Truth they say is bitter. Whether or not we speak the truth we must die, so it is better to speak the truth and die. Speak the truth and rebuild the nation is an injunction. According to Othman Dan Fodio, conscience is an open wound only truth can heal it. It is not arguable that Imo State is in its worst of time in terms of governance.
Rochas Okorocha was once thought to represent the worst of evil in terms of governance. We have come to realize that he is even a saint compared to what we are seeing now. Everything bad is happening in Imo. The government has failed everywhere including sustaining a good relationship with the media.
Naturally, the media does not need to covet the government in order to maintain their independence
But the government, any good government that has the interest of the people at heart needs to support the media do its job well. This is where the government of Imo State has failed woefully. From the way it has conducted its activities so far, it is very clear that the government of Hope Uzodimma is grossly anti-people. This is a government that lies more than the devil and toys with the fortune of its people.
It is not surprising therefore when the Imo chapter of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) presented a request for a little support to attend a NAWOJ conference in Minna, the government turned it down. The previous governments in the past have kept faith with this support which Uzodimma and his team found no reason to continue.
Granted it is not obligatory to do what does the government lose sparing between a million naira or two at the highest to sponsor about 20 Imo women attend a 3 day conference up North. It might not be up to that possibly.
More saddening is the fact that these women who are left to swim or sink in their own juice are serving the same state government that owes them arrears of salaries. Those in the private sector are barely managing to survive. From where does the government expect them to raise the funds to make the trip?
In my own thinking this is the height of wickedness, high handedness. Before the departure information filtered that the requested presented to the Imo Information Commissioner, Declan Emelumba was torn by him because according to the source it was signed off by Barr Vivian Ottih, the State Chairman and a suspended staff of the IBC, the state’s radio station.
Vivian was reported to have made a social media post urging the government to pay arrears of salaries owed the Corporations staff. Emelumba the arrowhead under who the establishment functions got offended and placed her on indefinite suspension. A source described it as a misplaced aggression because it is not about the chairperson, Vivian, but about the welfare of Imo women.
Emelumba has since denied the charge which many described as denial common with government officials. A female journalist insisted that he tore the request before a second request was sent to the governor signed off by another official and extended to him which he acknowledged receiving, yet nothing came out of the request. It is sad that the Commissioner could launch into a personal vendetta over the affairs of a group, another concerned retired journalist speaking under anonymity volunteered.
I do not want to believe that the government closed its eyes to allow our women travel so far away to go and suffer like orphans when their counterparts from other states got generous offers from their respective governments. These are our women, these are our mothers, and they belong to the vulnerable group in the society. They deserve a better deal.
I am calling on the first lady Chioma Uzodimma to step out and make happy her fellow women. They would receive an applause refunding these women their travel expenses. This is another opportunity for the government to build a rapprochement with Imo media. It should not be bungled.