secs, all are members of my household. Without operating a household authorities, you can’t make progress.
But if they’re speaking about organic relationship, that my youthful sister is made a Supervisory Commissioner for Happiness and Purpose Fulfilment, I additionally need to clarify that Ministry. But earlier than I am going into that, the younger girl is my sister. She has dedicated no offence. My predecessor appointed his brother as Chief of Staff; identical mom, identical father.
I used to be elected governor to ensure the happiness of the folks. Even the American structure was created for the pursuit of happiness. You are glad, if you get up and see your youngsters go to high school. You are glad if there’s a hospital so that you can go if you find yourself sick. If your surroundings is safe sufficient, you might be glad
There was nothing unsuitable with that. This younger girl has been with me for the previous seven years as my Deputy Chief of Staff. She doesn’t take wage as Commissioner; she takes wage as Deputy Chief of Staff. She will supervise the brand new ministry till a substantive commissioner is appointed. She is a Deputy Chief of Staff (Domestic), which is even increased than a Commissioner. The younger girl is certified. Because she is the governor’s sister, she mustn’t play a job? So, if my son needs to run for governor he can’t run as a result of he has dedicated the offence of being the governor’s son? What is vital is delivering the products. She is only a supervisory Commissioner for a brand new ideology, new imaginative and prescient I convey to bear after I make pronouncements on the cardinal factors of happiness, for folks to fulfil their goal in life. This is the ministry that offers straight with the abnormal folks within the streets. It is the pivot upon which the missions of different ministries should revolve. The yardstick of each authorities is to supply happiness to the folks.
I used to be elected governor to ensure the happiness of the folks. Even the American structure was created for the pursuit of happiness. You are glad, if you get up and see your youngsters go to high school. You are glad if there’s a hospital so that you can go if you find yourself sick. If your surroundings is safe sufficient, you might be glad. Who produces the insurance policies that assure that actions of presidency produce happiness? The Ministry of Happiness is the primary ministry that each authorities on the earth ought to set up earlier than establishing another ministry as a result of it displays the essence of life, the essence of presidency. Let me put it in a quote, energy is a belief which may solely be justified when used to make folks glad in any given society, unquote – Owelle Rochas Okorocha…
You are quoting your self?
Yes. Since this ministry took off, the younger males from Libya who got here again, the ministry has reunited them with their households. This subject of Anchor Borrowers and N Power, this ministry has taken it upon itself. If you might be nonetheless pissed off in your job, you haven’t fulfilled your goal in life. Most folks have no idea how you can fulfil their functions in life. People don’t know what they have to do to convey out the potentials in them. Education just isn’t an exterior issue. Education is an inside issue that prompts the potentials in you. Education provides nothing to you: it brings out the issues in you to manifest to serve humanity. Purpose fulfilment is essential in life. Career steering! Since we began goal fulfilment, I gave a lecture final week on what our youths should do to succeed. Because our youths now suppose the one factor about fame is cash. When you cross on the streets, they ask you for cash. We want to speak to the youth and focus them on the fitting issues of life, mentorship. The different day I used to be speaking to some youths and so they wept simply because I advised them who they’re and the potentials in them. This ministry is probably the most key ministry, and Imo State authorities will proceed with it. If I come again because the president of this nation ,I have to introduce the Ministry of Happiness and Purpose Fulfilment. But individuals who don’t perceive, who’re lifeless for lack of expertise, took it out of context and made it a laughing matter, as if Rochas has launched one thing that doesn’t exist. Some went to analysis on it solely to find they’ve it in Dubai and different international locations. Even my very own kind of happiness is extra religious and in-depth than these ones. I’ve realised that there are such a lot of educated illiterates on this nation; analysts with out concepts, historians with out information of the previous. If you don’t perceive, get the visionary to show you. I’ve realised that 89 per cent of Nigerians should not glad. In reality, there ought to be a course within the major, secondary and even college referred to as Happiness…
This ministry is probably the most key ministry, and Imo State authorities will proceed with it. If I come again because the president of this nation ,I have to introduce the Ministry of Happiness and Purpose Fulfilment. But individuals who don’t perceive, who’re lifeless for lack of expertise, took it out of context and made it a laughing matter, as if Rochas has launched one thing that doesn’t exist.
Yes, Happiness 101. You know why? Because, typically, you will be wealthy and never glad. If it’s so vital, why don’t you will have a ministry for it? After all, you will have a college for catering; you too can have a college for happiness to show folks in regards to the true essence of life.
Exactly what position will you because the governor play on this Happiness ideology? For occasion, is the Commissioner to go to folks’s homes to cheer folks up, or give them pep speak (laughter)?
First of all, this ministry has advised our Commissioners that their ministries are duty-bound to make the folks glad. Before you’re taking any motion, ask your self to what extent will this motion make folks glad? If not, will probably be a waste of individuals’s sources. Free schooling has made our folks glad. These widows within the villages, who needed to promote their chickens and goats to pay college charges of their youngsters, now not have to try this, and they’re glad. I’ve quite a lot of tolerance in the direction of my political opponents. When there isn’t any happiness, there might be quite a lot of hate speeches. The Federal Government’s coverage towards hate speeches is rather like making a ministry for happiness. With hate speeches, Boko Haram, terrorism will begin; IPOB, restructuring will begin; Niger Delta militancy will begin. All these items are merchandise of anger.
How does South African President, Jacob Zuma, come into the Imo folks’s lives that it’s best to construct a statue with their cash in his honour? You additionally named a really outstanding highway in the most effective a part of Owerri after him. Why?
