Rochas Okorocha has a bright idea. It is not bright enough to win him the Nobel Prize, but it certainly calls for a celebration to know that Okorocha sometimes indulges in the ancient art of thinking. Thinking is something that experts believe everyone should do once in a while.
Candidly speaking, Okorocha thinking is like a dog walking on its hind legs – it is not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at all. The very distinguished gentleman thinks that the agitation of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is caused by the neglect of youths and women.
Hear him, ““I have seen women in Nigeria struggling for recognition and I see misrepresentation of women in the society and the failure to give women responsibility is why things are going the way it is in this country. This country has neglected the women and youths. Imagine the IPOB, they are not people of my age. It is time to engage the youths of this country.”
Of course Okorocha is right! If women were taken proper care of – well-fed, given free medical treatment, welfare benefits, job opportunities, given more than 35 percent in political offices – they would not have given birth to babies like Nnamdi Kanu. The Nnamdi Kanu’s of this country are actually premature babies who grew up into premature youths and have premature ideas. When a woman is well fed and taken care of, she does not give birth to a Kanu; she gives birth to a “Rochas Okorocha”.
But this genius of Imo State did not leave the matter here. He also pointed out with all the airs of a modern-day Solomon that the IPOB problem also has to do with poverty and ignorance. Okorocha should know. This is the reason that people in his government are not members of IPOB. You see there are two classes of people in Imo State – those in government and the poor. That those in government are not involved in the demonstrations leads to this “okorachanomics.” It is a poor man’s spring of discontent.
Concerning ignorance, he also has a point. These premature hotheads are so ignorant that with a compass and a praying Muslim they would not know which way is East. That is why they could not tell that Buhari is the best thing to happen to the black man after the invention of foofoo and ewedu soup. If only they knew they would have behaved better. If only…
Of course this is a good government. If in doubt ask Lie (sorry I mean Lai) Mohammed or Garba Shehu or cattle. It is the most cattle-friendly government we have ever had. For too long mankind had been treating the horned beasts with some level of levity and extended the scorn to their herdsmen. Now we have a “cattle” fight back led by herdsmen. Kill one cattle and your entire community is wiped out.
Such a government with a great heart for animal rights is a saintly government and should be respected by all and sundry. The humans should know that and be happy. It means no harm, except that human beings should learn to behave like cattle and not cross the red line. That is why IPOB is more dangerous than Fulani herdsmen – who are simply enforcing cattle rights.
Of course if the cattle destroy your farm, take it like a force majeure (act of God) and do not complain. Remember the good, old nursery rhyme about the “lion and the unicorn fighting for the crown and the lion beating the unicorn all around the town”? Of course you do remember. Well the rhyme chronicles the town folks reaction, “Some gave them white bread, and some gave them brown; some gave them plum cake and drummed them out of town.” So if the cattle invade your land, give them white bread, brown bread, plum cake and try to drum them out of your farm.
Okorocha believes that it is ignorant to seek to injure the cattle or provoke the ire of their herdsmen. Let cattle have their way in your farm – even if it brings poverty. How he connects the dots between ignorance and poverty or between the neglect of women and youths and national problems one does not know. If you can figure that out, then you are a much better man than I am. But the good news is that Okorocha has been thinking and that we should not take for granted. Congratulations to Imo State!
John is a public commentator and writes from Uyo