Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha is a Nigerian politician and businessman from Imo State. He is a wealthy and powerful politician who served as governor of Imo state twice, from 2011 to 2019. He is currently the Senator for Imo West Senatorial District in Nigeria’s 9th Senate. Rochas Okorocha is the President of the Rochas Foundation, a non-profit organization that offers free education to African children.
Early Life and Education
Rochas was born in Ogboko, Ideato South, Imo State on September 22, 1962 to an Imo father and an Anambra mother. He more closely identifies with his Anambra side, which is the source of his natural aggression. He went to Juladaco High School in Jos (1976-1981). He studied Public Administration at the University of Jos from 1990 to 1991. He returned to Jos University in 1993-1994 to pursue an advanced diploma in public administration.
Rochas Okorocha did not begin his political career; instead, he began his career in business as a result of the circumstances surrounding his childhood, which he described as “all shades of poverty.” Rochas Okorocha began selling groceries at a young age in Barkin Ladi, Jos. At the age of 19, he was the head of a commercial school. At the age of 23, he became the proprietor of a school. Moving on, at the age of 23, Rochas Okorocha began working in the cement industry in Gboko, Benue State.
Before entering politics, he served as President of the Nigeria Red Cross Society, President/Founder of the Rochas Foundation Inc, President of the Rochas Group of Companies Limited, Pro-Chancellor of the African Business School, and Former Chairman of the Board of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency.
Before becoming the governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha once served as the Commissioner of the Federal Character Commission and a Member of the National Constitutional Conference. Rochas Okorocha’s ambition to be the governor and President in 1999 and 2003 failed woefully. Under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), he was appointed as the Special Adviser on Inter-Party affairs during former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s/ Atiku Abubakar regime.
Rochas Okorocha defected from the PDP to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in order to run as an APGA candidate for Imo State Governor in 2011. Despite being suspended from the APGA for ‘anti-party activities,’ Rochas Okorocha campaigned for and eventually won the governorship seat in Imo state. Following his first tenure, Rochas Okorocha defected from the APGA to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and ran for governor in 2015. Fortunately, he was re-elected and served two terms as governor of Imo state.
After his two terms tenure in Imo state, Rochas Okorocha continued his career in politics. He contested for the senatorial seat at the National Assembly in 2019 and won. He is currently the Senator representing Imo West Senatorial district, and also an aspirant in All Progressive Congress contesting to be the flag bearer of the party.
He married Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha in 1987, and they have six children: Uloma Rochas Nwosu, Uju Rochas-Anwuka, Uchechi Rochas, Aham Rochas, Amen Rochas, and Amam Rochas.
Impact and Influence
Rochas established the Rochas Foundation in 1996 as a way of giving back to society. Rochas Foundation College, which now has campuses across the Federation, was founded in 2001 by Rochas Foundation. Surprisingly, the college provides free education to all Nigerian students, regardless of tribe or race. Rochas Okorocha founded the college to assist the suffering Nigerian masses by providing free education to many Nigerian students, allowing them to live above the poverty line.
Rochas Okorocha is a wealthy and influential politician in Nigeria, he is also a philanthropist who has helped many lives through the Rochas Okorocha Foundation which he created. His net worth is estimated at $1.4 billion.