Monday, 23 October 2017

I’m An Hausa Man – Imo State Gov, Okorocha

Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has claimed to be an Hausa man in a recent interview when he was asked this question.
You’ve said a few times that you’re a Hausa man and by that what do you mean?
I’m a Nigerian first and foremost. I grew up as a northerner, I speak fluent Hausa, I write Hausa and I understand the Hausa culture, that way an Hausa man would. I’ve been in Hausa land longer than I’ve been in Igbo land. So why can’t I claim to be an Hausa man? My first thought was to run for governor of Plateau State or Kano. In fact, when I came to Imo State I was an unknown person because I never went to primary or secondary school here (Imo). Most people don’t know me and that is part of the problem I’m facing right now because the elite don’t understand me. If I had gone to the same schools with them around they would have known my behaviour from primary or secondary school. So they brand me with everything their minds conceive. Hausa people gave me my childhood, they trained me up to the university but Igbo gave me parentage. My parents are Igbo but my business success came from the west. It was a Yoruba man that was my partner who became a millionaire. Having been born an Igbo man, brought up by the north and empowered by the west, I’m a Nigerian. There’s no one that believes more in Nigeria than me. If there’s such person let him so speak of his activities. If I didn’t believe in Nigeria, I wouldn’t have built my schools in Ibadan (Rochas Foundation) with over 10,000 poor students there. Once upon a time, former president Obasanjo was shocked when I took about 87 students from his village, Owu (in Ogun State) area. He was surprised to see that those are the kids I call my children. I built in Jos, I’m not from Jos, I built a school in Yola, am I from Yola? I built in Bauchi, Cross River and so on. We don’t say we believe in the unity of Nigeria theoretically, we must do something practical to prove it.
As I speak to you, there’s no single northerner with meaningful investment in Imo State. No northerner has a million naira investment in Igboland, no Yoruba man has a million naira worth of building here. That’s why I say if there’s any region that is Nigerian it’s the Igbo. Go to Lagos you’d see Igbo, does it mean they have no land in their own states? You go to Kano, Kaduna and everywhere you’d see Igbos- they’re more Nigerian than anyone else. They should be given kudos for that. Where will the Igbos go? Would they leave those property there and come home?
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