It was the late Sage, Professor Chinua Achebe who said that a man who makes trouble for other people, ends up making trouble for himself. Furthermore, the late General Mamman Vasta stated that when you start insulting yourself other people will join to insult you.
Sam Onwuemeodo is my elder brother. I have great respect for him and this has accounted as the reason or motivating factor on why I have refused to join issues with him. For the records, Sam Onwuemeodo is the Chief Press Secretary to the Executive Governor of Imo State and at the same time the Publisher of WHITEPAPER NEWSPAPER that is based in Owerri – Imo State Nigeria. The local tabloid hit the news-stand about six years ago, while Sam Onwuemeodo became the Governor’s Press Secretary three years ago.
Just as every human being has his or her own idiosyncrasies, Sam Onwuemeodo is not different. This simply means that no man or woman is perfect. But we must ensure that our activities does not in any way injure or affect negatively the interest of the other person. Also, we must ensure that whatever position we occupy in the society is used for the betterment or improvement of our environment, vis-avis our relationship with people in a given society. When our behavior or actions goes contrary to the normal curve of life, crisis brews. And when crisis brews, trouble manifests itself. When you are not mentally prepared to grapple with the trouble or troubles, you get swallowed up. This is the current predicament with Sam Onwuemeodo.
Let me at this point state clearly that a Government appointee or political leader is not supposed to engage himself or herself in unnecessary warfare, more especially if he is incapable of winning the battle.
Let me open the minds of the reading public: When Dr. Ikedi Ohakim was Governor of Imo State between 2007 and 2011, I fought him to a standstill for obvious reasons. I used my pen ruthlessly to fight for justice. I am not a trained journalist. Journalists write with ethics but I don’t.
I read business management and was controlling Big businesses in Owerri the Imo State capital. I am a licensed peddler of DPK (Dual Purpose Kerosene), and was the biggest dealer of the product in Owerri with over 17 workers, before the coming of Ohakim’s leadership in 2007. Then suddenly, out of my 12 surface tanks scattered all over the state capital, 8 of them were destroyed, in what the then government called “CLEAN AND GREEN INITIATIVE POLICY”.
Although the policy was a good one, its implementation was totally flawed, and never followed due process. I lost over 70,000 litres of Kerosene in the process. Of all the people whose businesses and properties were destroyed, I was the only person that stepped out to openly and boldly challenge the then Government.
The then Governor’s image maker, CPS Henry Ekpe was constantly coming to me. Our meeting point was always at VANDOZ PLACE located along MCC road. Henry Ekpe never fought back because he knew I was fighting for justice. He knew I was injured. Rather, he was looking for ways to appease me, but I blatantly refused because I wanted to prove that nobody no matter how highly placed takes the masses for granted. And to the glory of Almighty God, I won the war in 2011, when the then Governor was not re-elected.
Within the period under review, the Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor, Sir Empero Iwualla never confronted me because doing so would have been more disastrous for Her Excellency Dr. (Mrs) Ada Okwuonu, Sir Empero Iwualla rather courted me. Also, the Chief Press Secretary to the then Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Sir Kelechi Mejuobi refused to engage me in a war, even though I was pounding the leadership of the then Assembly. He rather adopted ‘’diplomatic strategy’’.
In June 2011, I was made the image maker (Senior Special Assistant on Media) at the Imo State House of Assembly. My first assignment was to invite Sir Kelechi Mejuobi (My Predecessor) to my office. Graciously, he honoured the invitation and I hosted him in my office. Thereafter, I pleaded with him to teach me the job. From there we became friends and he assisted me tremendously in my work. I also targeted Barrister Empero Iwualla and we became friends. He equally assisted me hugely. I wasted no time in reconciling with a foremost socio-political crusader and pen warrior, Comrade Kenneth Uwadi. We were always at War with each other during the Ikedi Ohakim’s era. When Hon. Henry Ekpe teamed up with Chief Gerry Ogu and Sir Kelechi Mejuobi to float TRUMPETA NEWSPAPERS in September 2011, I was the first and only Government Political Appointee that visited their office to congratulate them. Of course, they never regretted my friendship and relationship with them. I was also the only Imo State Government Official that attended the unveiling of their Newspaper.
To say that I caged my “enemies” was an understatement. I showered them with patronages beyond their imagination. I completely ‘’disarmed’’ them with pure love.
The reading public should forgive me for this digression, because it is very important to the subject matter.
I was constantly visiting media houses in the state capital; both Local and National print media houses, including electronic media houses.
ABOVE PHOTO: Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha
I also converted correspondents of the Imo State House of Assembly to my foot soldiers. I increased their monthly stipends from N3,000 to N5,000 and finally to N10,000. I increased the number of correspondents from 21 to 36. I solved their personal problems and challenges vis-a-avis Ante-natals, House rents, Weddings, burials, naming ceremonies, Hospitals bills etc. I became their father and my private residence became their “Anchor – point”. Indeed, they saw me as their messiah. I never allowed any of them to be harassed, humiliated or intimidated by anybody.
