Owelle Rochas Okorocha was born on the 22nd of September 1962 in his hometown Ogboko, Ideato south in Imo state, Nigeria. Born to a home with little to no affluence, He likens his family condition growing up to ‘living in all shades of poverty’. His environmental conditions sharpened his business and entrepreneurial skills which enabled him buy a television set at the young age of 9, using proceeds from the sale of oranges, coconuts and used clothes. This was closely followed by the purchase of a bus at age 14. He attended Juladaco High School, Jos from 1976-1981.
Senator Rochas 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.
“Even with my Education, the journey was never an easy one, I had to combine street trading with my studies to make ends meet” -Senator Rochas Okorocha
The hard life inspired Senator Rochas Okorocha into becoming an independent and enterprising young man. Senator Rochas Okorocha became the head of Kings commercial college at the age of 19. At age 22 he became the proprietor of a school and dived into the cement business (BBC) in Gboko, Benue state. At age 29 Senator Rochas Okorocha became a member of National Constitutional Conference. Senator Rochas made his first million from the sale of used equipment in Bauchi working as a commission agent. Senator Rochas’s success is attributed to his ability to think outside the box, finding unconventional but effective and cost efficient ways of doing things.
“My strength is that the people know I mean well; I believe that the dividends of democracy should go to the people” – Senator Rochas Okorocha
Prior to being the governor of Imo state, Senator Rochas Okorocha was a member of the National Constitutional Conference. Senator Rochas had an early political experience which served him well in the race to become the Governor of Imo state which he won on the 6th of May 2011. Following a trend of continued successes, He was re-elected for a second term on April 11, 2015. Even with his political career and busy schedule Senator Rochas Okorocha still finds time to give back to his community. Senator Rochas Okorocha has been the President of the Nigerian Red Cross society; he is the president/ founder of Rochas Foundation; a non-governmental, non-political, non-profit organization established in 1998 that focuses on the transformation of the lives of children through education. He is the president of Rochas Group of Companies LTD, Pro-chancellor of the African Business school and Former Chairman of the board of Nigerian Airspace Management agency.
Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha Biography and Profile
EARLY POLITICAL LIFE
Senator Rochas Okorocha’s early political life was constituted mainly by his membership in the National Constitutional Conference. Senator Rochas Okorocha was a commissioner in the Federal Character Commission. His journey into politics was certainly not an easy one but the challenges he faced sprouted a Man of Vision and outstanding calibre.
Senator Rochas Okorocha is a man of resilience and this was seen as he ventured to higher grounds by defecting from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), and gained their support in the presidential run of 2003. However, despite his efforts, he did not succeed in the run, and Olusegun Obasanjo won the election for his second term. He returned to the PDP, and President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed him as Special Adviser on Inter-Party affairs. In 2005, Senator Rochas Okorocha formed a party called Action Alliance, planning to compete in the Presidential elections again in 2007. However, in 2007 Senator Rochas came back to PDP again and in September 2007 indicated that he was interested in becoming PDP National Chairman.
In 2010, Senator Rochas Okorocha moved from PDP to APGA (All Progressives Grand Alliance), to run for Imo State Governor in April 2011 elections. Senator Rochas proceeded to campaign for the elections as APGA candidate and later won. Okorocha was declared winner with majority votes (336,859). The second-place was Ikedi Ohakim from PDP (290,490), and the third place went to Ifeanyi Araraume from ACN (107,068). President Goodluck Jonathan in a congratulatory message to Senator Rochas Okorocha declared that the Imo State people have rightfully chosen him.
During his tenure as Governor, Senator Rochas promulgated a policy that assures indigenes are granted access to free education from primary to university level.
“The gains of this laudable policy cannot be undermined. We are not unmindful of his achievements in the other sectors, but his golden signature in Imo’s education sector is indelible”. – Chidiebere Ukonu (Imo Youths for Positive Change Group’s Chairman)
In 2015, Senator Rochas Okorocha contested for the second-term elections. The re-run election, scheduled for April 25th, was not a problem for Senator Rochas Okorocha as he proceeded to win it and remained in the position of Imo State governor.