You are (a part of the) Pharisees.These had been the identical questions the Pharisees requested Jesus. Now, you will have simply acknowledged there’s one prime highway. Before, you by no means acknowledged there was a major highway. What is unsuitable with Zuma coming to Imo State? When you permit right here, take an image of our cargo airport. President Zuma got here right here to debate the process of the South African Airways coming right here to take over the Sam Mbakwe Cargo Airport alongside the Federal Government of Nigeria. The man stated so himself when he got here right here. He got here with the Chairman of the South African Airways.
His folks have been killing our folks of their nation.
Since he got here right here, have you ever seen one single incident like that?
Maybe remoted instances, however it’s nonetheless happening.
Tell me one occasion. If it occurred it will be all around the web. When he got here he stated he would guarantee no South African would kill a Nigerian and no Nigerian would kill a South African. Do you realize why he got here? Zuma got here right here for 3 issues: One, the Imo Industrial Park, which we signed an MOU on; to do a gasoline industrial park in Ohaji-Egbema, as a result of all I’ve is gasoline. Two, Zuma got here right here for the difficulty of the International Cargo Airport. Three, Zuma got here right here as a result of he appreciates one thing good. He heard about Rochas Foundation Schools. Since I established the Rochas Foundation Schools, there isn’t any native authorities in Nigeria that I don’t have youngsters, over 15,000 youngsters. No governor, no president has heard about this college and visited it, besides Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who visited lately. It’s been there for greater than 15 years. Nobody, no huge man, has thought it smart to return and see what we’re doing. This man heard we had a college the place we had been offering free schooling, he wept and stated in his life he by no means noticed a classroom; he by no means went to high school in his life. He spent most of his time in jail. He wept right here in Owerri. He stated ‘I wish I had met you earlier, my brother; I would like to partner you’. That was why we introduced him.
What is unsuitable with all of you? None of you has visited this college. These are youngsters of poor folks, youngsters who’ve no one. Then the person got here all the best way from South Africa to understand one thing good and so they couldn’t see that. They couldn’t see the commercial park; they may not see the cargo airport. All they may see was the statue, that he’s going through corrupt expenses. Some of these making noise can’t even be tea makers for Zuma. They are saying ‘lock him up’. In legislation, till the courts condemn you, you might be thought-about to be harmless. The second individual that got here right here, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, 5 youngsters from her nation whose mother and father died of Ebola, are education right here. This lady took a flight to return and see the youngsters. What occurred to the massive males of Nigeria? Why hasn’t anybody come? See how depraved and ungrateful are the massive males of Nigeria? The Ghana President additionally got here right here. Thanks to former President Olusegun Obasanjo who additionally got here right here. One particular person is making Nigeria nice. They hear about Oprah Winfrey. They hearken to Oprah. Oprah opened one college with 250 youngsters and the entire world celebrated Oprah as a result of she is an American. And right here is Rochas, bringing Africa collectively; no elite has made any assertion in affirmation. All they see is a statue of Zuma. ‘Why should he make a statue of Zuma, he spent N502 million’, they consider all that jargon. How many leaders in Africa have arrange colleges for the schooling of poor youngsters? Zuma has executed so. In that place, we’ve (former vice chairman) Ekwueme statue, why don’t they speak about it? (Former prime minister)Tafawa Balewa’s statue is there… The entire place is known as Ojukwu Centre. We have greater than ten individuals who have statues there as our highest award. They don’t know that the place is a park, a vacationer park. There are so many issues there: Heroes Centre, Freedom Park, Ojukwu Centre and Igbo Renaissance Centre. All these items are there and all they may see is Zuma statue and I’m having an enormous giggle at them.
Is it true that you’re planning to put in your son-in-law as the following governor of Imo State?
Why are folks so myopic? So, what’s unsuitable if he’s ? I’m asking you, because you purpose like them. This younger man, I by no means knew him from Adam. I by no means knew his father. By happenstance, he labored with me. He discovered my daughter and married my daughter. So, due to that, he can now not be a person? Assuming that he’s certified to run for even president of Nigeria he can’t run as a result of he’s Rochas’ son-in-law? To be someone’s in-law is now an offence? I don’t perceive how folks purpose. Another factor I hate is that this subject about zoning. You take energy and also you zone it as if it a cake. Let him that has one thing upstairs, that’s certified, lead. Visionary folks; regardless of whether or not poor or wealthy. It makes me giggle when educated folks within the twenty first century nonetheless speak like primitive folks. If you suppose you possibly can defeat him, rise up and defeat him. I’ve not made up my thoughts to help him. I’ve three folks on my thoughts. When I determine I’ll come out and say that is the candidate I need to help. If it’s Uche Nwosu, so be it. And when you suppose you possibly can defeat him, okay, go and defeat him. If the folks like him, that’s how will probably be. I don’t need this factor to turn into a minus for my youngsters in future. I’ve very clever youngsters that may assist this nation and assist this state. You can’t say as a result of they’re my youngsters they can’t run for election. Even my spouse can run Imo State. That lady is so clever; she will be able to lead this state completely, even higher than I do.
And let me say it once more, I’ve executed greater than any governor has even executed for Imo State. Let them cease speaking about statue. Let them cease speaking about Ministry of Happiness and Purpose Fulfilment. Let them speak about whether or not Rochas Okorocha has lived as much as his guarantees as governor of Imo State. Which governor up to now supplied over a thousand kilometres of roads? Owerri metropolis has modified, with free schooling, hospitals, colleges that may take about 2.5 million youngsters, with infrastructure all over the place. A state that was coming quantity 35 is now among the many first three. If anybody has executed higher than me, let him come out and say it. And I say, NONE!
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