Rochas Anayo Okorocha
|Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria representing Imo State West District|
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Hope Uzodinma|
|5th Governor of Imo State|
29 May 2011 – 29 May 2019
|Deputy||Prince Eze Madumere|
|Preceded by||Ikedi G. Ohakim|
|Succeeded by||Chukwuemeka Ihedioha|
|Born||22 September 1962|
Ideato South, Imo State, Nigeria
|Political party||All Progressives Congress|
Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha (born 22 September 1962) is a Nigerian philanthropist and politician of Igbo extraction from Imo State. He is the Senator representing Imo West Senatorial district at the 9th Nigerian Senate. He is also the former Governor of Imo State.
He is the founder of Rochas Foundation, a charity comprising a number of special schools that are spread all over Nigeria that gives scholarship to the less privileged children in Nigeria. On his first attempt, he ran on the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) platform and ran on the platform of All Progressives Congress for his second term.
Rochas was born on 22 September 1962 in Ogboko, Ideato South, Imo State to an Imo father and an Anambra mother. He identifies more closely with his Anambra side which is the source of his natural aggression. He attended Juladaco High School, Jos (1976-1981). He studied at the University of Jos (1990-1991), obtaining a diploma in Public Administration. He returned to the University of Jos (1993-1994) to obtain an advanced diploma in Public Administration. Career positions include President, Nigeria Red Cross Society, President/Founder, Rochas Foundation Inc, President, Rochas Group of Companies Limited, Pro-Chancellor, African Business School and Former Chairman, Board of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency. He is married to Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha and together they have 6 children (3 girls and 3 boys); Uloma Rochas Nwosu, Uju Rochas Okorocha, Uchechi Rochas Okorocha, Aham Rochas Okorocha, Amen Rochas Okorocha and Amam Rochas Okorocha.
Early political career
Okorocha was a Commissioner on the Federal Character Commission and a Member of the National Constitutional Conference. When democracy was restored in 1999, Rochas Okorocha competed in the primaries to be the People's Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for governor of Imo State but lost to Achike Udenwa. He moved to the All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP) and ran for the party's presidential nomination but a disappointing result in the primary in 2003 ended his ambition. He returned to the PDP, and President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed him as Special Adviser on Inter-Party affairs.
Rochas Okorocha formed the Action Alliance (AA) party in 2005, planning to become a Presidential candidate for the AA in the 2007 elections. He again returned to the PDP, and in September 2007, indicated that he was interested in becoming PDP National Chairman. After Governor Ikedi Ohakim decamped from the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) to the PDP in July 2009, Okorocha denied that Ohakim had taken over the PDP in the state, saying he was named as A leader since he was governor, but a proper PDP congress should be held to decide on policy.
As Imo State Governor
Okorocha decamped from the People's Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), to run as an APGA candidate for Imo State Governor in the April 2011 national elections. A few weeks later, in December 2010, the APGA suspended Okorocha from the party over what it described as anti-party activities pending an investigation of his conduct. He stole 10 million dollars . It was reported that he had stormed the Imo State Secretariat of APGA with dozens of thugs, who beat up several top officers of the Party. Okorocha and his companions had also threatened the Imo State Chairman and Secretary of APGA. However, Okorocha went on to campaign as APGA candidate and won subsequently. Rochas in 2013 decamped to the All Progressive Congress.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared that the Imo State gubernatorial elections held on 26 April 2011 were inconclusive since the collation of results was marred by irregularities. The INEC ordered reruns in four local government areas and one ward, to be held on 6 May 2011. In the event, elections were not held in Oguta local government area due to a security threat. The final results had Okorocha of the APGA declared winner with 336,859 votes. He was followed by the incumbent governor Ikedi Ohakim of the PDP with 290,490 votes. Former Senator Ifeanyi Araraume of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was third with 107,068 votes. President Goodluck Jonathan congratulated Okorocha on his election, saying the people of Imo State had spoken through the ballot box.
In preparation for the 2015 elections, former deputy speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha threw in his hat for the governorship tussle. After being able to snatch away the PDP tickets from other contenders, he had to slug it out with the incumbent, Okorocha. The election eventually took place on 11 April 2015 after the first date was shifted by six weeks when the federal authorities cited security concerns. Just as Okorocha's first election debacle, the second one was also declared inconclusive.
INEC declared the 11 April governorship polls in Imo inconclusive, a development that led to the cancellation of elections in more than 250 polling units in 23 of the 27 local government areas. The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Gabriel Ada, listed the state constituencies affected in the re-run to include; Ikeduru, Isiala Mbano, Isu, Oguta, Owerri West, and Oru East. He explained that the electoral commission ordered re-run for the governorship election because of the 79,000 difference between the votes scored by the leading and the second candidates.
Okorocha won the rerun election fixed for 25 April 2015.
