A Reincarnation Of Joseph Goebbels
Electioneering period is without doubt an interesting season. It offers the masses/electorates golden opportunity to elect leaders-that will pilot their affairs for a specified period of time. To the fifth column in the fourth estate, it presents an opening for fierce political and ideological warfare; wars that negate our rationality as human beings. And in the effort to manipulate mass opinion by this media Machaiavellis, a great amount of innocent human character has been spilled, wars of words waged, countless souls/ambition persecuted and martyred.
As a trademark, this group neither contemplates communicating noble ideas/ideals nor promotes social justice or inculcates social mobility.
A recent piece titled; Train of Two Traitors’ authored by one Sam Omatseye and published in The Nation Newspaper of Monday June 20, 2022, not only fits into the above description but, wears in the public views, the body and soul, of Paul Joseph Goebbels, a German Nazi politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. Goebbels, for emphasis, was one of Adolf Hitler’s closest and most devoted associates, and was known for his skills in public speaking and his deeply virulent Anti-Semitism, which was evident in his publicly, voiced views.
Aside from his description of the duo of Atiku and Okowa as traitors and many other incongruities, innuendos and outright fabricated tissues of lies and visible unwelcome departure from the normal good sense, one underlined aspect of the referenced opinion piece that expressly exposed how subjective Sam Omatseye appeared in his judgment was his claim that Okowa betrayed his mentor in Delta politics.
Before highlighting the errors in the referenced ‘fiction’, there exists an urgent need to sympathize with Sam on whose shoulder lays the burden of this imaginative composition. The truth must be told to the effect that what set the stage for his departure from fact based analysis has much more to do with his political affiliation rather than objectivity.
More specifically, Sam alleged that Okowa betrayed his political mentor, Ibori and was against the ambition of his (Ibori) daughter who wanted to run for a legislative seat.
Nothing in the opinion of this piece could be further from the truth! The obvious thing is that Sam used his ‘blind analysis to hide what actually is the truth.
To further puncture his deformed efforts in force feeding Nigerians with falsehood, this piece presents a recent thought on Ibori-Okowa relationship shared by no other than, Ibori’s Media adviser, Tony Eluemunor, in his widely circulated piece titled; 2023; the lies and truth about the ‘quarrel’ between Ibori and Okowa.
In that piece, Tony stated thus; Ibori and Okowa have come a long way. They are veterans of many political battles. They have shown uncommon loyalty to their friendship, and the common interest of their common political family. They have shown a strong feeling of support and allegiance to each other. By loyalty here, I mean a heroic devotion and faithfulness to a cause, to a philosophy and to their persons. Okowa showed his loyalty to Ibori in the most defiant way possible; he employed Ibori’s daughter as an aide, not in his constituency office in Delta north senatorial district but in the senate. Today, that daughter of Ibori is a member of the house of assembly, Asaba; she contested and won the electoral battle while her father was in a London jail. Till today, she calls Okowa her “political father”.
To further show how unflinching Governor Okowa has been in this political relationship, evidence abounds, if only sought that while at the Delta state House of Assembly, Governor Okowa used his influence to assist Ibori’s daughter get appointed as Committee Chairman despite being a first- timer in the House.
Going by these facts, the question deltans and of course the world needs to ask Sam Omatseye is; what has changed? At what point, time and venue did the purported quarrel and betrayal start? How come is Sam the only person with such distorted and divisive accounts?
Still on the ill-fated/controversial piece, Sam Omatseye further alleged that; Ibori, while in jail, swore by Okowa as Uduaghan’s successor, contrary to advice that Okowa could not be trusted. From the ambience of Downing Street, he rallied his party for a Judas. After his PDP consultations, the party zoned the guber slot to Urhobo, and they picked David Edevbie. Even the influential Urhobo People’s Union endorsed Edevwie. Okowa had other ideas. He stamped his feet behind Sheriff Oborevwori, the speaker. He did not only do that. He threw his weight against the ambition of Ibori’s daughter who wanted to run for a legislative seat. He also pulled Uduaghan’s daughter, first into the treachery of his trust, and then allowed her to fail in her bid to run also for a legislative seat.
To blame Governor Okowa for Uduaghan’s daughter’s inability to clinch PDP’s ticket to run for a legislative seat is laughable as it is comical.
One point Sam failed to remember is the fact that winning the party’s ticket to contest House of Assembly position is constitutionally constituency/local council-affairs. If there was political goodwill and if political sagacity was not in red, this fact alone would have made it a walk on the path for her, bearing in mind her position in the state as a Senior Special Assistant in the state, and coupled with the fact that her father was the immediate past Governor of the state.
Also in his journey to abbreviate the truth, Omatseye deliberately forgot to tell the world that the same Okowa he criticized appointed this same Uduaghan’s daughter, as a Senior Special Assistant in his government.
Ordinarily, the above revelations could have been allowed to go with the political winds without response as the Governor is naturally reputed for doing good and mentioning these acts of good adds no political or socioeconomic value to him or the state.
However, the truth about this clarification is that our forbearers envisaged that the likes of Sam will one day come with disinformation and misinformation that will deceive innocent reading public with appetite for current information about political development in their country but lacks the ability to test the propositions presented by the writers or explore hidden facts not revealed.
And like Goebbels once noted, repeat a lie often enough and people will believe it.
Even as Nigerians brace up for the 2023 general election, there exist also another masterpiece by a patriot, Ray Ekpu titled; What worked for Okowa, published by the Guardian of 21 June 2022, that not only cleared the air as to what makes Governor Okowa the best among his peers as the best man for the job of the nation’s Vice President but sends Omatseye diatribe to the dustbin of history.
Let’s listen to Ekpu,; Okowa brings to the ticket the image of a quiet achiever who is known as The Roadmaster in Delta because of his strides in infrastructure development. He has built a harmonious relationship with the ethnic and religious groups, Christian and Muslim, which has guaranteed relative stability in the state. He is the chairman of the South South Governors Forum who has handled the affairs of the Forum with sagacity, even handedness and humility.
Just before you hastily wrap up, wait till you cast a glance at the next paragraph as Mr. Ekpu added something worth reading.
He capture it this way; Even though he is a respected medical doctor, a senator and a two-term Governor of a state, he carries himself without airs but with unvarnished dignity and simplicity. Perhaps one of the reasons that worked in his favour was the fact that he straddles two zones of the country. While Delta State is one of the six South South States, he as an Igbo also enjoys the benefit of being from a place that speaks the same language as all the five states in the South East zone. Igbos then have to make the decision to vote for either an Igbo man who is vice president of one of the two major parties or for an Igbo presidential candidate in one of the minor parties that may not make any significant impact in the polls. That will be the choice to make. He concluded.
Definitely, “The destiny of the ship is not in the harbor but in sailing the high sea’’ and so shall our collective responsibility be, not to destroy this great nation but join hands to nurture and sustain it. This piece holds the opinion that If the likes of Sam could drop this asymmetrical information dissemination model and imbibe the principle of objectivity in their daily analysis, it will not only make 2023 electoral exercise rewarding for Nigeria and Nigerians but once again, announce the arrival of a brand new great nation where peace and love shall reign supreme.
Utomi Jerome-Mario is the Programme Cordinator (Media and Public Policy), The Social And Economic Justice Advocacy(SEJA). He could be reached via; [email protected] or 08032725374.