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Ka O Puo: Uche Ogbuagu’s action, and Okorocha’s reaction

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There is no greater reward to an artiste or any productive individual to have his work meet up with what the society generally needs. At least, after a tiring and energy drilling effort to produce a product, it ends up attracting public acceptance. That alone counters and takes care of unnecessary distractions from the quarters of those we can describe as bad-belles.

For renowned comedian and professional compere, Uche Ogbuagu, his multi-platinum and much-anticipated comical album, Ka O Puo has scored a feat, which one would admit is his lifetime aim and admiration. Very controversial, but well accepted by the public, not minding whose discomfort it points to.

There are those who would say such creative work does not get down with the people, in terms of what their understanding or love would be on a certain person they long admire. But the demand of that album is handling such reactions, as it has totally silenced doubts of those who expected doom of it since pronouncement of its release was made.

The album which is said to be the most hilarious and philosophical outburst from the voice of the deceived and oppressed has 3 tracks recorded. The second track, recorded in English language (Leaders of Next Tomorrow) x-rays the true position of average Nigerian youth in today's politics, and the track 3 titled “Iga Awota” (You won't understand) is designed to expose the deplorable decay of Igbo culture by both politicians, religious and social class.

But the first track seems to have taken the lead, as we were made to understand that that's the main reason why it was banned in Imo state. In the past weeks, issues of threat from Imo state government agents who allegedly hijacked the first 100,000 copies from the distributor got reported; even as vendors on the streets of Owerri are watchful of waxing it through distribution. Though before the formal release, Ogbuagu said that they have doubled the production to 600,000 copies.

Currently, over one million copies have been sold so far. What a venture! It has become a great disappointment to those who wished doom of the album, especially in Imo where the title, Ka O Puo happens to be a slang and keep-say in the mouth of most electorates and masses in the State.

Did it end there? No! To a high level of extent, the electorates now carry whistles and red cards to campaign venues as a mocking tool to express their dissatisfaction with the current administration in Imo state under Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha.

While controversy continues to trail, political parties are not left out; as they now ride on the popularity of the album and acceptance it has received where the masses are. However, the last celebrated Valentine's Day translated them using the album as gift packages to electorates. Churches, Tertiary institutions among other groups rode on such act.

Disheartening of it all to most sympathizers and supporters of Okorocha's administration is that even in government house by aides of the governor, it is now a common slang they say in lighter mood.

To consolidate his effort, Uche Ogbuagu reveals that the video of Ka O Puo will soon hit the market. And authoritative sources around him revealed that it will be exposing lot of atrocities done by the APC-led government against the good people of Imo, through live pictures which were recorded without anyone's knowledge.

Wondering if he prepared the album as a means of retribution to what the governor did to him while serving under his administration? Certainly, no. Since 2000, Ogbuagu had been in the forefront of crusade for good governance. Then, he produced researched works like Ochichi Gbakwa Oku, Oku Di Over, and now Ka O Puo as tools to suppress ill minds from being in government position.

It may also interest anyone that the only opportunity he got to serve in government after years of turndown was under Okorocha's administration, till he saw great need and values to support the President Goodluck's transformation agenda for Nigerians and the country at large.

As the dictum will say, “Test all spirits and know.” He has tested the opposition, starting from the one in his State; he saw incompetence and joke where due process and orderliness are suppose to reign. To improve his works, he went into government to get experiences of being in service, than being outside throwing stones at mismanagement and corruption.

When contacted to ascertain his position on the wave making album, he maintained that all he said were nothing but the truth, by challenging all those who felt embarrassed to take him to court. He added that he is out to expose more inhuman acts meted out against the people.

Since the release of the album, and on listening to his reels, one could not fault where he mentioned anybody's name. But as they say would go, “clear conscience fears no accusation;” to Imo state government agents, reverse is absolutely the case. They have done everything possible to stop the distribution of the album. First was when they allegedly hijacked the first 100,000 copies from the distributor. Second was when they took the step of arresting vendors distributing it on the streets of Owerri. Third, when they gathered group of comedians in the State to counter the album.

Finally and may not be the last, when they ordered the State government's IBC radio station to air old jingles produced by the comedian, of which were not paid for. All these were in an effort to stop the album from getting down to the grassroots, where large number of votes will be recorded.

Has the APC-led government in Imo won the fight? No! Demand of the album is at high increase. And their actions are not in any form discouraging the comedian from releasing the video. No ploy to undermine the album's level of popularity would stop him, at all.

A lot of irregularities in the governor's administration are adding credibility and acceptance to the album. All the points raised on it, even without being told revolves around the steer-man. And he is turning deaf ears to them.

Since Uche Ogbuagu left the government, let's assume he is not good, how about fixing the structures or suggesting an alternative to him? What is happening with projects like; Bongo Square, Oguta Wonder Lake, Imo Carnival, Ichu Afo, Bureau of Entertainment, Health Insurance Scheme for entertainers in the State, Imo Hall of Fame, etc?

What I find too difficult to grasp is why activities of the government are now becoming a surprise. Little issues that are supposed to be handled, have all been abandoned. The money the State government is spending to launder its image would have been a quarter of what would have settled the bills of services rendered by this young man.

After rendering the best of his service, his salaries for seventeen good months were nowhere to be found. Rather, when he bared his mind over it, he was threatened, and even was sued. In fact, he was not the only one who quitted the government under governor Okorocha; many other appointees did so till he borrowed a leaf from them.

What Uche Ogbuagu has done should be acknowledged. It is a sign of strength and courage. And I think that made a social commentator in Imo state by name, Ifeanyi Osuagwu to describe his courageous effort as one without fear to stand for justice of the common man.

“We are all aware of what is happening in Imo today. What we have as a government is one without respect for due process; of which we can all attest that within the past three years of administrative reign, it's been joke upon joke affair.

“And I'm happy Uche Ogbuagu is out again to redirect the people on the dangers of remaining quite, instead of going out there to cast our votes for the right candidates to emerge. At least, he has carefully taking his time to expose the ills in government, and now we are enlightened,” he said.

While we await release of the video, I would want to end this piece with an excerpt from Pa Abraham Adesanya's speech, as being pulled out by Jimi Agbaje, he said, “It's about the people. At the end of the day, no other metric counts, no validation is greater than the one you see on the faces and lives of the people. If they're hungry and without jobs; if they are without a roof over their heads; if they're uneducated and lack the life skills to complete; then we've all failed even if we build the tallest of skyscrapers or the longest of bridges.”

Being progressive has nothing to do with your party. It's in your lifestyle, in your instinct, it's subconscious. Imo does not need a governor on parade, but a governor whose positive actions would be on display.

Ugochukwu Favour-Mayor is a PR Specialist
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