*Cornucopia: Governor Soludo, Please! As Odogwu Turns Healthy Living Ambassador*.

*****Cornucopia: Governor Soludo, Please! As Odogwu Turns Healthy Living Ambassador

By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, PhD

Veterans who worked with National Light Newspapers, the flagship Newspaper of Anambra State Government met me weekend. After listening to them, I wept uncontrollably. It was painful as a Union leader, but I consoled myself for there is nothing happening without God’s knowledge. Without going into our discuss, they wanted me to do everything within my powers to ensure a rebranded National Light Newspapers is established by Governor Soludo. I showed them my appeal letter in public piece I was about releasing that morning to Mr Governor of Anambra State on that. They marveled at my proactiveness. I told them with God, it’s doable. I was convinced Mr Governor shall re-establish an ultra modern Newspaper industry for the state. And, the best time is now.

Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo of Anambra State is unique but people serving him has made things difficult for outsiders. Why won’t letters meant for the Governor get to him? Why won’t there be a reply to letters from various organizations to the Governor? Reply to letters must not be positive or hundred percent favourable but the wordings of the reply must be assuring and unambiguous.

I learnt two things from Mr Governor, that he doesn’t like people comparing him in the course of request, even though they can still lay their points bare devoid of making it look like comparison. He also made me understand that making requests that look as a mandate puts him off, when he is open to superior arguments. He admitted that any superior argument he succumbs to, he is bound to do as his words are his bond.
I am latching on this to make a request for the establishment of new National Light Newspaper company with 115 staff already factored in for employment. What do I mean?

And, for the 2023 Champion Group of Newspapers Governor of the Year Award on Infrastructure and Rural Development bestowed on Governor Soludo, I am sure my request to establish a new Newspaper industry on behalf of Journalists in Anambra State shall be granted. I was made in Champion Newspapers as Anambra State Correspondent from 2005 to 2012, I resigned to pursue other goals. When the plans failed, I joined Nation Newspapers. But, everything I was and I am was all glory to Champion Newspapers. At a time, I was a household name and I was called Odogwu Champion. I really smashed Anambra State as a Champion Newspapers Bureau Chief.

Whatever I am today was because of Champion Newspapers. At a time, then Governor Peter Obi approved 75 pages or so adverts for me and I brought my management down to Awka for special engagement that yielded much. If Champion Newspapers didn’t offer me the opportunity to grow, I wouldn’t have been what I am today. On this , Mr Governor congratulations as we the journalists in Anambra under the umbrella of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, await your announcement on the new rebranded National Light Newspapers.

Three Thousand, One hundred and fifteen (3,115) new teaching jobs have been announced by Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR. He has already offered Five Thousand (5,000) teaching jobs to Nigerians. At the end of the job engagement, it becomes over eight thousand teaching jobs. It’s unprecedented! As well, thousands have been offered employment in other sectors like Health, to mention but a few, even as thousands empowered but not a single journalist has been employed. And the State has no Newspaper organization again. National Light has been shut down. Luckily, staff sacked have been engaged in ministries after interventions.

Your Excellency please graciously reserve this One Hundred and Fifteen on top of Three Thousand jobs for journalists that will start a brand new National Light Newspapers organization. These young men and women would be digitally savvy to serve as staff of suggested brand new state owned Newspaper industry that shall be self financing in a matter of years. Old National Light Newspapers got entangled in government debt that eventually dealt a blow on it. I hereby sincerely volunteer to be the consultant at no cost to the state to float this Newspaper. Journalists are appealing to have a voice in the State when you have finished your tenure.

I ask for this because I know what to do. This 115 extra staff on the teaching profession is enough to start a state-of-the-art media industry that shall be the best among States in all ramifications. Your Excellency, please establish a newspaper even if not called National Light Newspapers, but if it answers that, it’s the best please. This shall give media people a sense of belonging and upcoming students shall have opportunity to learn in the organization one or two things before graduation. We shall be eternally grateful if you do this for NUJ, Anambra State Council and journalists across the globe. Pay them the same salary meant for those to be employed as teachers. The closure of National Light Newspapers at my time as Chairman of NUJ has driven me crazy. And still driving me even now. Whatever we have done wrong as journalists to warrant the closure, please forgive and forget and establish another newspaper house preferably to be called New National Light Newspapers. I am convinced that my encounter with you on Wednesday 22nd May, 2024 and your wife, a day after shall bring tidings for my request to establish a brand new Newspaper industry. Remember , I have volunteered to champion it at no cost from the State as a Consultant. That’s the Solution mindset I am bringing into it as NUJ Chairman. Thank you!

