By Emmanuel Ogbeche
The governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha, is a man fit for the theatre. Besides having the gift of the garb, he is given to putting up acts.
The only worry is that he hardly knows that his plays, more often than not, are farcical and are interspersed with ghoulish characters.
The more he indulges in his outlandish fancy of seeing himself as the next best thing after fresh bread, the more the audience pukes and leaves the cinema.
More than that not, Rochas, some of his traducers say, roaches, reminds one of Olurunbi in the Yoruba myth of the same title.
Olurunbi lived in a certain village where no children had been born for many years, and the people were greatly distressed.
Worried by the turn of events, all the women of the village went together into the forest, to the magic tree, the Iroko, and implored the spirit of the tree to help them.
The Iroko-man asked what gifts they would bring if he consented to help them, the women eagerly promised him corn, yams, fruit, goats, and sheep; but Oluronbi, the young wife of a wood-carver, promised to bring her first child.
Same for Rochas who had dreamt of being governor of Imo state for a very long time though he prattles around aspiring for the presidency.
Rochas with the burning desire to be governor wined and dined with all sorts across the length and breadth of the state promising like Olurunbi to bring the best if they could trust him.
The people benevolent as the Iroko gave him their votes and made him governor against the shenanigans of the powers-that-be then. Like Oluronbi’s child which was the most beautiful of all the children that now filled the village, so was Rochas’s promises.
In the fullness of time, the other women took their promised gifts of corn, yams, fruit, goats, and sheep; but Oluronbi took nothing to propitiate the tree.
So it was one day that Oluronbi passed through the forest, the Iroko-man seized her and changed her into a small brown bird, which sat on the branches of the tree and plaintively sang:
“One promised a sheep,
One promised a goat,
One promised fruit,
But Oluronbi promised her child.”
Seven years plus as governor, the people are asking Rochas, where are the goods you promised including the roads? Instead of keeping to his oath, Rochas like Olurunbi goes; ‘I am sorry for some of you who say that I have destroyed all the roads. It is because of the unprecedented rainfall. I wonder if the rains are acidic. I assure you that we will put them in order.’
Well, as the tide comes full cycle with the elections a couple of months away, may the people show Rochas that they can turn him into a small brown bird including the minnow he brings up.
Emmanuel Ogbeche is an Abuja-based journalist and activist