For the first time in the history of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (Imo State Chapter), the office of their State Chairman was furnished to taste by the leadership of the Imo State House of Assembly led by Speaker Benjamin Uwajumogu. I made that possible in 2012. Also, I ensured that the leadership of the Assembly sponsored the State NUJ to their National Convention that took place in Abuja in 2012.
When the State Chairman of NUJ, Sir Innocent Igwe lost his beloved Sister, I was the only State Government official that attended the burial in 2013. AGAM EKWU OLE HARA OLE.
With the above unbeatable and unmatchable legacy to achievements, I was able to effectively protect my boss (Rt. Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu). I built bridges for him. Nobody dared throw stones at him or at the leadership of the Assembly. Those that attempted to test my will and capacity to protect my boss were “compulsorily dealt with” (please forgive my use of words) because I had the support of majority of Pressmen. I took Uwajumogu to the High Mountains. Governor Okorocha feared and respected him. I was indeed Uwajumogu’s gate keeper. Unfortunately, the man I passionately protected with unbeatable and unmatchable love paid me back with ingratitude, wickedness, maltreatment and betrayal. His misfit, “malfit” and unfit media –aide (Emeka Ahaneku) and his Chief of Staff (Kodichi Anamekwe) challenged me to a fight. I responded by resigning on the 17th of December 2013 and thereafter I “opened the gates” for the whole world to see the nakedness of Rt. Hon. Benjamin Chukwuemeka Uwajumogu.
The inherent lessons from the above narrative are as follows.
LESSON 1: Media aides who are not warriors should never go to a war they are incapable of winning.
LESSON 2: Media aides who engage in unnecessary confrontation with the public end up exposing their bosses to danger.
LESSON 3: Media aides should adopt “Diplomatic Shuttle” to calm “frayed nerves’’.
LESSON 4: Media aides who fail to visit media houses are not worthy to be called media aides.
LESSON 5: Media aides should not embezzle funds meant for media houses and correspondents.
And so on and so forth.
I have gone this whole length to explain practically the role of a media aide in any Organization or government. With no intent to insult Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, I want the public to know that he has failed as Governor Okorocha’s Chief Press Secretary. From the day he was appointed as the Governor’s Press Secretary in 2013 to this moment he has not done anything (any public relations stunt) that attracted sympathy for Governor Rochas Okorocha or the state government. Rather, he has always been on war path with his perceived enemies. If he is not fighting the state Chairman of the Governor’s party (APC), Dr. Hilary Eke, then he is fighting fellow Government House Political Appointees. Sam Onwuemeodo is fighting Imo Civil Servants, Imo State branch of Nigerian Bar Association, Imo State Branch of Nigerian Union of Teachers, Imo State Branch of Nigerian Union of Journalists, Editors, Publishers, he is fighting his brothers from Mbaise Nation, and he is fighting even Government House Correspondents etc.
And I am asking: if he is fighting every ‘’Okeke’’, ‘’Okorie’’, ‘’Okafor’’ and ‘’Okonkwo’’, when will he have time to do his job as Governor Rochas Okorocha’s Chief Press Secretary? Sam Onwuemeodo has fought and or is fighting with almost all the former Press Secretaries in Imo State Government.
(1) Hon. Kennedy Enweama was Press Secretary to Imo Speaker between 2003 and 2007.
(2) Sir Kelechi Mejuobi was Press Secretary to Imo Speaker between 2007 and 2011
(3) Hon. Henry Ekpe was Press Secretary to Imo Governor between 2009 and 2011
(4) Sir Bright Nwelue was Press Secretary to Imo Governor between 2003 and 2007.
(5) Barrister Empero Iwualla was Press Secretary to Imo Deputy Governor between 2007 and 2011.
(6) Hon. Ikenna Onuoha was Press Secretary to Secretary to the State Government (SSG) between 2015 and 2016.
(7) Hon. Ebere Uzoukwa was Press Secretary to Imo Governor between 2012 and 2013.
(8) Citizen Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha was Press Secretary to Imo Speaker between 2011 and 2013.
(9) And so on and so forth.
The question any rational human being will ask is; what is the problem of Sam Onwuemeodo?
Why is Sam Onwuemeodo making Governor Rochas Okorocha vulnerable for and or to attacks? Rather than building the image of the Governor, Sam Onwuemeodo has attracted hatred from the public to Owelle Okorocha. Let me be clear here: The Governor has his own personal shortcomings. He has his own problems and administrative challenges, but it is the duty of his image maker to market him as a clean product before the public. Sam Onwuemeodo has not done this. Most of the critisms the state Government is having today has to do with Sam Onwuemeodo’s style of managing the image of Governor Okorocha.
