Governor Okorocha Rochas Anayo Ethelbert

Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha (born 22 September 1962) is a Nigerian multi billionaire and politician from Imo State, Nigeria who won the 6 May 2011 gubernatorial election in Imo State. He ran on the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) platform. Rochas defeated his closest rival, incumbent governor Ikedi Ohakim, by a close margin of votes. Rochas appointed Sir Jude Ejiogu as his Chief of Staff.

Rochas, an Igbo, was born on 22 September 1962 in Ogboko, Ideato South, Imo State. 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.

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 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 was an unsuccessful candidate for President on the ANPP platform in 2003. 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 leader since he was governor, but a proper PDP congress should be held to decide on policy.

Okorocha decamped from the PDP to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), to run as 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. 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. 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.

Governor Okorocha Rochas was re-elected in 2015 Governorship elections.


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