Rt Hon Chukwuma Pius Okoye, the Deputy Speaker, Anambra State House of Assembly is on the throat of Hon Prof Lilian Oby Orogbu, the quintessential lawmaker representing Awka North and South Federal Constituency at the Green Chambers. His boys are already eating Oby raw on the social media for nothing. That’s why it’s painful. They are attacking her for just no reason. Campaign and election is still over 1 year for such pettiness. Should I enter the race for Oby? It’s belittling for a state lawmaker to allow some e-rats destroy a Federal lawmaker. But, must we keep quiet and women are insulted and humiliated because they dared to hold political positions? If Rt Hon Chukwuma Pius Okoye has an ambition to be a federal lawmaker, must he allow his boys to desecrate, rubbish and diminish Obizi daughter, his own sister, Oby, to climb? Tufiakwa! It’s unbelievable Amawbia people should be doing everything possible to reduce their daughter simply because she is married to Awka, instead of being proud of her. A woman has dual citizenship. Her hometown, Amawbia and her husband’s town, Awka. Why all these calculated attacks on her even intentionally public?

Prof Orogbu is an enigma, and a peace lover. Only by mentioning her name ,man won’t sleep including politicians who haven’t rested in throwing darts to her even when she is their sister. The paying politics in Awka South now is politics of pull her down. But, can they succeed? Never! She is a beloved and God has continued to show her mercy. She is focused, quintessential, dynamic and unassuming, yet humble and accommodating. Before her journey into politics, she was a university lecturer at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, a former HOD Business Administration, a former Dean, and Professor of highest standing in Faculty of Management Sciences and now the only Female Prof in the National Assembly floor. She is now a member of Pan-African Parliament.

Hon Orogbu is diplomatic as she has swallowed all the insults from familiar quarters particularly those ambitious to replace her at the Green Chambers when they haven’t given proper accounts of where they are. Where is Amawbia NEEM Fertilizer plant? Ask those agitating to take over from her yet could not secure the Federal government project completed in their backyard to employ 500 youths. An advocate of gender inclusivity and youth empowerment, she is already a super Parliamentarian having attended 2024 Annual Parliamentary Hearing held at The United Nations Headquarters in New York with theme: “Putting an End to Conflicts : Prescriptions for a peaceful future”.

Even when not a ranking member in the 10th National Assembly, she is the Chairman House Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, the first to ever hold such, thus to her unwavering dedication and commitment to public service. Ada di Ebube Ndigbo as she is fondly called has no challenger in Awka South 1 or 2 better known as Obizi for her ambition to return to the Federal House after which it returns to Awka-North part of the federal Constituency. It’s not yet time to show her solidarity for NLC is proud of her. She met leadership of NLC few days ago and her swag is unbeatable and desirious of support and solidarity.

But, why is Right Hon Chukwuma Pius Okoye and his goons against Hon Lilian Orogbu? They haven’t asked questions. What is House of Assembly lawmaker if a nobody could upturn the table for a sitting lawmaker and the opposition party? No wonder all these noise and spending to get Mr Ikechukwu Nwaugwu into APGA from PDP. There are so many others yet Neem Fertilizer factory Amawbia that gulped over N1billion to construct and at commissioning stage wasted without a job for Amawbia people and Ndi Anambra State. Mr Nwaugwu is talking about 2027 elections boastfully as if he knows what happens next hour. Yes ,it’s an ambition and political swag he was ambushed to do but his analysis doesn’t hold waters. That nobody has gone for the House of Representatives twice in the Constituency probably because of their sabotage doesn’t mean Prof Lilian Orogbu with her tall ambition to better Awka North and South federal Constituency won’t actualize her dreams.

