It beats my imagination when journalists whom people are look up to for knowledge and information go out of their way to delude the public with bare-faced lies in the name of opinion writings in newspapers all in a bid to please their paymasters.
Refer to a recent article written by a popular columnist, Mr Ebere Wabara, titled “Charlatanism By Igbo Political Elite” in a national newspaper. Wabara had launched severe attacks on all the current elected and appointed political office holders from the South East zone, describing them as mere charlatans.
In the article, he specifically singled out Abia State governor, Chief Theodore Orji, his family and government for severe attack for obvious reasons. It is often said that liberty is the right of every man to be honest, to think and to speak without hypocrisy. Ordinarily Wabara is at freedom to write anything he feels strongly about, including what may be considered jaundiced and myopic point; but when such is lacking in truth and fact, it becomes hypocritical and misleading.
The obvious height of mischief and hypocrisy in Wabara’s article was his failed and insulting effort at trying to use his paymaster, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu’s eight years as governor of Abia as a parameter to measure the performance of the present crop of elected and appointed public office holders in the South East. But it is quite unfortunate and disheartening that the only thing that made Kalu politically vibrant by Wabara’s poor assessment was his unwarranted and consistent attacks on the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s government and policies.
This was even when it is clear to all Nigerians that the attack was Kalu’s ploy to divert attention and attract cheap popularity. So such comparison or parameter is a huge insult to the intellectual, educated and hardworking people of the South East, including Wabara himself, if he can tell himself the bitter truth. So, it means that the zone is only good at producing political noisemakers, without credible record of performance?
Or is Wabara saying that unless the current elected and appointed political office holders from the SouthEast start fighting or attacking President Goodluck Jonathan, and making baseless political noise like his paymaster to attract undue attention, they are not representing the zone well? How can an indigene of the zone and renowned journalist canvassed for such a bizarre move that does no one any good in a democratic setting? It is obvious that the zone has fared better in President Jonathan’s administration than at any other time since 1999.
It was the late Chuba Okadigbo who said that it takes political sagacity to understand political arithmetic. The current political officer holders in the SouthEast zone have represented the zone well so far. They talk when there is need for such, dialogue or disagree when necessary without paying lips service.
Wabara should concentrate on the failings of his principal and how to recover from these, instead of attacking Governor Orji, his family and government for selfish reasons. This is not the first time, and will not be the last Wabara and his colleagues in the newspaper will launch vain attacks on Gov. Orji, his family and government.
It is their stock in trade and expected, especially as 2015 is around the corner, and Gov. Orji had parted ways with their paymaster, liberated the state from his stranglehold and has been providing the people of the state with good, accountable and transparent governance. This was something Wabara’s principal and publisher of the newspaper that has continued to be used to attack Orji’s government never wish him and the people of the state before now. But to their greatest disappointment, God has used Gov Orji as a tool to end permanently the era of impunity and years of locust in the state between 1999 and 2007.
Within the shortest period of liberation in the State, there has been remarkable, massive and obvious improvement in the area of infrastructural development across the state. The infrastructural developments are on ground and ongoing. It is not prototype work or media propaganda. They are real.
Prominent among them are the New Government House, International Conference Centre, New Workers’ Secretariat, several housing estates, Abia Specialist and Diagnostic Centre. Wabara should be bold enough to state his master’s achievements while in office as governor of Abia State for eight years. That is the only way he can convince Nigerians, especially the people of the South East that his paymaster is a model for the present crop of South East elected and appointed public office holders to emulate.
Simeon Nwabundu, an undergraduate wrote from New Heaven, Enugu State.