by Stanley Azuakola
Some things are hard to believe, until you remember you are in Nigeria.
On Saturday, Owelle Rochas Okorocha of governor of Imo State and a two-time presidential aspirant, punched a protocol officer who refused to allow him sit on a chair reserved for the Anambra State governor, Peter Obi.
The incident, which happened during the 80th birthday celebration of former vice president, Chief Alex Ekwueme, in Enugu, occurred about 20 minutes before most of the invited guests arrived.
Apparently, the seat which Okorocha wanted to occupy, was at a table reserved for the host governor, Sullivan Chime and Peter Obi. The punched protocol officer, Ifeanyi Onukuba, who works with Obi, was taken unawares by Okorocha’s action.
After the punch, Governor Okorocha began removing the tag bearing Obi’s name from the seat, a police officer attached to the Bomb Disposal Unit in Anambra State, Felix Alumona, then pushed the governor. Alumona was immediately pounced upon by Okorocha’s aide-de-camp, Gabriel Onu, who reportedly hit the police officer, tearing his uniform in the process. Other security details attached to the Imo governor joined in the scuffle.
As the matter deteriorated, Okorocha waded in, saying, “Hey, please stop the fight! Let us not fight over an ordinary seat. I will share the seat with Peter Obi.”
Afterwards, Okorocha’s aides were heard grumbling: “Why is it that anywhere we go, they always reserve a special seat for Obi. Is Okorocha not the leader of Ndigbo?”
When Obi arrived, he squeezed himself in the couch, sitting between Sunday Onyebuchi (the Enugu deputy governor who represented Gov. Sullivan Chime) and Okorocha.