He informed that Traditional Rulers and Presidents-General of communities in Awka North and South Federal Constituency took an oath several decades ago that nobody shall go twice for the elective position, yet he forgot they swore it’s one turn each for each Constituency at a time. Why didn’t they keep that part of the bargain? Why hasn’t Awka North people gone like Awka South people?

The bargain was for equity, fairness and Justice, so each Local Government shall not dominate the other but Awka South has dominated Awka North for decades hence only one person from Awka North tasted the plum job, with several people from Awka South going back to back.Why would the oath allow Awka North and Obizi zone suffer in the accord several decades back, yet nobody suffered any punishment sequel to a violation of the oath?

I was elected January 2022. I visited former Governor Willie Obiano February 2022. He shocked me with his magnanimity even when we had never agreed in 8 years. When elected, he asked me to work for him as CPS, but strangely I turned it down. Was I with my senses at all? Hon Chinedu Obidigwe is still keeping long face for me 10 years after. I didn’t blame him because he told me pointedly that if I reject the appointment, I should not talk to him again. The appointment came with open cheque for me to name how I wished to work. Unfortunately, my spirit wasn’t in the offer, even when I was sacked by Victor Ifijeh as sanctioned by my then Editor Gbenga Omotosho in Nation, sequel to some conspiracy theories not unconnected to envy, pettiness and unexpected jealousy. His mind was that I rejected the offer because I was a die hard of Peter Obi. For 10 years as a Political Adviser to Obiano and later House of Reps member, he forgot my sacrifices for him before he was elevated, just because I turned down an appointment from his government. Honestly I missed him as an allay, but life is just like that. The then Governor has reconciled with me at a courtesy call to him and told me how government cabals frustrated my ambition to be Chairman of NUJ twice, until he insisted they should let me be, but Obidigwe still abandoned me. Thank God all the lies against me stood bare before Obiano’s exit in office. I wouldn’t know whether my rejection of the job made me stayed far from my referee, Prof Kate Azuka Omenugha, now about to be announced substantive Vice-Chancellor Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, COOU, Igbariam. She severally asked me to take several offers the then Governor presented before me. She was on a special mission once on that but Odogwu’s mind was made up.

Obidigwe’s wasn’t painful like that of Senator Victor Umeh, Ohamadike Ndigbo. My Political idol and mentor. I wrote him to be my mentor in politics long before Peter Obi appointed me Transition Committee member of Awka North. I was Deputy Chairman and Supervisor Education. I represented Amanuke ward.
I didn’t even know what attracted him to me but I could remember going to meet him on appointment and what I told him was to support my investment in shares. He was shocked by my investment which later became a waste sequel to crash of that sector. Senator Umeh was National Chairman of APGA then. He had a good smile before informing me that people were dying of hunger and I was talking about more investment on shares. But, somehow we became very close. He was Chairman of my wedding ceremony in 2009. He made sure then Governor Peter Obi attended my wedding in person. He sprayed over Five hundred thousand on our dance floor. On my wedding eve, he gave me a fraction of a nylon bag of mint N200 notes. And discussed with Obi who supplied excess drinks ,added to what I already paid for. You could imagine. He shares through me millions at Christmas to journalists and wouldn’t start his event most times until I arrive. This was vintage Senator Umeh. We were too close that when I built my first duplex, so many journalists said he did it for me. I went to him and told him to refund me the money so I can write on it, built and donated by Chief Victor Umeh, APGA National Chairman, but he laughed it off. I did same to Peter Obi, and he had a good laugh too. Ohamadike is a good man, despite our face-off, he never pretended not seeing me for once. He teased me once at St Faith at a wedding I met him.

But, suddenly, journalism happened to me. Journalism is every CEO’s nightmare because news is what the CEO doesn’t want the public to know. A journalist is not a PR person or Brand analyst, Advertiser or such names. A journalist is most times an enemy to even his friends and family, associates and colleagues. Pray journalism will not happen to your friend journalist, because in that mood, he or she knows not what he or she does.

