Connect with us

News

Demystifying the ‘Koboko’ Governor

Published

on

By Eric Elezuo

Pride, the say, goes before a fall. And this must be the situation Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, had fallen into when he bragged he could do without the press, and followed it with the sacking of two journalists from the Government House in Abakiliki for life. The correspondents were of Chijioke Agwu of The Sun newspaper, , and Peter Okutu of the Vanguard newspaper. They were banned from entering the Government House or any government facility in the state.

Given the seriousness of the matter, Umahi had to let loose his frustration via a statewide live broadcast aired on the State’s broadcast stations. He said he was displeased with the leadership of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), for failing to discipline their members.

The governor had ordered the arrest of Agwu over a report he did on the Lassa Fever outbreak in the state in an effort that smacks of draconian.

Three days later, Okutu was arrested on the orders of Ohaukwu LGA Chairman, Clement Odah, over a report he did on the alleged military invasion of Umuogodoakpu-Ngbo community in the council area.

The governor categorically said the safety of journalists in the state could no longer be guaranteed by him, and added that the ‘people’ were angry with the journalists and might begin to unleash mayhem on them if they continue to cause panic in the state. He then made his alter ego statement, saying, “If you think you have the pen, we have the koboko. Let’s leave the court alone. Ebonyi people are very angry with the press and let me warn that I won’t be able to control them or know when they unleash mayhem on you, if you continue to write to create panic in the state.”

Mr governor further lashed out at the leadership of the NUJ, and threatened reprisals against them: “I want to say that I am very displeased with the president and leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists and I am going to seize their allowances for two months because they have failed to discipline their members.

“Ebonyi State is no longer a dumping ground. Only the other day, Chijioke Agwu wrote that Lassa Fever is killing Ebonyi people in droves and (a) few days back, Mr Peter Okutu of Vanguard did his own.

“Okutu is fond of degrading Ebonyi State, and I don’t know why my officials have allowed him to continue to do that, because he is not from Ebonyi State. I want to ban him for life with Chijioke Agwu. I don’t want to see them anywhere in any Government facility.

Obviously, Umahi, in all his exposure, did not understand the import of his statements, and how misleading it could be to the ordinary citizen of Ebonyi State. The statements were capable of creating dissension and causing unnecessary crisis and upheavals in the state. He was practically setting the people against the journalists. And of course, he can’t claim ignorance of that fact.

Then the condemnations rose, from more quarters than one. Among those that frowned at Umahi’s outburst was the International Press Council (IPC). The outfit described the government as \fast becoming notorious for its serial violation of the rights of journalists.’

But like a twist of funny fate, the governor made a sharp u-turn, pleading with journalists to put behind them everything that has gone wrong.

“I have directed that the unfortunate incident with the press was not intentional but I am asking everybody to disregard what has happened. Because we are all partners in progress, let us work together. But I will advise that you please cross-check information…

“I want to invite the press for partnership and also ask them to please help build the state. Nobody said you should do preferential reporting, nobody said you should not report the truth because our state is peculiar. Everybody has forgotten what happened. Let’s work together.”

Apologies accepted Mr. Governor, but like the bible book of the Christians say, ‘out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh’ as a result, the koboko governor needs to be closely watched knowing very well that old habits die hard.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

We’re Considering Options for Reopening of Schools – LASG

Published

on

The Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, has said the state is considering different options in its bid to reopen schools.

Adefisayo, at the annual ministerial press briefing of the state Ministry of Education on Tuesday, said although the Federal Government would decide when schools would open, the state was putting measures in place to protect pupils.

She said, “Recall that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday said schools remain closed. I can’t give you a date when schools will resume in Lagos, but we are working with development partners and ministries of education across the country to come up with a series of protocols on how we will be able to manage when we open schools. So, we are working behind the scene; we have a paper on the protocols and we will start to share as the paper is finally approved in a few days’ time.

“There must be protocols that will address schools with large gatherings. There are many things we are thinking of; we are thinking about pupils not coming to school every day so that we will be able to spread the children across the whole school. Pupils don’t have to be in their class to learn; they can learn in a room with tables and chairs.”

Adefisayo added that a total of 3,000 primary and secondary schoolteachers were recently absorbed into the teaching work force to boost the capacity of the existing work force and provide quality education.

The Punch

Continue Reading

News

Bauchi Deputy Governor Tests Positive for COVID-19

Published

on

Bauchi State Deputy Governor, Baba Tela, has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

The Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Bauchi State governor, Muhktar Gidado, stated this in a media statement made available to journalists in Bauchi on Wednesday.

He said the confirmation was sequel to a test carried out on him by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control when he exhibited noticeable symptoms of the disease.

Gidado said the deputy governor, who is also the Chairman of the Bauchi State Task Force on COVID-19 and Lassa Fever, had since gone into self-isolation.

He said, “This is to inform the general public that His Excellency, Sen. Baba Tela, Deputy Governor of Bauchi State who is also the Chairman, State Task Force on COVID-19 was confirmed positive for coronavirus.

“He contracted the disease while discharging his onerous responsibility as Chairman of the Committee.

“Consequently, His Excellency, Baba Tela has gone into self-isolation in Bauchi and health professionals are properly managing his situation.”

The governor’s media aide said the samples of all his primary contacts have been taken by the NCDC for testing and are advised to remain in isolation pending the outcome of their results.

He said the Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, has solicited prayers for his deputy and other COVID-19 patients speedy recovery.

“The governor also calls on the citizens to adhere strictly to the protocols against the dreaded virus to curtail its spread in the state,” he said.

The Punch

Continue Reading

News

COSON Confirms Majek Fashek’s Death, Flies Flag at Half Mast

Published

on

All flags at COSON House in Ikeja, the headquarters of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), are now flying at half mast in celebration of the life of Nigeria’s iconic reggae singer and frontline member of COSON, Majek Fashek, who passed on in New York on June 1.

A condolence register has also been opened at the reception of COSON House for all those who want to pay tribute to the memory of this unique Nigerian artiste to do so. Also, videos of the remarkable performances of Majek Fashek are playing on the various video screens at COSON House.

Speaking on the passing of the reggae legend, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji said, “In various ways, we will celebrate the life of this incredibly talented Nigerian. I hope that before the day is over, I will speak with Randy, his son who lives in New York. We have to deal with the time difference between Lagos and New York and we will make the necessary announcements.

“Everyone knows that Majek Fashek was not just my colleague. He was my friend. He stood by my side and supported me from head to toe over many years. We have shared many memorable moments together. His passing on tears at my heart but I am consoled by the fact that there is no need to immortalize Majek Fashek. He has immortalized himself through his unforgettable songs and lyrics. We will celebrate Majek Fashek to inspire the young people in the creative family”

“There is almost nothing that COSON has done that Majek Fashek did not fully participate in. He was 100% dedicated to the COSON cause. Majek was not just a COSON member by name. He was a COSON member in his heart and indeed. All COSON members across Nigeria and all of our staff at COSON House which he visited regularly, will greatly miss this Nigerian of incomparable talent, the great “rain maker”. Since yesterday, it has been raining across the nation. It has to as the great Rainmaker transits. It is said that Rastas never die. I take it that my brother, friend and colleague, the iconic Majek Fashek has not died, He has travelled and one day, we will join and make music together.”

Continue Reading