Sam Onwuemedo’s Archaic Recipe


Silence, they say, is Golden. But sometimes, silence could mean admission or agreement to wild allegations, like the type the Chief Press Secretary CPS to the Governor of Imo State, Samuel Onwuemedo posted to my phone on Friday 28, July,2017 at exactly 8. 44 am.
It was such a despicable text message and hard to comprehend to have emanated from a man of Sam Onwuemedo’s age, and current position in government and society.
The text message lacked logic, even as fallacious and has nothing to do with a previous or current arguments with Sam Onwuemedo in his erroneous belief that CPS to a governor has the licence only to abuse , rather than engage in academic and robust cerebral arguments with the public.
To be sure that such baseless and infantile post came from Onwuemedo, I inquired from him what the matter was all about, only for him to respond “it is a message. Publish it verbatim”.
I then posted to him “Onwuemedo, if you call yourself a man and have the Balls “publish it verbatim” all you alleged about me as I usually do reply you in Newspapers and let me take on you. Let us make it public. I am waiting and ready. Forget these “Ashiri text msgs” Be a man. I challenege you this week”.
Three weeks after this post to Onwuemedo, I have not heard from him, instead he has been busy this time with Modestus Nwankpa, Publisher of Big Truth Newspaper whom, as usual, Onwuemedo left all that the young man advised him but rather rained curses and abuses on Nwankpa’s wife, Children and parents, who were in no way mentioned in Nwankpa’s piece.
In my own case, Onwuemedo abused, insulted and maligned my entire family, including mocking me over my wife’s death. I do hope he kept that message, because some day we all may have need to revisit it.
You see, because of my upbringing, I don’t dwell on individual personal matters while writing, but rather on issues. Ever since I have cross-fired arguments with Onwuemedo, I have never for any reason mentioned his father, wife, children or Onwuemedo’s extended family because it is of no consequence, because Sam Onwuemedo as a person and the office he presently occupies today are two different things from his private life, wife, children and extended family. Not that I don’t know about his wife, children or father. At least I visited his village thrice this week alone on professional and business issues. But I doubt if Onwuemedo knows my village.
However, due to Onwuemedo’s own world view-and and up bring, and since you can never give what you don’t have, he likes inanities such as insults, abuses and mockery, forgetting that issues and matters are the major discourse of real intellectual minds not mundane things by leaving the message to abuse the messenger.
In some of my write ups, I had counseled Onwuemedo as his senior on the job (remember I was CPS to Governor Ohakim 8 years ago) to always attack the main ingredients of the subject matter and ignore calling people names, and should use subtle and diplomatic words to pass his message, since as a public Relations Officer of a Chief Executive, all you want is to protect your Boss image, and yet avoid making more enemies for him or her. Abraham Lincoln said “I destroy my enemies by making them friends”
Today, Onwuemedo is the only CPS in Nigeria that is facing two high profile cases in court, due to the libelous languages he employs in his Press Releases. That is ridiculous and a desecration of the office of CPS, which ought to be occupied by an urbane, diplomatic and intellectually gifted servant, who does more works by being heard than be seen. But Onwuemedo is busy talking about himself and abusing everybody every day than writing about his Boss and his projects and programmes.
Now, Onwuemedo is in court with Chief Mike Ahamba (SAN), and His Excellency, Chief Ikedi Ohakim. First of its kind in Imo history.
Frankly, I want Onwuemedo to succeed in office, but he sees himself as “know it all” which is inimical to anybody who wishes to grow. Nobody has monopoly of knowledge, as you can learn from even your kids. For Sam Onwuemedo, being older in age, and having started Journalism practice before anyone wears him the cap of a Solomon. Life is not like that. Hear Wole Soyinka “I believe that the best learning process of any kind of craft is just to look at the work of others”
He could have started Journalism with the likes of Enerst Ikoli, M C K Ajuluchukwu, Haberth Maculey, Nnamdi Azikiwe and others, but he forgets that the world is dynamic and it is only those who comes out of their intellectual and scholastic cocoon that would know that Mark Unegbu is no more the Bishop of Owerri Catholic Dioceses.