On the day journalism happened to me. I forgot all these about my political mentor who i confided in when one big man offered me wonder on wheels and shocking money to do a job my spirit didn’t accept. I just love him but that day, I crossed the red line. Front page banner headline. All his political enemies were happy and my phone battery had it rough. Haba! It dawned on me immediately the gravity of what I did to my friend, Senator Umeh. And my spirit failed me. I wept unknown to Dr Barr Valentine Obienyem, Media Adviser to Peter Obi who I visited at the Governor’s lodge. That was when Peter Obi was having it rough with Ohamadike and that my story was all they needed to nail him. Surprisingly, Ohamadike didn’t call me. I became angry. I had expected his call to amend even if it’s for the first time to apologize for my write up. He ignored me and devil creeped in, let me not say all that happened, bringing Senator Uche Ekwunife to the equation. Peter Obi needed then Hon Ekwunife who was moving from House of Representatives to the Senate or so to dislodge Umeh. Let me stop here for today. Senator Umeh never engaged me for anything for over 12 years or so until the day he visited Godwin Ezeemo International Press center, NUJ Secretariat Complex Awka under my watch as State Chairman, NUJ Anambra to unveil his plans to us (journalists) and request for solidarity. He openly forgave me and asked me and others who he offended too to forgive him. He really offended me. After seeing the romance with other politicians as worthless, and journalism which happened to me left me, I needed his forgiveness to regain my sanity. I approached him, but he refused to forgive me. I never knew I could move on, but I did. And recorded some feats without some of the other people I taught would be destiny helpers. I learnt my bitter lesson to focus on journalism and society, not individuals or organizations. That’s why if I wake up and journalism happens to me, even on Peter Obi, I do my job without fear or favour. That week, he became my headache until journalism leaves me. Let me confess that whenever journalism happens to me, regardless of the situational contingencies, I forgo all alliances and bridges. However, immediately God granted me grace to acquire a PhD, caution became the watchword as I tried to apply more human face than normal as much as possible in my write ups. I am not talking about grammar but content in law and facts, as well on the side of society, rather than any individual or organization. God has been faithful, though recently I lost, would be destiny helpers, MD Stine Rice, Zara Stores, Chief Akai Egwuonwu and Chairman Banex Group, Bishop Victor Ogochukwu Mbanisi over my stories. So, many have approached for the throat of Soludo, but, the Odogwu they used to know before a PhD was unavailable.

Has Senator Umeh actually forgiven me? I don’t think he has completely because I personally invited him to my father’s 80 years birthday, he didn’t come and never asked me how it went. Or should I blame oversight from his side? This is not Senator Umeh I know, who attends events everywhere. My father is a senior citizen and I performed his burial ceremony alive without Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, Mr Peter Obi that he hoped to see because Prof Chinyere Stella Okunna raised my hope that ‘Oga is coming’, even waited for him till late, Senator Victor Umeh, Senator Uche Ekwunife et al. Did I see the Vice-Chancellor Unizik, Prof Charles Okechukwu Esimone, FAS? These are Central tigers. It’s a pity but ‘nothing mega’. Only Senator Ifeanyi Ubah was worried I didn’t invite him and scolded me for not inviting him. I truly did invite him but he said he didn’t see. End of story, until … But, truth be told ,did I expect the Governor? I expected CPS, Christian Aburime to come and deceive me and represent him but shockingly he didn’t come in person. That was a minus.