During his time as governor, on one of his television interviews on Channels Television, he used the word "iberiberism" when trying to explain his projects as governor. Iberiberism originates from an Igbo word 'iberibe' meaning stupidity or foolishness. This got him huge attention on media channels. He was present at the 2019 Igbo day which took place in Owerri, the two-day event started with an award night by the Imo State Government "Governor Rochas Okorocha
On 2 March 2013, Rochas led an APGA faction to form the All Progressives Congress. He was later elected by his colleague governors in the opposition as Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum.
Towards the end of his tenure as governor, Okorocha picked his son-in-law Uche Nwosu, who was the Chief of Staff, as his candidate to run for the office of the governor under APC, but Uche Nwosu lost the party's governorship ticket to Senator Hope Uzodinma. Uche Nwosu defected to the Action Alliance (AA) party after his loss and became their governorship flag bearer. On the 1st of March 2019, APC suspended Okorocha along with Amosun for anti-party activities.
He contested the senatorial ticket for the 9th Senate representing Imo west Orlu senatorial zone during the 2019 National Assembly elections however the results are controversial and have not been ratified by INEC.
Despite being declared the winner of Imo west senatorial seat, INEC removed his name from the final list saying that the result was declared under duress. The certificate of return was however issued to him by INEC on 11 June 2019 following the inauguration of the 9th assembly of the Nigerian Senate and declared him the winner of the Imo west senatorial district elections.
Under the auspices of the All Progressive Congress (APC), he contested for the seat of presidency in (2015). He will contest for the same seat of presidency again under the same umbrella in 2023.
Awards and Honours
- Leadership par Excellence’ Award by The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria.
- "Okorocha sworn in as senator, says Igbo presidency doesn't exist". Punch Newspapers. 14 June 2019. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
- "BREAKING: Lawan swears in Okorocha as senator". The Punch. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
- Adimike George,Onitsha (7 May 2011). "Obi hails Okorocha's election". The Nation. Archived from the original on 10 May 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
- "About Rochas". Rochas Okorocha. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- Falae, Vivian (30 April 2018). "Rochas Okorocha children: who are they?". Legit.ng - Nigeria news. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
- "It's confusing sharing dad with many children — Okorocha's son". Punch Newspapers. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
- "WHAT DOES ROCHAS OKOROCHA WANT?". NBF News. 26 December 2010. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- Wale Akinola (15 August 2005). "Third term is govs agenda, not Obasanjo's — Rochas Okorocha". Online Nigeria Daily news. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- ODIMEGWU ONWUMERE (12 September 2007). "PDP Chairmanship: Rochas Okorocha Is The Answer". Pedants Magazine. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- "Ohakim cannot take over Imo PDP - Rochas Okorocha". Modern Ghana. 12 August 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- Charles Kumolu (19 December 2010). "APGA suspends Okorocha". Vanguard. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- "Apga Suspends Rochas Okorocha". Leadership. 26 December 2010. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- Elisha Bala-Gbogbo and Ardo Hazzad (28 April 2011). "Nigeria's Ruling PDP Party Takes More Than Half of Governor Races Declared". Bloomberg. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- "Rochas Okorocha wins Imo gov election". Nigeria Daily News. 7 May 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- "INEC Declares Rochas Okorocha Winner of Imo Election". Vanguard. 7 May 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- DANIEL IDONOR (7 May 2011). "Jonathan congratulates Rochas Okorocha". Vanguard. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
- Ehiabh, Vincent (April 2015). "INEC Fixes April 25 For Re-Run Election In Imo State". Retrieved 23 December 2015.
- "How Igbo Day was celebrated in Owerri". Vanguard News. 2 January 2019. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
- "Why I joined APC". Retrieved 15 August 2014.
- "Rochas Okorocha elected Chairman of Progressive Governors Forum". Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
- "Uche Nwosu dumps APC for AA," 4 December 2018
- "APC NWC suspends Amosun, Okorocha, queries Akeredolu". Oak TV Newstrack. 1 March 2019. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
- "INEC has announced Rochas Okorocha, Imo state governor". Oak TV Newstrack. 25 February 2019. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
- "Okorocha's name missing on INEC's list of senators-elect". Oak TV Newstrack. 12 March 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
- INEC finally presents certificate of return to Okoricha
- Press, Fellow (13 June 2019). "Lawan swears in Okorocha as senator". Fellow Press. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
- Television, Oak (13 June 2019). "Okorocha reacts as INEC heads to court over his Senatorial seat". OAK TV. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
- Television, Oak (14 June 2019). "Okorocha opens up on Igbo 2023 presidency after becoming Senator". OAK TV. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
- "2023 Okorocha hints on contesting for president". m.guardian.ng. Retrieved 21 February 2021.
- "Okorocha gets 'Leader par Excellence' Award". Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics. 13 October 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
- Media related to Rochas Okorocha at Wikimedia Commons