Rock-View Billboard: Can Cona Truly Deceive Rochas?

When the screaming headline came on almost all the local tabloids in Imo State: “Cona In Trouble For Allegedly Deceiving Okorocha Over Billboard,” I was standing side-by-side at a newsstand close to Concorde Hotel reading newspapers with a contractor who I believe must have tasted the rod of Governor Okorocha. After going through the paper, he then asked, “Can Cona deceive this man who knows the in and out of politics, and who also play a deceptive one?”

Then, I furthered by knowing what really transpired between the duos. First, I started by reading the story line by line. It reads: “For allegedly deceiving Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State into believing that he constructed the giant billboard bearing his portrait in front of Rock-View Hotel (formerly Modotel) free of charge for the governor, the contractor, Prof Chinedu Asinu-Anosike popularly known as Cona, may be heading for trouble”.

“The reason, according to sources from the office of Chief of Staff to the governor, Prince Eze Madumere is that Cona had some months ago allegedly misled the Chief of Staff to believe that he mounted the billboard as part of his support to his Rescue Mission government”. As part of his contribution? How can Prince Eze Madumere now suddenly become a man to be fooled? I mean, how can somebody make him believe that he situated the billboard, or secretly supporting the government led by Okorocha without making it open? At least the likes of Leo Stan-Ekeh who did theirs, we saw them presenting car keys to the governor on the paper. If we can reason this together we will find out that this is just a written script by someone who is buying favour from the boss, or someone who wants to pull the fellow down.

Furthering, “one of the sources said the Chief of Staff went ahead to inform Governor Okorocha that Cona did the billboard for him resulting to the robust relationship, Prof Asinu-Anosike has been enjoying with the governor and COS without the latter knowing that Cona was paid by Rock-View Hotel management for the job. According to the source, “since the truth is known, it will be very difficult for Cona to get any contract again from the government.” Who is the source, and what could make Cona not to handle contract for the Imo State government again? Presently or in the past, people who have been following events in the State would agree that Cona has not done any printing job for the present government in the State, or has ever visited the government house for job solicitation, unlike the ones he did for Ex-governor Ohakim, and also doing for the Abia State government and other state governments he consults for; which also have his imprints boldly on them.

Interestingly, the writer stated that Cona has through this malicious act been enjoying robust relationship with Governor Okorocha. I think the writer forgot that since the inception of this government, the imprint we have been seeing on brochures and bills are all Lamonde Press, which belongs to Governor Okorocha, just like Lamonde hotel. Also, the writer forgot that the billboards we have been seeing, and which are being mounted by the government lack quality. Looking at the writer's side of professionalism, should we not describe this as a junk and wack journalism?

Consequently, I would want us to pardon the Chief of Staff, Prince Eze Madumere, for imagining how people could believe that the hotel consultant, Mr. John Paul Ochemba, who is also the Chairman of Jorsil Limited was being told that Cona mounted the billboard free of charge for the governor, without him bringing to thought that there was no space on it where courtesy of Cona Print is being written. Already, sources revealed that when Ochemba first approached the Chief of Staff in search of why the governor has refused to honour their invitation to open the hotel, it was a tough appointment to meet the Chief of Staff alone, talk more of him citing that, “I did the billboard for Governor Okorocha without bothering to tell him. I don't like blowing trumpet like politicians, because I'm not one of them. No matter I have met the governor severally,” he said.

So you've met the governor severally, and on the same note you went asking for favour on how to meet the governor through the Chief of Staff? Besides, how can he boast of doing a billboard for Governor Okorocha, when we already know that the Chairman of Rock-View Hotel, Chief Dr. Vincent Amaechi Obianodo did it for the singular purpose of covering the waste container which the Imo State government earlier threatened to destroy, together with the fence? Meanwhile, sources close to the hotel consultant revealed that if the Chief of Staff asks for the refuting of the story, that he would present a recorded tape of the visit as a prove. On this note, I dare Prince Eze Madumere!

Getting back to the writer, how could you be so cheap by adding flavor to such a malicious, defamatory and slanderous story? As a story sent out for character defamation, you added that Cona threatened to make a serious rejoinder if it's being published. Today, what's the outcome? I think Cona's counsel should have served both parties paper for character defamation. Why not rejoinder again?

If actually I was to be in the shoes of Prof. Chinedu Asinu-Anosike, I would rather not sue anyone, because this alone has shown that while some people are envying what he has achieved so far in life, they are also somewhere looking for a way to get connected to his success. By the way, who wouldn't want to get close to this young man who transformed and rebranded what used to be an ordinary graphic designing to brand consulting? Ultimately, he was able to be mentioned amongst the 50 Most Influential Imo Citizens, as brand wizardry. Doesn't this worth being celebrated? Why is it that we Ndi Imo have chosen to celebrate failure through the promotion of Pull Him Down (PHD) syndrome?

Personally, this same young man has been able to shape the future, by making himself a role-model to the youths, and a great philanthropist who has touched the lives of so many people. I wonder how the writer could quote him as being a staunch PDP member, when for so long he has been offering help to the downtrodden without blowing trumpet of it or even showing sign of someone who is interested in politics. Continuously, even in PDP gatherings, he had told them he is not the party's card carrying member. So, how come after it made news during the last general election that even if he is not into politics, that it wouldn't stop him from supporting his friends who are into it, and today the writer quoted him as being a staunch PDP member who is contributing to APGA government? Anti-party! The worst of this is that the plotter forgot that Cona is a media person; meaning to get him hurt would at the end of the day bring resolute of dog eating dog. If the said John Paul has any issue with his boss, should that warrant him hurting or pulling someone to buy favours? Isn't that the case of robbing Peter to pay Paul? There are certain things which should not be allowed to go fallow. Meanwhile, as a result of bringing an innocent man down, he has opened his stomach for many to see his hidden secrets.

While briefing the press, he even stated that he paid Cona firm the sum of 2 Million Naira, while it has come to public that what he paid out was Nine Hundred Thousand Naira. Now, who is fooling who? If John Paul Ochemba were to be among those Jesus asked in the Bible to stone the harlot if none of them had sinned, would he not have done it? Will I say at times God does something for a purpose? Now, look at the issue of the management of Rock-View paying the sum of 2.4 Million Naira to OCDA through their too many tongues consultant, for them not to shut-down the gate they opened along Okigwe round-about.

Already, OCDA in Imo State is today a child of controversy, as many business outfits in the State have been defrauded. I even wonder if our Rescue Mission governor has not heard it. Even it was reportedly told that Ibari Ogwa is also a victim of this same dubious act. Yet, what is the government of the day doing? A government that set up an organization that is privately making money for themselves through an unscrupulous ways, making Imo the home of deceit and betrayal; I wonder why I won't agree with a friend who wrote that the present government of Imo is running the state like a banana republic.

Ugochukwu Favour-Mayor is a media consultant who writes in from Owerri, Imo State. [email protected], 08164980379

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Articles by Ugochukwu Favour-Mayor