A strong signal that what Imo people experienced in the past between the immediate past governor of the state, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and Deputies he operated with may not reoccur if what the incumbent, Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha has said about the deputy is anything to reckon.
It would be recalled that while the first deputy governor Okorocha paraded in 2011, Jude Agbaso could not survive after two years in office before he was impeached, it was a ding-dong affair between the former governor and his last Deputy, Prince Eze Madumere, after the state Assembly failed in his impeachment process.
The indication that a far departure of what transpired between Okorocha and his deputies may not be experienced in the new era can be deduced in the view of Ihedioha’s ascertain that his deputy, Hon Gerald Irona is a man in whom he has implicit confidence.
Ihedioha told Irona’s kinsmen who paid him a solidarity visit that “My Deputy is a man in whom I have implicit confidence”.
While addressing a delegation from Irona’s Federal Constituency of Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta, Oru West LGAs who visited his Mbutu residence, Ihedioha described the Deputy Governor as a diligent and thorough person, who has always risen to the challenge of leadership.
“I am excited at this visit. Since I came into contact with him in his days at the House of Representatives, I found him to be a steadfast and a thorough person. Irona remains one of the best that Imo State has sent to the House of Representatives.”
“In making my decision, the choice was very easy. I did not have issues, because the circumstances made it easy. The only thing that was against him was that he was my friend. During the election, he did a very good job. We won the senatorial seat in Orlu, but you did not adequately protect your votes. In all the assignments I entrusted with him, he performed excellently.”
“The Governor and Deputy are one and the same. Irona is a man in whom I have implicit confidence with. He will not be a Deputy Governor with portfolio. We will work together. Every other officer of the state will be accountable to him. We shall have collective responsibility and ownership of government.”
Trumpeta recalls that both Ihedioha and Irona met and acquainted with each other at the National Assembly.
After a fruitless race with Hon Chuma Nnaji as Deputy in the 2015 election, Ihedioha chose Irona in 2019.
Irona’s choice elicited divergent reactions in the political hemisphere of the state before the emerged victorious.