I first met Dr. Plus Ikedi Ohakim at the former IGP Okilo’s book launch last year in Abuja.

Dr. Ikedi Ohakim

Speaking with him, his passion about Imo state future was so inspiring and contagious, there I came to realize this a relentless democrat. He described his absence from political scene after political loss to Rochas in 2011 at an election many described as militarized and riddled with allegations of kidnapping.

Many alleged that the electoral processes was thwarted, entire Oguta local government votes were not counted as it was supporters base of Ohakim.

Asked why sudden mute after his loss till now. He replies, 

“I just decided to climb on to the balcony to watch events. My remained silence is to enable me enrich my knowledge,” he explained.

However, he has written many books pertaining governance and economy on that his solicitude. 

Ohakim, a political tiger is returning from political understudy to take over back again the mantle of leadership of Douglas house. He is set to become Imo state Governor for the second time and It is quicken Okorocha’s heart  beat, the fear of possible probe is staring at his face as he made it clear that he will probe alleged crimes involving the abuse of power by Okorocha’s administration, if his predicative victory come to pass.

Ohakim never stopped even when he left office, pushing for peace and justice in the state, is a man known for his firm belief in strong democracy. He demonstrated during his tenure that democratic system is a situation, leaders listen to governed,  one in which leader does not have to hit fist but  apply civility using electoral and legislative process to discuss the differences.

Dr. Pius Ikedi Ohakim, pro-business politico with a religiously conservative bent, is offering much and has much to do if he regains power come 2019 Imo state governorship election.

Those close to Dr. Plus Ikedi Ohakim, described him as a man who didn’t just seek nonexistent middle ground between irreconcilable poles to appease certain quarters, didn’t just listen to one side saying no and the other, saying yes and put up opinion saying “maybe”, or blend black and white to make gray. He is a straight talker and honest doer.

Some described the man who took mantle of Imo state governorship at age 40 years. A man known by the name “Ochinanwata” as a kind of leader who always found means of giving both sides just enough of what they wanted, that during his administration lots of political and tribal crisis were averted, ” he believes in using balanced negotiating strategy to settles issues,” said his ardent supporter.

Ohakim as a governor has been able to manage to stand well above the viral toxic cloud of partisan rancor that have settled at Douglas capital seat today, making him perhaps the political healthiest and stainless figure, political speaking, coming out for governorship race today in Imo state. 

” I am the only former governor of the state that is still electable and who has the capacity to fix Imo state,” he said.

Imo state, now has become so super heated in political conflicts, it will be of good wisdom to have once more someone who stands for peace, unity and progress. What’s more, Ohakim in every way is that kind of leader who tries to find a way through middle ground that will not betray trust, confidence or core belief. He is a conservative administrator, very far opposite of Okorocha’s administration.

Asked to described the unpopular style of the Rochas led administration in Imo state, he replies, 

” Okorocha is just a captain of an ill-fated ship. Rochas is doomed. He has lost touch with the radar signals from Abuja and have been tactfully blocked by his smart adversaries. He is flying blind. Those on board are likely his immediate family members. But Rochas is not giving up. H is making fast questionable concessions at the moment. He is trading everything, all in an attempt to maintain & retain his political status.” He stated.

When Ohakim ventured into politics in 2007, he went into it in a conservative way. When he served as commissioner for commerce, Industry and tourism under Evan Enwerem, he was conservative. Whenever his name appears in a leadership directory, conservative are always used to describe his leadership style due to cautious ways, he normally used in handling would-have been chaotic situations during his administration. 

His power standoff, however, made it much harder for his political foes to paint his future decisions as the work of lawless or clueless ideologues no matter how mischievous they are. 


“Ohakim is an environmentalist. He introduced real sustainable renewable energy projects during his tenure. His “Clean and Clear” program placed our state as one of the cleanest state in Nigeria then. He introduced clean water resources program to make sure, we just don’t have only clean environments but clean water for healthy living. He was the one that constructed 23km road from Isiekeresi to Osina with six new bridges in between.  If you takes time to travel from Owerri road to Okita Nkwo River, you can testify the solidness and the quality of the roads he built, against these shambles Rochas is painting called road constructions, that are collapsing everyday.

