Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, a leading columnist with Thisday committed editorial harakiri when she allowed pecuniary consideration to determine her irresponsible attack on Rivers State and her Governor.
If you understand the background she is coming from, then, you will empathise with her. The use of her column for her economic emancipation in the face of salary stagnation is the driving force behind her rash and irresponsible writing.
The insults that Ijeoma Nwogwugwu heaped on Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike in her column of October 1, 2018 is a sponsored feature planted by an aggrieved PDP Presidential Aspirant through his media office.
The entire gamut of that pedestrian write-up was circulated via social media gossip by the media office of the said Presidential Aspirant. The same group used different electronic and print media outlets to sell this concocted narrative. It failed woefully as the PDP was not deceived.
Therefore, it is shameful that a veteran columnist, pretending to be original, would rehash the same paid insults just for a pot of porridge.
One fact must be made clear, sponsored media attacks from the likes of Ijeoma Nwogwugwu cannot stop Governor Wike from defending the economy of Rivers State. He was elected by Rivers people to stand up for them at critical times.
When Governor Wike spoke, he did so for the economy of Rivers State. It is difficult for those on Ijeoma Nwogwugwu’s divide to understand because they are thinking from their “personal pockets “.
It beats my imagination that a Business Editor would deride economic considerations simply because she was paid to insult Governor Wike. As I write, all the hotels in Port Harcourt have been booked for days by delegates, journalists, civil society organisations and other interest groups coming for the national convention . These funds will circulate in the Rivers economy which Ijeoma Nwogwugwu derided.
The paid agent struggled to undermine the NIPC Report that declared that Rivers State is the number one investment destination in the country. She gave her reasons. But where were these reasons when Lagos State was the number one investment destination of the country. As soon as the NIPC Report mentioned Rivers State, Ijeoma Nwogwugwu became a defender of the indefensible .
But I think that Ijeoma Nwogwugwu’s rantings stem from lack of information on recent foreign direct and local investments in Rivers State.
The following high profile investments are doing well since Governor Wike took over leadership:
Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Limited has laid the construction of the second train project which will produce 1.5million metric tonnes of urea fertilizer annually. This facility will cost the company $3.2billion.
It is a replica of the first train, which also has capacity for 1.5millilon metric tonnes. This was completed during the Wike era and commissioned under his watch.
The GreenGas LNG Facility constructed by Grenville Oil and Gas Limited in Rumuji community of Emohua Local Government Area in Rivers State is the new N140billion project that has added value to the economy of the country.
In Rumuewhor community in Emohua Local Government Area, Chang B2B Company Limited, a South Korean Investor is cultivating rice on 10,000 hectares of land provided by the host communities and the Rivers State Government.This investment is providing 2000 direct jobs and over 10000 indirect jobs.
Rivers State Government is partnering with Siat Nigeria Limited (operators to Former Risonpalm) to revive Delta Rubber. Already, Former Risonpalm has been revived. Elele Old Estate has been replanted. Ubima and Elele Plantations have been cleaned up and first class maintenance operations and practices constantly applied
Next Mega Shopping Mall has opened business in Port Harcourt, employing hundreds of persons. Several small and medium sized businesses are taking root across the state.
How much did Ijeoma collect to make her blind and deaf to the above data.
Governor Wike has continued to improve the economic scenario of Rivers State because that is the way to go. A million Ijeomas cannot distract Governor Wike.
Perhaps Ijeoma Nwogwugwu is unaware of the fact that BudgIT’s Fiscal Sustainability Index Report for two straight years acknowledged that Rivers State is the most fiscally responsible state of the Federation.
The Fiscal Sustainability Index for 2018 published by BudgiT, is under the sponsorship of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. When Ijeoma gets a sponsor, she can malign the BugdiT Report.
When Ijeoma wept that Governor Wike is being called Mr Projects, I saw in her the “Amaechi spirit”. The ugly spirit of denying the obvious. If Ijeoma is uncomfortable with the title, let her mention with verifiable data, another Governor of Wike standing.
Over the last three years, Governor Wike has built roads, reconstructed and built new schools, improved the State’s security architecture, built hospitals, created jobs, developed judiciary infrastructure, created tourism facilities, enhanced water transport facilities, eliminated multiple taxation, strengthened the state’s economy and empowered women and youths. The above are the reasons why Rivers people stand with him every step of the way.
Ijeoma Nwogwugwu though controlling the backpage of Monday Thisday, “which is known for defiling and desecrating all labour laws on salaries”, lacks the information to comment on Rivers State under the leadership of Governor Wike.
It should be reiterated for the umpteenth time, Governor Wike’s interest is in the economy of the state. As a politician, Governor Wike knows when to play politics. When the time comes, the irresponsibly planted columns of Ijeoma and the likes won’t stop him.
Secondly, when Governor Wike and Rivers PDP decide on the Presidential Aspirant to support, this under-the-table blackmail and roadside intimidation tactics won’t suffice. The struggle to rescue Nigeria from this failed administration has since gone beyond the pre-2015 media character assassination and bare-faced lies that got APC the Presidency.
I felt ashamed for Ijeoma Nwogwugwu when she justified the rigging of Ekiti and Osun Elections by the failed APC Federal Government just to insult Governor Wike . Is she the only stranger to Nigeria? This is what pocket-driven writing can do. It beclouds one’s sense of reasoning.
Columnists like Ijeoma Nwogwugwu should be blamed for the waning influence of the media in the political space. They collect money from the highest bidder and embarrass journalism through illogical reasoning.
In all her bravery in support of those who fought Port Harcourt as the host city for the forthcoming National Convention, Ijeoma Nwogwugwu lacked the courage to mention her sponsor.
On same day that Ijeoma Nwogwugwu used her column to pen down anti-Rivers rhetoric, National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yekini Nabena circulated a Press Statement heaping similar insults on Governor Wike. You can now understand where she is coming from. This confirms Governor Wike’s assertion that the Presidential Aspirant fighting Port Harcourt is under the sponsorship of the APC Federal Government.
Clandestine Federal Government’s paid agents like Ijeoma Nwogwugwu should not under-estimate the resolve of Nigerians to sack this failed APC Federal Government in 2019. The process of ending this evil wind will begin in Port Harcourt. No level of blackmail, falsehood, concoction, media manipulation and paid commentating will change the fact.
Ijeoma Nwogwugwu can continue her irresponsible political dance. After all, she must pick her bills. Any which way.
Nwakaudu is Special Assistant to Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media.