By: Sam Onwuemeodo
All things bright and beautiful, God made them all. And you know what? The LORD shall Continue to be our Shepherd. Not because of our holiness, but because of his GRACE upon our lives. We shall move faster than expected. Ambrose Nwaogwugwu Versus Imo Government: The lawful but, not advisable actions.
I had taken time to read the Press release issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondyan on Ambrose Nwaogwugwu’s Case, with the Imo State Government. I had also read and perused a similar Press Statement, by the Secretary of the Party in the State, Hon. Ray Emeagha, on the same issue. I had equally read all the reactions of the Party’s field operators to that effect. None, denied the government’s accusations against Mr. Nwaogwugwu. None also justified his action or even tried to defend his actions. They only Condemned the actions of the government particularly, his arrest and detention. And then, demanded for his unconditional release. They had done what was expected of them as party people.
If the PDP people, the “owners” of Nwagwugwu did not justify his actions, then, onlookers or passers-by like yours sincerely, would have no reason to do so. We may not also follow the PDP spokesmen to Condemn the government’s own actions, but would only try to strike a balance, for posterity sake. I do not also buy into the logic of some folks that, because Rochas Okorocha or any other past governor of the State, had overlooked or ignored similar situations, Hope Uzodinma, should therefore ignore such. Approach or style changes with the man or woman in-charge. The person at the helm of affairs.
Again, Nwaogwugwu and Gov. Uzodinma are not dragging anything, personal. Political Power or interest is the crux of the debate or matter. Chief Emeka Ihedioha gave the young man Political appointment. And for the first time in his life. “No do, no do”, Senator Uzodinma cut that celebration short. The guy went on protest with the kinds of posts he had made on facebook and WhatsApp without, perhaps, knowing the implications, both short term and long term. And the government included terrorism in the charges against him, only to show the extent it felt hurt or angry. Do not forget that Mr. Nwaogwugwu was one of those assembled by Ihedioha, not against Uzodinma, but against yours faithfully, the writer. Like I had written before now, all things bright and beautiful God made them all.
Without even looking at the charges, those who had followed Nwaogwugwu’s posts would know that a day like this, could come or would come. He played into the hands of the government. The question now is no more whether the guy had acted well his part or not, but how the government can gain or score political goal with the situation on ground and not playing to the gallery. Yes, Nwaogwugwu “fucked-up”. And the actions of the government, lawful or justifiable. Getting the DSS to arrest him and to detain him, and indeed, to arraign him, were all lawful actions, by the government. But none was advisable. And I tell you why.
Arrest, detention and arraignment of Nwaogwugwu as lawful or as justifiable as they are, only showed exercise of Political Power or Political muscle by the government. Which is not advisable like I had earlier alluded.
And if the government Continues to arrest, detain and arraign and indeed, jail all those who would be as careless as Nwaogwugwu, within every Six months, then, at the end of his first tenure of four years and perhaps, second tenure of another four years, and a total of eight years, he must have jailed about thirty-six people, and all would be Imo indigenes. And I do not believe that any governor of the State, would like to have such record. Governor Uzodinma won’t like to have such record or data.
The opponents can also decide to be funny, by invading or launching “mob action” on facebook, WhatsApp and so on. And how many of them would the government arrest, detain and prosecute? If the government decides to go after them, it becomes a “clampdown”. Condemnations would follow, whether right or wrong. That’s Africa for you, especially the Igbo. Our setting or culture does not warrant exercise of Political Power or Political muscle. But exercise of Political WILL which must be for the good of all and sundry. Like the kind Okorocha exercised on Ekeukwu market relocation, Amakohia road expansion, etc.
We are making progress. To the highly enlightened men and women like Prof. Nnamdi Obiaraeri and others, who teach and understand the letters of the law, government is on the right track with its action against Nwaogwugwu. To media personnel like Sam Onwuemeodo and others, who understand the implications of libel, the government acted well. But the local people or rural dwellers and others who do not have access to facebook or WhatsApp, what they know is that the government is arresting and jailing its opponents, which is totally an opposite of the issue at stake. But who will tell them that?
In case the government does not know, it made Nwaogwugwu’s issue a state matter, when it should not have been the Case. In one of the Charges, Nwaogwugwu was said to have accused the governor of Sending one of his Special Assistants (SA) to kill him. In a situation like that, the SA would have pursued that accusation and not the governor or the government. And it would be seen as, Nwaogwugwu versus whoever was the SA. Uche Nwosu went to Court against the man who made unfounded allegation about the bailout fund and not Rochas Okorocha or government.
I had equally read a Press Statement by the governor’s aide Stating that the governor would not tolerate nonsense from social media “irritants”. I do not agree with that. The governor shall and should tolerate not only nonsense, but “nonsenses” from people, including the social media “irritants”. These “nonsenses” make the difference. That’s where the beauty of the government lies. That’s the aura. These “nonesenses” make every government interesting and attractive. Remove the “nonesenses”, the government would be dull. All works, no play, makes the jack, a dull boy. All things also work together for good, to them that love God. Good music too, comes from the piano when both the black and white keys are played. So, both the nonsense and the reasonable, would make the government thick. You need the negative and positive wires to produce light or result. What the government’s media team all need to do is to device a means of converting these attacks or “nonsenses” to their advantage. You do not get tired giving it back to them because political opponents do not sleep. Even when they try to sleep, they would do so with one of the eyes open. They said Okorocha and the wife left with 67 Vehicles and N57 billion. We gave them 24 hours to publish particulars of the vehicles and details of the billions or cover their faces in shame. They recoiled.
For those yet to know, the governor has a wonderful media team. Seasoned and seasonal media personnel. Hon. Mbadiwe Emelumba, who is the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon. Oguwike Nwachukwu, the Chief Press Secretary and Hon. Simeon Ibegbulem, Special Duties, are all known names in the media industry. And they have been doing very well. It is not easy. They only need to keep the media opponents away from the governor to save him from these detractions. The Commissioner should face State matters. He has no business responding to media attacks on the governor. When he responds, he has brought the whole government and the State into it. The Chief Press Secretary and those behind him should engage them. The Commissioner should take the government and its programmes to the nation and the outside world, and not responding to attacks on the governor by the opponents’ media disciples like Nwaogwugwu. The CPS should keep them on their toes by engaging them to enable the governor move on. And by so doing, the governor might not even know that Nwaogwugwu or any other element posted anything.
I am having the feeling and God willing, that the charges against Nwaogwugwu would be withdrawn or dropped and the guy, allowed to go. Not because he was right in all he did, for which he is going through all these troubles, but because, the governor, Senator Uzodinma had assured that his government would enthrone prosperity for the sake of all, including Nwaogwugwu and not otherwise. Not pains. And even long before his governorship, Uzodinma had not been associated, to the best of my knowledge, with Political “hit and run”. I had only heard about his being an expert in writing “results”. But which results, I do not know. Whether Pool betting results or other results. But I will ask.
Finally, I tell you this. I understood and appreciated the African Culture that connotes that “blood is thicker” than water, better, on the day Obidiozor Duru and Six others were executed in Owerri. The same Imo people who had hailed and Celebrated their Condemnation to death by firing squad, by Justice Nnodim’s armed robbery and firearms tribunal, were the same people who had cried profusely at their execution sight. I also cried. The day, the Magistrate will sentence Nwaogwugwu, if found guilty. I believe, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Chief C.O.C. Akaolisa would cry. Not because of his love for Nwaogwugwu, but because, he is a human being with blood and flesh, and all created by God. Brethren, we Shall Continue to Clap for Jesus.