If I was angry with Senator Umeh, then I shall be mad with Mr Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of Labour Party and former two time Governor of Anambra State. For 10 years, he never asked me how far with my family since he knew that I was sacked. I got a job 2015 with Authority Newspapers but, it was pyrrhic as from 2016 till date, I roasted in hell. It’s a pathetic story to be told at the appropriate time.
The legendary Peter failed me after all my sacrifices for him and never blinked an eyelid. If you come closer to Peter Obi and daily listen to him, you shall be his follower till death. He is infallible. He is a Saint. He is legendary. He is phenomenal and smart. But, I know him in and out. My third eye was always on him. I was with him for 7 years plus. Where would I start his story? Was it when journalism happened to me on issue of Bonaventure Mokwe even in his complex? Was it my PhD story? Was it Late Prof Chukwuemeka Ike memorial lecture? Was it my trip to Cairo? Was it his outbursts about my father? Was it about Anambra State Polytechnic formerly Anambra State College of Agriculture? So many for another day’s story.
That’s why several wealthy men and women have tired to get me pitched against him with offers in several millions with wonder on wheels I couldn’t afford as attachment and bait, yet I refused to be distracted. But, when it mattered most, Peter failed me. I was sacked 2014 by The Nation Newspapers when a man who calls me son sold me to a man who calls me brother, both packaged me to my enemies who have been afraid to deal with me. Piam! I was sacked. Luckily, God was and is still interested in my life. He brought Dr Uche Ekwugha, now Deputy Director, Prof Ngozi Egbuna International Center for Regional Integration and Trade Research to my daily relaxation joint where I ate roasted yam as a way to escape village gossip. She told me that Prof Chinyere Stella Okunna, my Mummy, my Prof has returned as HOD Masscom Unizik and there would be a meeting for frustrated Post Graduate Scholars. I had done MSc for 7 years at no end. Let me not place the blame on my supervisor because pursuit for filthy lucre contributed on my path. I went and my issues resolved. Six months after, I completed my MSc and enrolled immediately for my PhD. On completion, I had exhausted my savings, but my idol, Peter Obi couldn’t come to my rescue even on request. He knows I have rejected so many offers including appointments for his sake. It was painful but a lesson. Has anything changed in my relationship with him? Not at all, because he is a Maradona or Messi or even CR-7 (smiles -if you know you know). He knows when he has offended his fans and hero worshippers, and tactically avoids push back syndrome. He is more worried when his enemy is offended that a friend or the converted.

Aside Senator Umeh whose relationship with the media was superfluous, Peter is madly in love, if not afraid of the media, hence his daily romance with the media was overwhelming. He may not be like Umeh, but he is a delight for journalists any day. He can make use of the services of Journalists 5 times in a day. And sometimes, it becomes in sets of Journalists. Thank you Barr Dr Valentine Obienyem. You had always made up the shortcomings of Peter Obi as much as your strength could carry. Without you, is there actually an Obi? Your regular intervention and claiming Oga did is well known to us. Aside late Former Governor C.C. Mbadinuju who had unfettered relationships with journalists, Peter Obi was next as his love went round as much as possible to journalists and media houses as well as unions. His regular interface with the media gave him so much edge over all his appointees as he knows much at a tip of the finger. Information is available to him on all sides.
He appointed so many journalists into positions and made many travel out of Anambra State to other parts of Nigeria and the world.
For former Governor Willie Obiano, it was consistently selective sequel to those handling it, because for him ,he gave approvals brought before him for many to benefit, yet many were left out though he tried comparatively in appointing journalists and support to unions before his exit.