A few example tells the whole story.
(1) Sam Onwuemeodo has failed to coordinate Government House Correspondents effectively and efficiently. He withholds their stipends and other entitlements. He diverts their little ‘’tips’’ to his personal use, and when he is requested to do the needful, he physically fights them. He fought Mr. Hamilton Onuchukwu and tore his shirts, in the presence of other correspondents at Government House in 2014.
(2) He has not visited any media House (at least to my knowledge) in Imo State since his appointment as Press Secretary to Governor Okorocha.
(3) He has refused to accord respect to the Nigerian Union of Journalists (Imo State Chapter). He does not attend their functions.
(4) He has refused to promote the growth of Local Newspapers in Imo State. He diverts and channels over 95% of Adverts to his own Newspaper ____________ WHITEPAPER.
(5) When my wife and I were falsely, fraudulently and criminally accused of murder in June 2014, Sam Onwuemeodo as Press Secretary to Governor Okorocha abandoned his job and devoted his time and energy to issue Press releases and articles which insinuated that we might have committed the said crime, even though he was sure that we committed no crime.
(6) Sam Onwuemeodo as Press Secretary to Governor Okorocha abandoned his job at Government House and dabbled into the activities at the Imo State House of Assembly, including to conspire with the then Speaker of the Assembly to fight me using his Newspaper, even when I honourably resigned on the 17th of December 2013.
(7) Sam Onwuemeodo as Press Secretary to Governor Okorocha abandoned his job at Government House and dabbled into the party politics of All Progressive Congress (APC).
(8) Sam Onwuemeodo, as Press Secretary to Governor Okorocha and to the shock of everyone in the state is fighting even the Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere.
(9) Sam Onwuemeodo, as Press Secretary to Governor Okorocha fought the immediate Past Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Sir Jude Ejiogu while he was in Office.
(10) Sam Onwuemeodo, as Press Secretary to Governor Okorocha is currently fighting the Nigerian Bar Association, Imo State branch.
(11) And so on and so forth.
I am asking: is this how to function as Governor Okorocha’s Press Secretary? How come the Deputy Governor’s Press Secretary is not on war-path with the anybody? How come the speaker of Imo House of Assembly’s Press Secretary is not on war path with the public? How come the Chief of Staff’s Press Secretary is not on war path with the Public? How come media aides of other top Government functionaries are not on war paths with the public?
Sam Onwemeodo is supposed to be showcasing the achievements of Governor Okorocha to the public. Rather, he has worsened Okorocha’s relationship with the public through his uncoordinated Press Releases and clashes with majority of stakeholders in Imo State.
Due to this obvious Lacuna created by this insipid Sam Onwuemeodo, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon. Uche Nwosu is now the one doing image laundering for Owelle Okorocha. Deputy Governor Eze Madumere now does “diplomatic shuttle” for the government. While Sam Onwuemeodo who has now become a wasted sperm from Mbaise nation oscillates from one self inflicted crisis to another. O yes, Sam Onwuemeodo has abandoned his job as Okorocha’s Chief Press Secretary. He is rather busy using his WHITE-PAPER tabloid to inform the public how he is more intelligent than Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha. He is busy informing the public how Chief Sir Mike Ikenna Ahamba (SAN) is a failed lawyer. He is now busy informing the public how he became a titled “CHIEF” and built a house in his village many years ago. He is now busy informing the public how he controls political structures in Aboh Mbaise LGA. He is busy informing the public that his elderly cousin Chief Donatus Onwuemeodo mis-informed the public about his age. Hmmmmmm, Na Wao.
With no intention to abuse Sam Onwuemeodo, I honestly believe he is suffering from ‘’aggravated mental delusion’’ and therefore deserves to be pitied. I know how many times I had talked to him concerning his uncoordinated Press Wars with perceived enemies. His current war with many stakeholders in the state is hereby condemned.
Sam Onwuemeodo should look into the mirror and tell himself this simple truth _______________ “Honestly, I am a foolish fool”.
His continued masturbation and ejaculation of inefficiency and incompetence as Governor Okorocha’s Chief Press Secretary has reached its boiling point. Sam Onwuemeodo needs some self re-examination or assessment. But unfortunately, as the “most intelligent” man in Imo State, he will not accept this honest advice. I am just advising him.
Finally, let me warn that should Sam Onwuemeodo (the self acclaimed Senior Advocate of the Pen) reply this honest article, I will jump into the boxing ring and he will become carcass for dogs.
I rest my pen
Citizen (Dr.) Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha FCAI, MKDA
Former Senior Special Assistant on Media
Former Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties
Imo State House of Assembly
Owerri – Imo, Nigeria
9th July 2016.
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