Have I Been Vindicated On Okorocha’s Media Aide, Sam Onwuemedo?


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In the past few weeks, I have taken time to expose the oddity, the Chief Press Secretary, CPS to the Governor, Sam Onwuemedo, has been perfecting in the office of the State Chief Executive Officer. The quantum of the strange media relations tactics and obnoxious style of the Governor’s spokesman reached alarming crescendo with a dramatic climax when he asked security agencies to investigate and possibly prosecute his colleagues on the other side of the profession who reported about an incident concerning the new militant group in Imo State, known as the Niger Delta Red Squad, NDRS.
Following Onwuemedo’s bravado manifested in a false show of courage to cover up for his malfeasance in office, I went further to expose his paucity of knowledge in image handling and publicity management. I added that his crass ignorance and sheer arrogance coupled with neo fascist mentality arrogates him the power to threaten journalists at will whenever a story he and his paymasters do not fancy hits the newsstands.
The Governor’s media aide, believed to be overrun by the spirit of militocracy forgot that Nigeria is experiencing democracy that is a far departure from the barbaric era of military junta when power is sourced and maintained from the barrel of gun as against democracy where the pen is mightier than the sword. As a power zealot, Onwuemedo negates diplomatic and “window dressing” tactical finesse in image handling to prefer bestial approaches lacking in human sensibility.
Barely three days after my last sermon on him was published, Onwuemedo showcased his identity to vindicate my stories about him, by threatening another Owerri based newspaper publisher, Modestus Nwamkpa, of the Big Truth newspaper.
According to Nwankpa in a widely circulated press statement on Monday 2nd August, 2016 made available to media houses including my medium, Trumpeta, the Big Truth newspaper published said, “The publisher of Big Truth Newspaper Nwamkpa Modestus has alleged a threat to his life by the CPS to Governor Rochas Okorocha, Mr Sam Onwuemedo. In a release made available to Trumpeter, Nwamkpa said that Onwuemedo called him and threatened to deal with him and also to order security men in the state to close down his office if he (Nwamkpa) failed to put up a refutal concerning the Banner headline in his Monday 1st August edition of THE BIG TRUTH NEWSPAPER tilled: ‘ARARUME CAN’T BE GOVERNOR’ which was ascribed to Governor Okorocha during his press briefing last Friday at his residence in Spibat Estate Owerri.
Nwamkpa wondered why Onwuemedo should single him out for threat when there were other Newspapers that also reported the same story. He said that he was not afraid of Sam Onwuemeodo as he asked him to go ahead and make real his threat of closing down his office while advising him to always bear in mind that power is transient and that the position he is holding is not a permanent one. He reminded Onwuemedo that nobody has in the past threatened to close down his office or kill him even when he had written against the previous government. He berated the Chief Press secretary to Okorocha for going about his duty as the Image maker of the Governor by threatening Publishers and media men which is capable of undermining the government he is serving or de-marketing the same government.
Nwamkpa maintained that he stands by his report as what he wrote was exactly what transpired during the press briefing stressing that he had no other interior motive other than to feed the reading public with the Truth, the whole truth and nothing but the Truth in line with the cardinal principles of the Newspaper promising to always report facts at all times”.
Apart from the Big Truth, other media houses also made good use of the story, but Onwuemedo chose to harass and use power of government to intimidate his colleagues.
I was not part of the journalists who were at the interactive session with his principal, the Governor but my partner, Henry Ekpe attended and still gives the account that is not different from that of Nwamkpa published in his Big Truth newspaper.
To expose Onwuemedo’s quackery as a media misfit manager, the Governor’s media aide chose to allegedly threaten newspaper publishers who published the story. I am aware he also did similar self destructive mechanism to the few who published the story.
A thoroughbred image handler operating as a CPS to the Governor would have adopted an acceptable diplomatic “damage control” approach than abrasive disposition of being rough and coercive in reaching out to media operators he commonly adopts whenever a media house carries unpalatable stories about his principal. The recent news about Okorocha’s comments on Araraume is a case in point. It is a common knowledge in the media that anybody briefing the press can decide to ask journalists to relax, “quench” or drop any aspect not meant for the public. It is often called “off camera” or “dead battery” when an aspect is not needed Any media house who goes ahead to publish if asked to “relax” has embarked on unethical misadventure and liable to be sanctioned by authorized media governing bodies or censors group.
In this case, a tomfoolery Onwuemedo after the media chart with the Governor did not exercise professional rethink to ask his colleagues to kindly drop the aspect that concerns Araraume or others mentioned in the course of discussion since it was a “by the way” talk or mere gist not worthy for public consumption. But because he is “Mr-know-it-All” wallowing in “Okachamara” (I know it all) mentality, he walked away immediately the interactive session ended with Okorocha, thereby giving the newsmen wide card to play on any topic of their interest.
Onwuemedo’s importation of threat against media houses further exposes his infantile thinking that every journalist is part of his White Paper newspaper editorial team, or Govt House Press Corps and State owned IBC Radio & TV stations he regularly edits their reports and decides what to carry as news when it comes to affairs concerning Okorocha and the Imo State Government. But he will continue to get it wrong and always come from behind with obsolete procedure of rigmarole with belated rejoinders when he had enormous opportunity to have halted the unwanted version.
A well groomed image handler should not be an expert in always placing rejoinders but must show high degree of proactive measures to check negative reports before it hits the newsstands.
Meanwhile, I present unedited reactions from the social media and phone inbox messages trailing earlier commentaries on my series about Onwuemedo’s shenanigans.