It was the Deputy Governor, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim that messed me up, and yet pretended nothing happened. I was on my own, he called me to find out the date I shall celebrate my father. I told him and he called for manifest so it’s booked. Low and behold, Deputy Governor didn’t come and never asked me how we did it, when he would have dropped a word to his brother and my boss, His Grace ,Most Reverend Alexander Chibuzo Ibezim PhD, JP who breezed in. And that would have deceived me, knowing he is a Deputy. And because of his confirmed coming to Amanuke, I engaged in extra expenses to accommodate his convoy. Those of us close to officials understand the meaning of convoy team to your planned event unless the official didn’t come close to event reception. I was disappointed but never showed him because it appears he drives joy in disappointing me when he supposed to be my closest in government. He asked me not to attack his government immediately they won election, but rather than stand in for Soludo wherever he is not meeting up with us as a Union and as a leader even on personal note like Val Obienyem does for Obi, he does no such things. As Chairman of Father’s Sunday 2023, I invited him and he came to the Church of The Holy Spirit Awka. Let me not talk more on what happened next until when led. But, three times we organized events with his consent at Godwin Ezeemo International Press center, NUJ, Anambra Secretariat complex ,he would not attend and would not send a rep particularly the last event he agreed to sponsor food, drinks and transport for 500 media men out of 1500 journalists in Anambra and be a Special guest. We planned, borrowed to make it grand because he already agreed. He never attended and never asked how it went neither did he send a representative even when I begged him to. The expenses are still weighing us down. The last was at Abuja, where Anambra contingent got stuck. We called him and he agreed to sort it out for us. We allowed other zones to leave Abuja but unfortunately, till now, the Deputy Governor hasn’t responded to our calls. He dealt with me as a person and as a leader, but I moved on because it’s worst to what Hon Tony Collins Nwabunnwanne is doing to me. I am one of the closest journalists to him but for an innocent piece, he has not picked my calls. Let me not talk about him today because Late Nneka Anoliefo’s sickness aggravated after Secretary of JAAC, Dr Leopold Nwankwo allegedly seized N500,000 cheque support to the union till date when we take records of all they do with millions there. What’s N500,000? But we looked the other way. Let it not be because of N500,000 we destroy our friendship with Hon TonyCollins but Nneka who works there on secondment from ABS before her demise couldn’t understand the frustration and bitterness. Can’t they behave like Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike? I have written about his ministry but he rather calls to give additional information rather than malice. The Auditor General of the State is also holding our money but we haven’t visited him yet. Ministry of Information just dropping the name that it’s with Auditor General even when this is an approval by Obiano government to NUJ. Let me not list names of people who made donations to NUJ over the years but not redeeming them. We have the list now. One day, it will happen.

On Wednesday, I had an all time opportunity to drop my charter of demands whether personal or for NUJ before His Excellency, Mr Governor of Anambra State, Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo, CFR but I didn’t. I maintained the lane on why I visited. The Governor’s wife and Founder of a Non-profit, Non-Governmental crusade organization, Healthy Living with Nonye Soludo Initiative, Dr Mrs Nonye Soludo has captured me. Indeed she has and her explanation on observing the common rules of hygiene and how vital it is in saving lives and pushing back transmissible diseases was topnotch. Her explanation on the need for improved personal and environmental hygiene around homes and businesses to control the spread of diseases was confirmation of our thought lines. She emphasized on the need for hand washing as one of the greatest preventive remedy of all. She did not stop at preaching against unhealthy living styles, she also dwelt on eating right habits.

How did all this start? The Anambra State Commissioner for Health and State Coordinator of Healthy Living with Nonye Soludo Initiative, Dr Afam Obidike while giving explanation on how the first lady’s Healthy campaign has rubbed off on the overall health achievements of Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo’s administration in Anambra State re-echoed my speech on my acknowledgement of the feats Prof Soludo and wife have recorded. But, because he was expecting the worst from me while I was addressing the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ during their Triennial delegates conference to elect new officers for Anambra chapter, he announced that I have been converted as Ambassador to Nonye Soludo’s Healthy Living Initiative. He even said I shall also work to promote Soludo’s government. Journalists work is watchdog but crusading is also part of it.

The achievements he reeled out were enormous and truly needed media support for our people to take advantage.I haven’t met the First Lady, Dr Mrs Nonye Soludo before Thursday 23rd May, 2024. She hasn’t looked my side neither her husband despite all our support as a Union, NUJ, and as individual journalists. Already, my missiles are battle ready and already pumping bullets after 2 years of unappreciated support and solidarity.

But, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike kept on referencing me as one who has been converted as Ambassador of Healthy Living with Nonye Soludo? That created enough opportunity for the first lady of Anambra State to strike. She asked me to join her and her husband in the crusade for a healthy, prosperous and livable Anambra State. Who am I to say NO to the first lady? I became dumbfounded on what next to do. But, I have accepted the offer in the interest of my union NUJ and interest of the state in line with expectations of NAWOJIANS. The women journalists were surprised on my speech too. They had expected attack, jabs on our first lady as some were worried microphone was given to me. But, they didn’t know I am not a carpenter, but a field Marshall in field journalism, and core Professional journalist. There is time for everything.

