Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha is the former Governor of Imo State, Nigeria, who served two terms. Also, he is an astute businessman and currently, the senator representing Imo West, Imo state, Nigeria. Rochas Okorocha is the President of Rochas Foundation; an initiative that provides free education for African children.
Rochas Okorocha Background
Rochas was born on 22 September, 1962 in Ogboko, Ideato South, Imo State. Actually, Rochas was not born with a silver spoon; he described his family’s state when growing up as ‘all shades of poverty’.
He attended Juladaco High School, Jos. Between 1990-1991, he obtained a diploma in Public Administration at the University of Jos. Later, he returned to the University of Jos in 1993 to obtain an advanced diploma in Public Administration.
Okorocha tied the knot with Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha in 1987 and they are blessed with six children: Uju, Uloma, Amamchi, Uchechi, Ahamefula, and Amen.
Rochas Okorocha Professional And Business Career
His childhood experience turned him into an enterprising person at a very young age. Rochas started by hawking groceries in Barkin Ladi, Jos. Other notable things he did include: buying a television at age 9, purchasing a bus at age 14, becoming the head of a commercial school at age 19, becoming the proprietor of a school at age 23, venturing into cement business (BBC) in Gboko State at age 23.
Prior to being a politician, Rochas served in the following offices:
- President of 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.
Rochas Okorocha Political Career
Rochas was a Commissioner on the Federal Character Commission and a member of the National Constitutional Conference. After democracy was restored in 1999, Rochas competed in the primaries to be the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for governor of Imo State and failed.
Thereafter, Rochas moved to the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP). In 2003, he contested as President under the platform of ANPP but failed again.
After returning to PDP, President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed him as Special Adviser on Inter-Party Affairs.
In 2005, Rochas Okorocha formed a party known as Action Alliance (AA). His plans was to contest as President under AA in the 2007 elections. For reasons known to him, he returned back to PDP again.
Rochas Okorocha As Governor
Rochas Okorocha later decamped from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to run as APGA candidate for Imo State Governor in the April 2011 national elections. But, in December, 2010, APGA suspended Rochas from the party because of an issue described as anti-party activities pending an investigation of his conduct. Regardless, Okorocha went on to campaign as APGA governorship candidate and won.
However, due to irregularities of the result, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the Imo State 2011 gubernatorial election inconclusive. Eventually, the final results had Okorocha of the APGA declared winner with 336,859 votes.
In 2013, Rochas decamped from APGA to the All Progressive Congress (APC). He then contested in 2015 general elections for a second term in office with the former deputy speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha as a major opponent. The election held on 11 April, 2015 after the first date was shifted by six weeks due to perceived security threat.
Eventually, the election was also declared inconclusive. INEC thereafter ordered a re-run for the governorship election due to the 79,000 difference between the votes scored by the leading and the second candidate. After the re-run, Rochas Okorocha won the 2015 Imo State governorship election.
Rochas Okorocha With APC
On 2 March 2013, Rochas led some members of APGA to form All Progressives Congress. Thereafter, his colleagues elected him as the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum. Rochas picked his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, who was his Chief of Staff, as his candidate to run for the office of the governor under APC, but Uche lost the governorship ticket to Senator Hope Uzodinma.
Afterwards, Uche Nwosu abandoned APC to join Action Alliance (AA) party and, later became their governorship flag bearer. On 1th March 2019, APC suspended Rochas Okorocha and Amosun for anti-party activities.
Furthermore, after completing his tenure as a two term Imo State Governor, Rochas contested for the senatorial seat at the National Assembly in 2019 and won. The results was said to be controversial. Eventually, INEC issued him a certificate of return on 11 June, 2019. And, on 13 June 2019, he was sworn in by the Ahmed Lawan, the Senate President.
Rochas Okorocha Philanthropy
In 1996, Rochas founded Rochas Foundation as a way of giving back to the society. In 2001, Rochas Foundation birthed Rochas Foundation College, which today, has campuses across the Federation. Interestingly, the college
offers free education to Nigerian students irrespective of tribe or race. Rochas Okorocha established the college to help suffering Nigerian masses by giving free education to many Nigerian students so they can live above the poverty line.
Rochas Okorocha Net Worth
We couldn’t ascertain Rochas Okorocha’s net worth before politics but we know he owned a lot of business empires before venturing into politics. Currently, Rochas Okorocha is worth $1.4billion according to Forbes, making him one of the richest politicians in Nigeria.
Rochas Okorocha’s Quotes
“We must strive to return sanctity to our institutions of learning and make it a safe haven particularly for the girl child.”
“This, I believe is in tandem with the demands of the Nigerian people that society must take a hard stand against sexual assault in any form or manner.”
“As a nation, we have placed a premium on paper work and paid no mind to proper project execution. This culture has only allowed corruption to fester.”
“It is my firm belief that agriculture remains the panacea for poverty in Nigeria and one of the key areas of focus should be palm industry.”
“Life gives us unique opportunities to be instruments of change in the lives of others and we must recognize and utilize this opportunities when presented with them.”
“Our words are seeds of life. Let us sow seeds of goodness and positivity into the lives of our children; and nourish them through our good works.”
“No other investment yields as great a return as the investment in education. An educated people are the foundation for every community and the future for every economy.”
“Education must be restructured to bring about better leadership.”
“Freedom is always exclusively for the one who thinks differently.”
Business Lessons From The Life of Rochas Okorocha
Rochas Okorocha is one of the most talked about politician in Nigeria, especially on controversial matters. Nevertheless, he ensures he does what’s best for his state regardless of what is said about him. Asides that, Rochas takes giant steps, he aims for high positions and he win most times.
Most people don’t go through with their business ideas for the fear of competition. The truth is, there is room for everybody. You can actually own your space if you know what you are doing. So, never allow the fear of others stop you from taking giant business steps.
Rochas Okorocha is concerned about children and youth; especially, in the area of education. Okorocha has sent several people to school for free. This is one of the reasons a lot of people love him.
A business owner must show huge sense of empathy towards customers. Sometimes, it is not just about making money, business is about relationship building. If you make your customers happy, they will be willing to part with their money and as well recommend you to others.
Even though Rochas is from a humble background, he made something great out of his life. From a young age, he began to do things his mates couldn’t dare to do.
Business is about solving problems. And, if you don’t believe you can be a solution to people’s problems, you don’t have a business being an entrepreneur. No matter what, believe in yourself, believe in your abilities and grow a business that will stand the test of time.
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