On 2 March 2013 Senator Rochas Okorocha led an APGA faction to form the All Progressives Congress. Senator Rochas was later elected by his colleague governors in the opposition as Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum. Senator Rochas contested the senatorial ticket for the 9th Senate representing Imo west Orlu senatorial zone during 2019 National Assembly elections and the certificate of return was issued to him by INEC on June 11th, 2019 following the inauguration of the 9th assembly of the Nigerian Senate. Senator Rochas Okorocha was sworn in on June 13, 2019 by the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan.
Senator Rochas Okorocha is happily married to Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha, a woman he got captivated by from the first time he saw her. Senator Rochas Okorocha is a proud father of 6 academically outstanding children who mirror his resilience, business assertiveness and his philanthropic drive. He has 3 boys and 3 girls namely Mrs. Uloma Rochas Nwosu, Mrs. Uju Rochas Anwukah, Ms. Ucy Rochas, Mr. Aham Rochas, Mr. Amen Rochas and Mr. Amamchi Rochas. They are focused and dedicated, running several successful business ventures.
The Rochas Foundation is a non-governmental, non-political, non-profit organization established on the 24th of February, 1998. The Rochas Foundation was founded by Senator Rochas Okorocha, a Nigerian serial entrepreneur and education enthusiast and philanthropist who is passionate about providing free education for every African child. The Rochas Foundation was founded with the sore aim of catering to the needs of less-privileged children across Africa. The foundation caters to children across Africa through its educational empowerment programs. The foundation advocates and promotes free education and life-changing opportunities for less privileged African children. Her Excellency, Mrs. Nneoma Rochas Okorocha is the Vice President of the Foundation.
The foundation provides clothes and shelter to the poor and educates the society on how to give to the needy in the society. The foundation has a reach out and touch lives Programme that offers medical treatment as well as feeds the poor masses. The foundation also visits IDP camps around the country.
Senator Rochas Okorocha is a man with a heart of gold and compassion and his persona is made up of his commitment to philanthropy. Over 15,000 children receive free and qualitative education and more than 4,000 graduates make up the Rochas Foundation Old Students Association (ROFOSA).
“We are able to fund this Foundation because the President, Rochas Okorocha, has dedicated seventy-five percent of his assets to it. We have nine foundations in this Rochas Foundation and we are putting together all our resources to achieve our programs for this year”. – Mrs. Uloma Nwosu (Director General, Rochas Foundation)
The driving force for Rochas Foundation lies in its vision to provide free education to 1 million children across the African continent by year 2030. The Rochas Foundation College was formed 3 years after the formation of Rochas Foundation and it came into place to actualize the educational needs of the children of members of the society who could not afford access to education. These colleges spans across different states in Nigeria to accommodate more indigent Nigerians. These locations include Ogboko, Enugu, Jos, Bauchi, Yola, Zaria, Kano, Sokoto, Owerri, Ibadan among others.
Rochas Foundation is spreading its goodwill and benevolent tentacles not only in Nigeria but across the continent. Rochas Foundation has expanded outside the shores of the Nigeria to avail Nigeria’s neighboring countries and members of the African continent partake in the benevolence of Senator Rochas Okorocha. The Rochas Foundation College of Africa was born and explicitly caters for the needs of 5 children in each of the 55 countries.
Rochas Foundation College of Africa is a project 55: 5: 55 maxim unveiled on the 27th of September, 2017, in the Eastern heartland of Owerri the capital city of Imo state. The College was set up in line with the 55th birthday of the founder.
With the unveiling of the College of Africa, 5 students from the 55 African countries were given opportunities to learn freely with all their needs catered for. The mandate of the College dictates that every African kid deserves a right to free and qualitative education. The Rochas Foundation College of Africa provides free conducive learning environment for poor African children.
Owelle Rochas Okoroch Biography and Profile (Rochas Okoroch)