The governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, arrived at Chukwuma Nwoha Junction in the state capital Owerri, on Thursday to allegedly inspect the terrible conditions of the road.
Roads constructed or refurbished by the governor are known in the state as “China roads” because they don’t last long before sinking into disrepair.
As Okorocha stepped out of his car, he was greeted with total silence by the mechanics, shop-keepers and everyone at the junction. Nobody was in the mood for his call and response “my people, my people/my governor, my governor” engagement with crowds. The governor walked around a bit and people just stared at him. He then playfully lifted up a schoolboy and got into his car.
As he was about to speed off, a chorus of boos rang out.
Okorocha’s increasing unpopularity is down to his government’s failure to pay the salaries of state workers and pensioners. Just last week, the Anglican bishop of Owerri rejected a donation from the governor, asking him to use it to pay salaries.
Okorocha, who claims to be Catholic, is said to avoid going to the Assumpta Cathedral in Owerri because Archbishop Anthony Obinna has been very critical of his misrule. He would rather go to church in his hometown Orlu.
He reportedly told those complaining about his governance to “stop bothering me, after all, I bought the election and you people didn’t vote for me”.
The governor’s troubles could get worse next week as a source has indicated that the appeal court in Abuja is expected to overturn the decision of the election tribunal in Owerri, that ruled out the petition against Okorocha’s victory on a technicality.