Madubuko Hart’s Stance On Abia Governance Censured

Source: Alozie Modesta Tochi , Ph.D Researcher In University College London.

I have always thought of Journalism as not just a noble profession but one specifically suited for the gifted few who possess a keen sense of intellect, enquiry and integrity. People whose writings, you can trust and whose opinions are food for thought for the discerning mind. In my opinion, journalists are like lawyers in the sense that they are supposed to be learned, erudite and versatile, but unlike most lawyers, honest and truthful in the news and information they disseminate. They are supposed to be voices of reason and of conscience.

A vital tool in a democratic society with the sole function of disseminating correct, precise and valid information for its twin audience; the governed and the governing. It is in appreciation of this role that I will like to acknowledge the contributions of veteran Nigerian journalists such as the late Dele Giwa, Anthony Enahoro, Declan Okpalaeke, Chris Anyanwu, Bayo Ohu, Nnanna Ijomah, Dele Momodu, Ray Ekpu, Yakubu Mohammed, Ken Saro-Wiwa amongst others. One can therefore imagine the anger and disgust that welled up in me when I recently read an article by one Madubuko Hart, a political pimp and hack who parades himself as a political analyst .

A self professed expert on Abia state politics whose style of writing and the views expressed betrays his total lack of an original thought process. Unlike the aforementioned veterans whose writings and opinions are universally accepted and appreciated , Mr Hart on the other hand does not see journalism as that conscious voice of the truth, but as a political tool of deceit and lies. Sadly it is his likes who give the profession a bad name.

In my entire life, I have never read any article so uninformed, inarticulate, morally questionable, and a clear misrepresentation of the state of affairs in Abia State, like that of Madubuko Hart and I feel notjust concerned but mortified.Not the least because Abia is my home state and if there is one place in the world I know too well, it is the city of Aba. I may not know Abia State enough to write on the seen power dynamics amongst the elites but what I know of Aba is enough to refute any claim as published by Mr Hart that Waterside is in Faulks road. What I mean is that even with my eyes closed, I can draw a good map of Aba very close to accurate. Mr Hart's pecuniary inspired defense of the poor performance of Abia state government makes him nothing less than an archetypal political tinder box constantly swinging to the rhythms of his paymasters.

To be more succinct, Madubuko Hart should stop a minute and wonder why it is just him alone with a few clearly uninformed journalists who have bothered to give the out- going Abia state government a passing grade considering the degree of their dismal performance in office. In his bland style of defense, he repudiates and denies any adverse and uncomplimentary comment regarding the poor infrastructures in the state when the truth clearly obvious - how aberrant! In his usual vindictive manner , today he attacks Ifeanyi Njamanze, tomorrow the cerebral Nnanna Ijomah, and yesterday Olusegun Adeniyi.

But then how many more people will he vilify because the number of people who rate the Governor as the worst in the country, do I say globally are legion. The power of the pen does not mean name calling and criticisms , but lies in clear constructive arguments rooted in empirical and verifiable evidence and a clear presentation of the is even more repugnant when your opponent's views are clearly the truth.

You win arguments by presenting factual evidence which counter balances the position of your opponents. Evidence please Mr Hart, evidence on the roads in Aba that you claim are in excellent shape. For a man who claims to be a lawyer turned journalist, I wonder how he could have passed his law exams considering his poor analytical, , incoherent and disjointed writing style.

He claims roads in Aba are not in a deplorable state and in fact have been improved by the present administration which makes me beg the question, what part of the universe does he live? One wonders whether he is describing the same Enyimba city that the entire country refers to as the dirtiest in the nation. From East Ngwa Road to Azikiwe Road- pot holes is all you see, and from Azikiwe-Asa down to Port Harcourt Road,(Port harcourt which in my opinion should be better closed) is in total disrepair.

Faulks Road , Aba Owerri Road or Ogborhill, just to mention a few are all death traps and extremely seasonal roads. If anyone wants to understand the real frustrations of ndi Aba please let the person take a trip to Obohia, Ohanku and move more Northwards to where we call Ama Nmonu (I mean around Iheorji). After this trip, I am sure you will agree completely with me that Madubuko Hart obviously does not know where Aba is .As a matter of fact I will advice Mr Hart to take a trip to Aba before he writes another story about the town and to do so on a rainy day. His attempt to cover the criminal neglect of Aba by the outgoing administration with his blatant lies and misinformation is not only futile but runs in the face ofavailable evidence and vivid pictures of a decaying city. My dad calls these white lies.

In refuting the claims of a governorship aspirant in the state with regards to the nonpayment of retiree's long overdue salaries, he could not even provide any factual evidence to the contrary. Instead he kept ranting that it was all political publicity. But I really don't blame Mr Hart for his inability to say the truth because his pay masters would not allow him even if he were so inclined. I do understand that in the present Nigerian system where personal interest comes before collective interest his type are incapable of thinking for themselves or do the right thing.

I am also well aware that gone are the days of brave journalism and brave journalists, in the league of Ken Saro Wiwa and Alozie Ogugboja who was retired by the Babaginda regime from the police force for speaking for collective interest, but then that was a military administration. Yet one will think that under a parliamentary democracy as we now practice, with the wide latitude of press freedom, people like Mr Hart can at least show some integrity with the pen. Unfortunately this is a man who will never allow the truth stand in the way of a good story. This is a man on a blind mission in search of relevance.

An ignorant irredentist who always seem to be able to find the time to spew his inaccuracies and blatant falsehoods. Every writing of his displays elastic intellectual flaws which have long been associated with him. Most times they are too comical, too preposterous and too pedestrian to warrant a response, but respond we must, if we do not want perception to become realty, especially in the minds of the reading public outside the state.

If Mr Hart were to be guided by the higher rule of journalistic purity of conduct, honesty, motive, and unyielding fidelity to the truth , then we may have something to talk about. Unfortunately he does not possess any of those attributes ,hence most readers will no doubt agree with one Mr Wabara of the Sun newspaper who in an article described his writings as “The Hallucinations Of Madubuko Hart”.

Alozie Modesta Tochi is a Ph.D researcher in University College London.

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