He went further to express more, “If you’re coming from Airport road through Egbu, you will be convinced more that he really built sustainable infrastructures that will stand the test of time for us. says, Mr. Okoronkwo, an indigene of the state. ” During his regime, there is nothing like marginalizations. Every empowerment, every appointment and developmental projects are evenly distributed, no local government were left out. The sad news, immediately, Rochas took over, his only house in Owerri were burnt down by yet to be identified men. We want him back. Upon all the political propagandas against him, none has taken him to court till today, so he has a clean plate and is non-controversial technocrat politicians. Many of our children are still enjoying from his education sponsorship programs till today ,” he said.

Asked if he will vote him again. Non-hesitantly, he answered. firmly, yes.

From what have been heard and seen, Ohakim would be a hard candidate to any of those coming out for Imo state governorship race to beat or do many of the things has done. A big challenge for other political aspirants.

One of the insider, described Ohakim’s political pedigree, thus ” He is a kind of person who can manage any situation without a rift, who can listen to a complicated argument without interrupting, negotiate patiently with his opponents. In any situation, he always looks before he leaps no matter how complex the issue is., he said. 

According to him, these are not qualities exclusive to him, but they are more that come to humans who do not suffer from much ego poisoning as Rochas. And given the tendency of egoistic bluster in politics, their seemly leap into silly conflicts and over ambitious programs- qualities that always nudge people toward a less hyper caffeinated mode. Really, political valued qualities to have.

Studying what he had done as a governor, he has been able to stand well at the hearts of people above the viral toxic cloud of partisan rancor that have settled at Douglas capital seat presently, making him perhaps the healthiest figure, political speaking, coming out for governorship race today in Imo state. 

 Ohakim the man at center light of Imo state politics now.

Ultimately, Ohakim decamp to APGA party of recent, has left the enormous supporters lumbering on to horrifying level. His migration has brought down politics squarely on the choice of candidate populism. It is a positive move for him, as one who has cultivated the most conservative  principles in politics. The choice is a big decision but its rationality should be made not by the party  or bureaucrats but by voters who will have that say next year.

“APGA is the only credible and honest party that can help me achieve my mission of rescuing my people. It is identity party of Ndigbo,” he stated.

But wait a minute, you say’ ” Didn’t Ikedi Ohakim leap into silly conflicts during his tenure when he banned Okada riders plying major roads?. Didn’t he try to push on ill-conceived unnegotiated laws through an unwilling congress in 2006?

Yes, and he’s gotten his head handed to him each time he did it, which is where his other significant quality as a candidate comes in-experience.

The fact that he’s been around there before is derided as ” more of the same,” but it isn’t- a fact, it’s a radical departure from what are being offered now and what other aspirants can offer.  Ohakim has grown more seasoned, more willing to compromise, overtime, as an experienced governor.

The measure of his candidacy is about strengths not deficiencies.

Rocha’s deficiencies are inconsiderable.  Imo state people have learned more of what he has achieved than about his lists of proposals. Most of his proposals are democratic boilerplate; many of them are built around restoring faith in government that under Rochas, most Imo state people no longer share.  It remains an open question how many of both aspiring or past candidates can equal his passion for the state. 

“My wealth of experience as a former governor of the state is what is needed at this time to salvage Imo state  from the shackles of the ruling All Progressive Congress” he said during his decamped speech. 

Ohakim goal is about ” Repair” with Rochas, son-in-law and cronies being agents of disruption, lots of work need to be done. Imo Citizens are sick of politics as usual. But when you think about it, Dr. Ikedi, having intellectual maturity and widely experienced in run of governance, his tenure would be a seismic shift away from the long run of “outsiders” in the Douglas office.

However, Ohakim intends to run for just one term and afterwards hands over to a credible man from Owerri senatorial district. A big electorates choice bonus.

And guys, if you don’t believe that having Ohakim would be a dramatic rupture from the present governance, Well, majority of Imo citizens probably have a list of reasons why it would. A big nod for a man who pledged to save his people even if it calls for his last blood.

Pamela Ogwata Reporting.

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