Open letter to Mr. Jerry Needam: You are on the wrong side of history.
It is my hope this note meets you well. It is about time I bring you in on my trend of thought, observations and reflections over the last couple of months. Not the easiest moment I know, to stake out an optimistic standpoint on whether your rhetoric are intended to mend fences among opposing political forces within the state, or they are laced with an intention to deceive and ignite the polity. There is no question; you have made disparaging remarks about virtually any one with differing views to yours, since taking office at the State PDP Secretariat.
Test the pulse of Rivers men and women, and you would discover that most of them are now turned off by the discomforting mails emanating from you on behalf of your boss, who has instructed you to address Ogoni elders as “beggars for supporting the present administration of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, the Governor of Rivers State”. Their expectation was that you will be taking a deeper dive to proffering solutions to the most pressing problems out there with your party, which is culminating into a steady but dwindling collapse. Awkwardly, and below their expectations, you elected to allow unreason to govern your good senses of reasoning, even to the extent that on all of the issues you have scrambled to manage thus far, the end point have been insults, blatant falsehood or half-truth, people find this manner of yours very off-putting. Kinsman, it is ignoble to pitch your tenth at this time with the wrong side of history.
There is nothing wrong with the much noise you seem to be making behind that desk, but at your level much is expected of you, to be able to strike the right balance during the cause of your duties. May be one should attribute these lack of rationality, and shrewdness to your current intellectual deficiency which is public knowledge you are bracing up to rectify. It is pretty unfortunate that anyone could pick up the pen and self-enlist into the practice of journalism, with little or no training in the profession as it is in similar noble fields like law and medicine. If that wasn't the case, most of you wouldn't be accorded passage into the field of journalism or public relations. Not even having a university degree at all and be seen as a practicing public relations professional is the more disheartening.
The people of Rivers State are fed up with all the incitements in your press releases that almost resulted into another day of infamy in Ogoni recently. How proud could you have been, and how relaxed would you have felt if Senator Magnus Ngei Abe went blind as a consequence of the tear gas that was unleashed directly on him, or if the bullets purportedly shot at him were real. Again, how would you have celebrated as a true son of the Ogoni soil if a stray bullet had unfortunately located George D.N. Feyii, Secretary to the Government of Rivers State whose mistake was that he deliberately attended a gathering at the instance of SAVE RIVERS MOVEMENT, SRM at Bori, headquarter of his local government.
Indications are that we now live in a two tier state, one in which some of its citizen could hold rally and be protected by the police, and the others does not have a right to a peaceful gathering. Oh! What a travesty.
Some of us are beginning to buy into an argument that is gaining steam in Rivers State and in the diaspora that you are being used to destabilize the Ogoni's at this time that the wind seems to be on their back, and the mood of the Rivers people are tilting towards Ogoni's producing the next governor come 2015. It would be completely ludicrous that you were found to be an easy and enabling tool for use against your own people, by helping to ferment crises that may result the political extinction of your own people.
The things to not do is to aid, or join forces with the political enemies of your own people by creating an enabling environment that would foster chaos and unwarranted and unwanted blood bath on the Ogoni soil again. The transformation that has taken place in this state within the last seven years under the close watch of Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Executive governor of River State should not be trivialized, as your intention seems to take this administration off track with your dangerous ideas and vacuous thinking, hoping that would reverse the progress this administration have made.
It is one of the most appealing and powerful tenets of Christianity: The effort to forgive those who have wronged us, no matter the crime, raises us all up. We are aware that at the centre of the Lord's Prayer is the concept of forgiveness. And all who pay their debts to society are welcome to re-join it and try to be good. Never more is that example needed than today. Your Ogoni people would forgive you should you resist the urge and penchant to create more mayhem to your people as designed by those to whom you owe your allegiance in the state. They are enemies of Ogoni, they do not want you or any one of your extraction to be the next governor in a state that you all have the most stake in. It is a profoundly unhappy time in Rivers State, on that score, be careful, because we shall remember your actions in the fullness of time.
Joe Korka-Waadah (ANIPR)
The writer is a Canadian based Public relations practitioner and Journalist.