If it only had 2-3 inches of root, that IS the problem. Okra should have developed a very long/ deep taproot early on:
Early Development.--About 3 weeks later (May 20) the plants were 5 inches tall and each possessed 4 leaves with blades 2 to 2.5 inches in length. Okra has a strong taproot which penetrates almost vertically downward. The taproot was about 5 millimeters in diameter and reached a depth of 16 inches. A total of 24 to 35 laterals, the largest 1.5 millimeters thick, ran horizontally from just beneath the soil surface to a depth of 8 inches. The roots originated on four sides of the taproot. A maximum spread of 18 inches was reached at the 5-inch level. A few of the deeper laterals pursued an obliquely downward course. All were furnished with a profuse growth of laterals 0.1 to 3 inches in length. The rate of branching was about 8 laterals per inch (Fig. 59). The roots were white and rather tender.
That is, when the plant was 5 inches tall, the taproot was 16 inches deep.
Somehow your plant's root development has been stunted, so the plant can't get enough water & nutrients to grow very much, because it doesn't have enough roots.
I think the commonest reason for this is over-watering causing the roots to rot, but there can be other causes, including insects and diseases.