At the 2024 NAWOJ, Anambra State Triennial delegates conference where Her Excellency, Dr Mrs. Nonye Soludo was a special guest of Honour, the Commisioner for Women
and Children Affairs, Hon Ify Obinabo was the Chairman on the occasion. She described the Governor”s wife as the best that has happened to Anambra women and children even as Commissioner for Health Dr Afam Obidike eulogised the first lady on her health interventions in the statem in all areas.
And everyone on the media side including the Chairperson, Credentials Committee that planned the conference, Comrade Ebele Eze, the immediate former Chairperson of NAWOJ, Comrade Franklyn Onyekachi, elected Chairperson, Comrade Tochukwu Ifejika even the National officers led by NAWOJ National Chairperson , Aisha Ibrahim K. Bura, as represented by NAWOJ National Auditor and National Vice-Chairperson, Jamila Chinwe Abubakar were all praises for Madam First Lady.

Why were they apprehensive I shall be different. Well, I was different but didn’t go overboard. I maintained my lane.for the good of NAWOJ and in extension NUJ, Anambra State Council. The first lady was emphatic in condemning drug abuse among children, concluding that health is the greatest wealth anyone can invest on.

Just smiling on my seat with the first Lady has got many fans worried that I have been sold as the Odogwu they knew won’t be that smiling. I got calls and calls but it’s a decision nobody can change in the next 6 months unless journalism happens to me. I pray it doesn’t. (Chuckles). But must be out in check for fairness.

When journalism happens to me, I become instantly a gadfly, moral barometer, watchdog and conscience of the society. At that point, nothing matters to me but societal interest. Before my encounter with first lady on Thursday at NUJ, I had met with her husband, the Governor of Anambra State, Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo with Labour leaders. I had an opportunity with the Governor one on one and I would have presented my request box which isn’t personal in any colouration. This is because I realized all the letters or most of the letters NUJ wrote didn’t get to him and I was blaming him. I was wondering why the Governor didn’t sponsor a few of us ,say about 30 out of 500 active journalists to our opportunity training in Dubai? Why our request not to close National Light Newspapers was not obliged? Why the NUJ compound hasn’t been fenced by government? Why is NUJ not receiving subvention? Why won’t the Governor gift an official car to the NUJ? Even, I was wondering why he hasn’t given NUJ financial support since he became Governor. Why were there no appointments to agencies and why we haven’t had a tete a tete with him as a union in 2 years etc.

Soludo led me till the photo stage, yet I couldn’t tell him anything NUJ but Labour. It was on principle, we were at Governor’s office for workers generally not NUJ.

Again, on Thursday, I had another opportunity to table all these grievances before the first lady, Dr Mrs Nonye Soludo. It was my first and I had the golden opportunity to, yet I didn’t. I maintained my stand on focusing on the reasons why she came, hence my speech didn’t dovetail but negative energies are already throwing punches at me.

And some of the people I interviewed for my Cornucopia weekly punches expressed disgust at me when I told them ,I won’t publish until after 6 months and such fears are not addressed after I have privately raised them. I now decided to make a public appeal to His Excellency, the Governor of Anambra State. And to ask everyone not to expect too much gragra from me for now so that we can see beautiful improvements on those things placed before them as request in the interest of everyone.

Mr Governor please, when you were having a tete a tete with labour leaders on Wednesday, you did inform us that more 3,115 teachers would be employed. Please, Mr Governor, graciously employ only 3,000 and employ the rest 115 as journalists in a brand new National Light Newspapers organization or by whatever name you desire, even though rebranded National Light Newspapers shall be more appropriate sequel to the nostalgia associated with the name.
This is my request Your Excellency. Please do this for the media world. Whatever our offenses in the days of yore were, kindly forgive and forget. And re-establish National Light Newspapers. This is our request.

Cornucopia is a weekly column of Comrade Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, PhD.
Odogwu is a known Journalist, Editor, Media & Public Relations Consultant, Media Entrepreneur, Teacher, Lecturer, Motivator, Unionist, Community leader, social analyst and Famous Blogger, as well as Social Media Entrepreneur, Publisher and Conversationalist @ www.odogwublog.com among others.
Phone number: 08060750240
Email: odogwuchampionawka@yahoo.co.uk

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *