AND “AGARACHAA MUST COME BACK”

Posted by on Jun 1st, 2017 and filed under Columnists. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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It was my late grandmother, Mrs. Mary Waborochi Mejuobi, we fondly called “Babuo Wonukpuru” that draw me closer to the expression, “Agaracha must come back”. My late granny during her lifetime indulged greatly in music and I am aware that there was this lyric she developed deep interest to recant during domestic chores which was agaracha must come back.
As a toddler, I never knew what “Agaracha must come back” signified when my granny sang it not until I became an adult to understand that “Agaracha” one who moves around “must come back, Babuo Wonukpuru, may her soul continue to rest in peace will always mimic the music made popular by a tradition music legend of Ikwere stock named Jimmy Conta.
Only recently, the memoirs of the “Agaracha must come back” music resurfaced in my life. In February 2015, I was elected the National Publicity Secretary, NPS of the Nigeria Referees Association (NRA). My new designation as the spokesman of the umbrella body of football referees in Nigeria, has greatly made me an “Agarachaa” and forcibly alienating me from development in my traditional domain, in Owerri, the Imo State capital, professional duties as a journalists, politics of my area and warm affinity with loved ones at the home front.
Since the football session entered gear five, yours truly has been busy with the activities associated with the whistle blowing business. Apart from abandoning my domain and journalism trade to do my bit as a Referee Assessor, I am always locked up somewhere discussing matters related to the men of black. It was in the process of dumping my office schedules for refereeing that a partner I need not mention his name branded me “Agarachaa”, but will not fail to add “must come back” anytime he reports to office and notices my presence.
Succinctly put, my periodic shuttles outside Imo State as an itinerary worker has shut me out from affairs of the State. As a regular columnist in my medium, contemporary issues affecting the state and nation named Agwodinuju and accompanying “Baba-Na-Baba poliscope” donminated the back page of the newspaper. While Awodinuju dwells more on contemporary and social issues trending in the society, Baba-na-Baba poliscope focuses on politics more of a political commentary. I humbly tender unreserved apology to numerous readers of the paper who have missed from the regular Thursday “epistles” My absence is inescapable. I am aware of calls, text messages and inquiries targeted at finding out what necessitated my absence for a while. To sum it up, I will concur to join the chorus, “Agarachaa must come back” to announce my return back to beat.

Interestingly, a lot has happened within the period I was on Awol. I was tempted to come alive with a quickie a month ago when I breezed into the sate and overheard the governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okoroch use my medium, Trumpeta newspaper as subject matter during an interactive session with journalist at the Nigeria Union of Journalist, NUJ Press centre on Portharcourt road, Owerri. The vehicle I found myself on my way back to Owerri tuned to 94.5 FM, the state radio station named Orient FM, where the interactive session was live and the governor on air. Time could not permit me to scrible down any thing for readers on that issue before I referee assignment whisked me away again. But I won’t end the announcement of my return without given the incident a brief touch.

In his characteristics manner of showcasing hilarious scenes embellished with comedic trappings, Okorocha focused on Trumpeta newspaper’s style of reportage, banner headlines and unique editorial identity. Those in the vehicle who knew my identity and relationship with the medium the governor pounded in the public flashed eyes at me. The development forced me to move straight to the Porthacourt road end of the state capital city where the live event took place to have a clearer view of the Okorocha’s face while he continued with the pernicious jibes at Trumpeta newspapers I serve as a co-Publisher/Director and operate as Deputy Editor-in-Chief.
It was not the first time the governor focused on the medium during interactive sessions with newsmen. Within the period I had time and thought it was necessary to listen to the sugar -coat rhetoric of “My Governor, My Governor”, in the past, echoes of Trumpeta, Trumpeta and Trumpeta from his end always filled my ear.
The manner Okorocha spoke about Trumpeta indicated he remains an avowed reader of the Owerri based tabloid with circulating outreach to Abia, Rivers and Anambra states.
In one particular session, he exclusively had with the then united members of the Independent Newspaper Publishers Association, INPA, when I represented my medium, I discovered that the reason why a governor of a state decided to have an interactive session with newspaper owners was to only talk about Trumpeta “cover stories”. The governor’s penchant to recite past headlines of the newspaper with “Voice of the people” as its watchword, made other operators of local tabloids in the state present at the session edgy as if they only came to listen to Okorocha glorify Trumpeta and magnify the prowess of its operations. Reason was that the governor from his statements appeared to have known and read only Trumpeta in the state.
It was not surprising that at the larger house of journalists in the state, at the NUJ Press Centre which I hurried to be part off, Okorocha resuscitated his flair for Trumpeta by not only recounting lead stories of the recent past but also went ahead to cast banner headlines the newspaper may likely chose after his press conference at journalists’ abode in Owerri.
Okorocha’s Trumpetamania has only assisted uninformed minds know more about the person of the governor. Before now, it was widely believed that Okorocha has no time for what Hausa’s call “Dogo Trunchi” (long grammar) in simple tense. It was reported that he has no time for what the newspapers write and cared less about written items concerning his government. But coming out to mimic what the electronic and print media in the state write about him, shows he has time for the press and indeed read newspapers.
After a rundown of the signature styles of each medium, the governor once again faced Trumpeta. The significance of the Okorocha’s Trumpetamania is that he has become an unsoliticated advertiser of the newspaper. Majority of Imolites and others beyond the state who clutched their radio sets closer to their ears to hear the governor speak to the Journalists​ have come to know Trumpeta as a must read and handbook for those wanting to know developments in the state. The management of the newspaper does not need any jingle to book slots for advert airing in the electronic media since the “Peoples Governor” has been doing so for Trumpeta in any Public function.
Ironically, it appears the governor appreciates the fact that Trumpeta is a harbinger of the truth for his Rescue Mission Government. One fact remains obvious; the media unit of the governor is yet to refute or issue a rejoinder challenging or disclaiming stories and news items the newspaper carried about the governor in recent times. I am also aware that the newspaper will not abandon the ethical standards expected of it as a watchdog of the society. By next week, I will go on random sampling of issues ranging from the sacked Exco, Okorocha’s​ new designation as “Father Christmas” to FG and his intent to make Owerri the Dubai of Africa. Once again, accept my apologies for absence on the newsstands.

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