Yours is one huge and disastrous job, and I sympathized with you from when you were appointed into that office. Some people told me you were not going to accept the offer. I wish you never did. But you jumped at the offer and grabbed it with both hands as if it is the ultimate prize for the many years you have invested into this ink fraternity of ours. For the avoidance of doubt, everyone would relish the opportunity of enjoying an improved pay package, but it is wise for that one to be circumspect in accepting any job offer that has the capacity to tarnish an enviable record of service. Oga Sam has had some enviable years writing the truth, defending the positives and using his pen as an armour in fighting for the rights of the masses. I am actually one of his distant students. I honed my writing career, reading articles like his and following the pattern of Nigeria’s journalistic icons like Mike Awoyinfa, Dimgba Igwe, Reuben Abati, Okey Ndibe and of course, Ralph Egbu.
There is no problem if a journalist embraces and identifies with the political ideologies of certain politicians. Even Christiane Amanpour, Fareed Zakaria and other ‘A’ rated journalists of international reckoning cannot be said to be apolitical. To me, a journalist is first and foremost, a politician. Any journalist, worth the name must at one time or the other be seen as propagating one political ideology ahead of the other. But, it is safer if the journalist promotes political ideologies that are popular with the people. It is understandable if a writer identifies with a political leader who is known to be popular with the people. It is even more understandable if a journalist still sticks with a political leader whose policies and programmes have become unpopular with the people, if the same politician was at a time seen by a majority of the people as progressive and people friendly. But for a renowned and highly regarded journalist to pitch tent with a Governor whose massive goodwill with the people has been washed away by his massive errors and lies, that journalist needs to be sympathised with. At this stage in Sam Onwuemedo’s career, I wonder how much HUNGER could still lead him into taking up a shovel to dig a grave for his popularity and respect with the people. However, the Sam Onwuemedo that I know and respect is a self-contented man. If anything is to be blamed for this erroneous choice of job, I daresay it is either a flawed sense of judgement or a refusal to come to terms with the fact that the Owelle Rochas Okorocha, we all queued behind and marketed in 2011 is ‘dead’, that in his place is one inscrutable Roche who has become more unpopular than the Ikiri he promised to rescue us from.
Had Sam Onwuemedo joined the Rochas cabinet at its inception, there is a chance, the Governor would have received better advices that would have halted his descent into this present ignominy of a most petrifying unpopularity. There is also chance that people like us will not complain if he chooses to remain with him even at the rate his popularity wanes. But, being brought in at this stage is being brought in to tell lies and tell Imolites about the things that never exist. Sam Onwuemedo has been picked to deceive the same Imolites who depended on his ink to know the truth. This is disheartening. I pray, he appreciates the fact that this appointment instead of propelling him to higher heights, may in contrary demolish his mountainous success in this truth saying profession.
While Imolites were still trying to come to terms with the reality of Sam Onwuemedo’s decision to serve in this government that has decided to use every opportunity available to it to deceive Imolites, they were further taken aback by the annoyingly deceitful assertion by the new Special Assistant to the Governor on media that the government of Owelle Roche Okorocha has never borrowed a dime from any bank. Haba, Oga Sam. While we do not begrudge you of your new appointment and the need to deliver on the terms of such dishonour, I had expected you to accord Imolites much more respect than you have done. Starting off on your job on such an annoying footing casts serious doubt on the reality of the façade you fronted in your many years as a newspaper columnist. Those who do not know you well, will understandably assume that you had done all you did those years as a subterfuge to manoeuvre your way into government. This assumption, I find most difficult to accept.
As the editor-in-chief and managing director of the White-Paper Newspaper, you supervised the rolling out of many stories that confirmed the several instances of legitimate and illegitimate credit assessments by this government. I can remember most vividly that it was from one of the editions of your media platform that I got the news of EFCC’s detention of Deacon Chike Okafor and Mr. George Ezenna, the Commissioner for Finance and Accountant-General respectively, over an alleged illegality in the processes leading to a forty-seven billion Naira loan facility. It was also from your news platform that I read the report of Governor Okorocha’s Democracy day speech, in which he confirmed that his government had borrowed some small money from the banks. What I expected you to do, as a media assistant was to enlighten Imolites on what these small monies are. Some of us have been made to believe that this present government has borrowed close to or over one hundred billion Naira. You should have concerned yourself more with clearing us on the real figure this government has borrowed, rather than demeaning your enviable status by starting off with such an annoying lie.
My own personal understanding of what the job of a media adviser or assistant to the Governor entails does not include the unavoidability of mendacity. A media adviser to the Governor or any other political office holder is mostly charged with the important responsibility of ensuring that his or her boss enjoys the best working relationship with the media and enlightens the public on the policies and programmes of his principal. While the media adviser is crucial in the image laundering needs of his principal, a media adviser with as wonderful a background as Uncle Sam Onwuemedo should always be careful in passing out information as openly false as that of Imo State not having borrowed a dime since the time of Okorocha as Governor. Such lies apart from being impossible to market are also insulting to the cooperate sensibility of the people and when Uncle Sam starts off his beat on the new job, he risks sacrificing the massive goodwill he has built over the years on the altar of one very temporary job. Uncle Sam would have done a good job, if he had taken out time to enlighten Imolites on the projects the government had executed or plans executing with the billions of Naira it is borrowing. There is actually nothing wrong with borrowing, but borrowing and denying it, throws up the credible suspicion that the borrowed fund may actually be marked for stealing.
If the weaponization of hunger and poverty by the incumbent govt in Imo state and her federal ally is not resisted by ndi imo and nigerians in general, i foresee a scenario where we will all wake up in the nearest future and see people addressing Okorocha as the god of Imo. Tufikwa!o people with the billions he has borrowed. But, Imolites are no fools, they are bound to ask questions. Questions like; Why this desperation in denying the obvious? For Sam to have started off on his new job with this annoying denial calls for serious alarm. Something must be cooking. It is either these mouth-watering loans that have mortgaged the future of Imo State for at least, the next twenty years have grown wings or they plan putting wings on this money. For now, there is no visible project anywhere that could have gulped that amount of money. Therefore, there is no harm in believing that the money is still available somewhere. Uncle Sam Onwuemedo must ask the Governor what he plans doing with those loans and he should come and tell us. That is part of what his job entails.
Till then, I bid him farewell as he joins our Deceivers-in-Chief to deceive us.
The author above, Jones Fcc Onwuasoanya is today been used and acting as the attack dog for our Deceiver-In-Chief , Owelle Rochas Okorocha and his inept govt. One may wish to ask Jones, what changed in the person and govt of Okorocha now that he did not see before. May be the same HUNGER that drove De Sam Onwuemedo to okorocha is the culprit.
If the weaponization of hunger and poverty by the incumbent govt in Imo state and her federal ally is not resisted by ndi imo and Nigerians in general, I foresee a scenario where we will all wake up in the nearest future and see people addressing Okorocha as the god of Imo. Tufikwa!