As he usually boasts, I never argued that “Uncle Sam” is not my senior in Journalism, by year of joining the profession but “levels do change”. I was a Chief Press Secretary to a Governor before him. I started running a local Newspaper before him, and by the Grace of God, we are two poles apart both in social interactions and up- bringing which, are the easiest ways to gain quick knowledge in life. But he admits that he does not socialize. Bravo to him! But I am a Street Boy, yet a gentleman. I combine the two to avoid missing any and wade through life challenges.
He says that he is the greatest thing that has ever happened to Journalism in Imo State and asked me to say what I achieved as a Chief Press Secretary to the Governor in “Six months”, and as a Journalist.
“Uncle Sam” claims he does not lie, as the Holy Spirit lives in him for eternity. But everybody knows that I worked as Press Secretary to Governor Ikedi Ohakim from 2009- to 2011. That is two years. “I don’t lie”, Onwuemedo boasted. But he said I was in office for six months. Avoiding comparing my stay in office with that of Onwuemedo, I hasten to say that I touched a lot of lives, by sharing what I made in government with my colleagues and never for any reason, engaged in “war of words” with my colleagues, including him, who was the thorn in my flesh and on my principal, throughout my stay in government House.
I did not for any day abuse Onwuemedo, neither did I send him a message insulting his forefathers, wife or children. I understood he was in business and doing his job, therefore I can’t instruct him on how to run his business. After my approaches to him failed, I moved on without threatening or insulting him. But he has never approached me ever since he is in office, nor asked anybody to do so. Rather he hauls insults and biles at me. Onwuemedo has forgotten so soon, and my family, relations and dead wife are his object of abuses. How time flies!
In my stay in office, a page of Newspaper color advert in local Newspapers was N150,000 (one hundred and fifty thousand naira). And Imo then had no Bailout funds or Paris fund largesse. I helped colleagues start Houses, equip their offices, move to befitting offices, marry wives, pay school fees, buy cars, computers etc, Every Christmas Journalists in Imo went home with at least a Bag of Rice. You can verify.
I was in nearly all occasions that has to do with Journalists in the State; Burials, Birthdays, House Warmings, Weddings, Naming ceremonies etc, I also made personal contributions to bail out NUJ in their tough times.
In Imo State today, there is no Newspaper company that does not have one of my products. Kenneth Uwasomba who at a time Edited Whitepaper Newspaper got into Journalism through me, because I was his Editor in Announcer Newspaper and gave him his first Newspaper job.
Onwuemedo himself is one of the achievements I count today. I introduced him into column writing while I worked in Announcer Newspaper.
He was bringing me News stories and features to publish for him, and I was getting a lot of calls after people have read Sam’s write- ups.
So, one day I asked him if he could be regular so that I open him a column. He agreed. And I named that column “X Ray”, which he saw in the next day edition and he still writes under that pen name till date. Ask my Boss Nze Joe Anyama.
Onwuemedo in the abusive and insolent message of Friday 28, July, 2017 wanted to know my family.
Well, I am a Great Grand Son of Oduebi Eke Ekpegbulam, an Ofor title holder and community leader from Umuechem Umuhu, in the present day Ngor Okpala LGA, Imo State. He was so revered and seen as a king by the community.
I am a Grand- son of Chief Gabriel Eke Ekpegbulam, a product of Hopewoddel College Calabar, and one of the earliest educated personalities in old Owerri province, if not in Igboland.
Gabriel Eke Ekpegbulam was a foremost court clerk, who brought one of the court Areas in Ngor Okpala (Okwe) to our community, and the old court still stands today opposite my Grand- father’s compound in Umuechem, Umuhu. He later became President of Okwe Customary Court.
It was in the course of his duties with white men that his surname was Anglonised and abridged to Ekpe, instead of Ekpegbulam and it stuck till date. His offsprings therefore adapted the name, up to us now the fourth generation.
Still, I am the first Son and child of Dr Hilary Chukwubueze Ekpe, a Noble and of Royal blood. He was a graduate of Lincoln University, USA, where he bagged two Doctorate Degrees; Doctor of Eduction, (D.Ed) and Doctor of Divinity (DD).
He died as a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Imo State. During his burial, Sir Bright Nwelue represented His Excellency, Chief Achike Udenwa as Governor, while Dr Mrs. Gloria Chukwukere represented Imo State Government as then Commissioner for Education.
