It has become necessary once again to state clearly that the 2019 governorship election in Imo is over; it has been won and lost. A governor has been duly inaugurated and the process of rebuilding Imo has started in earnest.
Even though His Excellency, Governor Emeka Ihedioha, has extended a hand of fellowship to all, it is understandable that the pains of electoral loss are still too difficult for many to bear. Withdrawal syndrome is real especially after eight years of binging and living riotously on the common wealth of Imo people.
There is no doubt that a quiet and normal live has become anathema to many people who were in apex positions and corridors of power. They are now in the throes of a lifetime loss therefore they are expected to throw tantrums for a number of weeks. Because they are not people of honour and goodwill, they will not go home quietly, or take a holiday; they are ganging up, they are plotting in order to distract and even derail the new government.
A pointer to the fact that former Governor Rochas Okorocha, and his embittered team of losers are still in mourning is his act of elevating his former spokesman to a Special Adviser on Media, a suggestion that media “war” has just started for them.
And that indeed has been the case as every day, the highly charged “Special Adviser” concocts one interview or story to malign the new government and berate the person of the governor. On radio, television and social media, the battle has been raging as if Imo is the only state in which power changed hands in Nigeria.
Consider this latest example: Last Monday June 10, a National Newspaper carried the headline, “Ihedioha still behaving like a lawmaker on oversight function”. This headline was credited to former Governor Okorocha, speaking through his new Special Adviser on Media, Sam Onwuemeodo.
Among other banalities, the story accused Governor Ihedioha of setting up numerous committees without embarking on any serious work. They forget that the era of Okorocha’s one-man rule is over. They cannot comprehend the fact that governance is a collective action and that Governor Ihedioha is not “Mister Know it all”, instead he has indicated that he would bring the best of Imo minds from everywhere to join hands to help rebuild Imo State.
They forget that this is not the first time power has shifted in the state and exiting governors never waged war on their successors. They left office with much grace and dignity, acting like elders and true statesmen.
We have also noticed with dismay that some journalists in the state have also not got over the fact that the election has ended. Some of them exhibited such partisanship that is unbecoming of a professional journalist during the last election. That was understandable and may even be excused. But now that the election is long over, we expect people to return to normalcy and elect to behave themselves1 especially in discharging their duties.
However, since the inauguration of the Ihedioha administration some journalists in the state remain relentless in their bad behavior. For instance, have seen-reporters send one story to their newspapers for publication and an entirely different and negative version of the same story posted on social media.
This is fraudulent of course and unacceptable in our profession, to say the least. We urge such double-faced journalists playing this dirty game to desist. We are not asking journalists not to report, we are saying: report professionally, accurately, fairly and objectively.
Again, we say, take heed, the election is over
Osuji is Media Aide to Governor Ihedioha of Imo State