By Greg Nwadike
Throughout the weekend, a hitterto towering former Senator of my zone now the Imo governor has been trending on the cyber news world as a “Supreme Court Governor now in Imo state to gag the press, intimidate dissenting voices, cow opposition and suppress democratic institutions”
At the same time, and suddenly, a not too-well-known young man already described as a loafer by the government agents, and who just assumed office as the DG of the New Media directorate of the state’s PDP has started gaining recognition as “the hero of free speech, defender of the press, mouth of the masses and promoter of democracy”
Imagine a boy they called a common “loafer” now trending along side an Executive Governor of my state, and possibly soon; just very soon, both shall be appearing before a court to argue on rights and authorities of Rights – Imo State Government VS Ambrose Nwaogwugwu!
In summation, all liberal dispositions known before now around Sen. Uzodinma have just been lost and completely thrown into a traditional pit toilet.
I do expect sincerely, someone to dispute my opinion here because that is the beauty of democracy, but suffice to state that I also have some knowledge of the governor and his public relationship with the press right from his days as a senator representing me at the Senate of the NASS. Sen. Uzodinma then was not easily given to media fliers around him.
I once had the opportunity of contributing to his media world while he was still with us at the PDP. In 2015, I was appointed as the Director of Media in his Campaign Organization (HUCO) in Orlu LGA.
While at the Senate, my two publications (Abuja Exclusive newspaper and Profile International Magazine) were regularly featuring his contents which he frequently obliged me, as if he was the publisher of those publications. He would simply smile over what the press wrote against him and moved on.
There was a certain activist who held him down in the media for several years. Someone else would have plotted to eliminate that writer for brandishing the senator of snatching and infecting his late wife with a certain disease. But Uzodinma ignored him and did not harm him.
I am also aware that some prominent names today in his cabinet had at most times led and sponsored dangerous media war against Uzodinma but he never as much as gave them audience. Today, they are even at the major front of misleading Uzodinma into fighting with a toddler. They have hijacked the Senator’s brain box and like the goat set on the butcher’s table for slaughter, they have started reeping him off in parts.
Perhaps this is where Sen. Okorocha is smarter than Uzodinma. Okorocha as a governor never allowed anyone to steal his shine. He often ignored those who dared and stooped to conquer them. He smartly avoided dignifying his pen opponents knowing that doing so would make them shine.
I had posited that arresting the PDP’s New Media Director-General was ill-advised. The implication of that singular art is that the governor must now get ready to carry out more arrests. Opposition has now been emboldened, and like the popularity (Or should I say notoriousity) which the killing of the leader of the Boko Haram suddenly gave the group; like the popularity which the arrest of MNK by PMB also gave the Biafran agitation, the arrest of the PDP New Media DG is going to further give a major boost to the art of oppositions against the Uzodinma’s administration in Imo state, and Nigeria in general.
How is it possible that Sen. Uzodinma was not fully prepared for opposition after desperately attempting the office of the governor for more than three times since 1999 and at a point led the most visible opposition against Chief Achike Udenwa in 2003? We were not blind at some of the strategies used then.
Who was not in the state when the former governor Ikedi Ohakim was called all sorts of names and many media lies and propaganda forged to discredit him? He was called Ikiri and his voice often cloned to produce what he never said. Who was not here when Okorocha was being called Okoroawusa? Okorocha simply responded by employing master propagandists to return media attacks for media attacks and the duo of the _Onwu_ writers matched the opposition.
Who was not here when lies and unverifiable trashes against Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume was trending? Have we even stopped running our fingers across our necks to signify a murderous ingenuity against his brand that we can’t prove?
Who was not here when Uzodinma’s boys led by a certain Fabian Ihekweme was issuing out lies and dangerous propaganda against Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and his administration? Did Ihedioha seek to finish the man who Uzodinma has today rewarded with a Commissioner’s position? Can Uzodinma in his Catholic Church clothed immaculation vow that he had not sponsored any fake news, Propaganda or documents forgery against any business man or fellow politician?
Who was not here about two months ago when Uzodinma’s agent allegedly forged the letter-headed paper of the PDP with the signature of the Secretary, Nze Rey Emeana and used it to issue a statement that the DG of the PDP’s New Media team had been suspended? Who was not here when the Commissioner for Information of Sen. Uzodinma went out and told the world that Ihedioha embezzled Local Government allocations amounting to about N19.6b even when no proper investigations had been completed?
Is it not this government that has made itself the Market Master of the Oluwole market from where lies, fakes and forgeries also emanate from?
I should think that a government that is still struggling to win popularity among an injured and aggrieved people who strongly believe that their mandate was robbed would have strove to win love and acceptance through practical positive results, not through force or intimidations.
Reading some statements posted on his Facebook page by the State’s Attorney General, Sir COC Akaolisa on the Nwaogwugwu’s arrest and the involvement of the government, I have come to the conclusion that the advise to come this low on the Imo opposition may have actually come from the AG.
Chief COC Akaolisa’s advise to the governor on this very act is to say the least, polluted with his natural emotional status which I can tell about him as a person, but an advise that is totally demeaning and ill. Akaolisa is a very emotional character that sticks deeply to what he believes in. Here, he is of the firm belief that the law is always applicable in every situation.
But soon, sympathies will continue to rise and praise singers of the governor today will begin to curse-sing him. Soon, freedom shall come the way of Ambrose Nwaogwugwu, Ndimo shall troop out to receive him as their new hero and kid Speaker.
Ambrose Nwaogwugwu shall be set free, either directly from the DSS cell or via the Court. But the governor would have learnt the wrong way that he cannot beat a child and expect him not to cry.
The street of opposition writing in Imo state has remained a hot one. Best way to contend it is by simply engaging your counter team and dismantle all fake news with practical truths, that is if you cannot snub them.
Another way is by shaming them with verifiable achievements as Ihedioha tried to do in his few months in office. Going after opponents with this sledge hammer would be a distraction and counter productive.
Greg Nwadike GOC writes from Abuja, and can be reached via WhatsApp only +234809908844