My father’s Elder Brother Chief (Sir) Raphael Ekpe (RU) was an early graduatant of University of Nigeria Nsukka UNN. He was the first Vice Principal of Owerri Grammer School, Imerienwe (OGS) later Imerienwe High School. Till date we have Ekpe House in that school.
RU later moved into Local Government administration, from where he worked as a Sole Administrator in Orlu, Oguta, Aboh Mbaise, Ahiazu, Ihitte Uboma, Obowo, Okigwe LGAs etc during the Military era.
He was to be the first Traditional Ruler of Umuhu Autonomous community when he died.
My father’s younger brother was Dr Alexander Ekpe. He returned to Imo State on the invitation of Governor Sam Mbakwe to form Progressive Bank. He had Doctor of Philosophy in Banking and Finance (Phd) from University of Missouri, Atlanta Georgia, USA. His contemparies in Banking are Dr Casmir Anyanwu and Dr Hebert Orji.
He died in 1984 while on inspection to Progress Bank, Aba Branch, now Abia State.
We are a religious and as well a Traditional family. The Deity of Umuechem community, OBIALA, is domiciled in our ancestral compound and my cousin, Paulinus Ekpe (De Boy) is the Chief Priest, even though he is now a born again Christian. All these are subject to verification. A son of an Eagle cannot be a pigeon.
I am a graduate of Linguistics and Communication Arts from University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. I have since added Masters Degree and Post Graduate Diploma PGD in Journalism. I did my Primary School at Shell camp primary school Owerri and Egbu Comprehensive for Secondary School. I have travelled to over ten European, Asian, American and African Countries.
On the issue of my late wife, a princess of the Emeana Dynasty of Naze, Owerri North LGA, (may her soul rest in peace) which Sam Onwuemedo uses to taunt and mock a painfully bereaved young man who lost a beloved Angel at such young age of thirty four (34), with four young kids, I hold nothing against him. He preaches to be a Christian, but I doubt the kind of a Christian he is that he derives pleasure from the pain of others. What a sadist! Sam does not know what it meant to lose a wife.
He refused to visit my family since my wife died three years ago but I had hoped he should let me be. I am not the only man that has been visited with such a tragedy. But with God, I and my little children will overcome. Only God will judge Onwuemedo and his childish insinuations. William Shakespeare said “sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the Toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head” he had likes of Sam in mind.
Having said these, I want to remind Onwuemedo that God said “I choose to bless whom I want to bless”
Therefore, having found himself in his present lofty position, he should stop boasting because whatever we are today is by the Grace of God. When I became CPS in 2009, it was not because I am the best in Imo but just that God located me at that point in time.
The reason I don’t boast, till tomorrow, is because we are simply Pencils in the hand of God. Any position you are given use it to touch lives and make friends not to abuse others because nothing lasts forever. For instance, I never believed I could lose Chizoba today, except Onwuemedo who knew it ahead. He shall explain someday.
It is not good that Onwuemedo is quarrelling with everybody, just because of office of CPS. What if he becomes Governor tomorrow? He will ask everybody to vacate the State for him.
He is quarrelling with Mike Ahamba (SAN), Ikedi Ohakim, Lambert Ojukwu, Correspondents in Imo State, Publishers in Imo State, his younger brother Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha, Arch Bishop Obinna, Dr Hilary Eke, his Uncle Chief Onwuemedo (who used one page Advert to demolish Sam) Kelechi Mejuobi, Kennedy Eweama, Etelberth Okere, Modestus Nwankpa, HOT FM Peoples Assembly Crew and others. Could he be right and all these people are wrong? This is the question he ought to ask himself. But he will not.
Today, after serving Ohakim regime, I am here employing Labour, and moving freely. But there are some people in that regime that cannot step into Owerri Street, except at nights. But Ohakim enters and leaves Owerri at will. Is that Good? We live to reap our rewards.
Nobody is saying you should not defend your Boss. And nobody is after your position. Rather I advise that you smoothen the relationship between the vehicles through which you can make your job easy, which is Journalists. It is your major constituency and you can’t do without them. Nothing bad if you adjust your life now at least to carry out your job, after which you go back to your old ways. You are a public officer now and must be in the eyes of the storm, until you vacate that office. It you like abuse me more, I have moved on Sir. Let God be our judge.