Imo Information Commissioner Declan Emelumba has denied tearing a letter originated by the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) Imo chapter, requesting the government support to enable them to attend their conference in Minna this weekend.
News making the rounds in the state indicates that the Commissioner on sighting the document suspected to have been transmitted to him through another government media aide tore the paper and thrashed it.
It was stated that the commissioner was motivated to destroy the letter on sighting the signature of the NAWOJ chairman, Barr Vivian Ottih, a senior staff of the state’s radio station, Imo Broadcasting Corporation, IBC, but who is serving over six months indefinite suspension.
When News Echo approached the Commissioner, he denied it all claiming that he cannot be mad to do such a thing insisting that it never happened. However, he admitted receiving Tuesday a letter from one Dorathy Okafor who gave him a copy of what they submitted to government house.
In his words, “it is not possible for anybody to use his or her mouth to tell you that. Even if I am a stupid man why would I tear a paper given to me? It is not possible because it did not happen. It is not true. It is possible that you are going through Vivian Ottih that was suspended.”
When reminded that the letter he received from Dorathy Okafor was the second after he tore the first letter, he admitted that the first letter went to the Principal Secretary though the governor.
According to him, “the first letter was given to the P/S, I didn’t even know, I just ran into them and they said that they have given a letter to the governor and I said that is my area. It was out of my curiosity and interest that I said can I have a copy so that I can follow up which they just gave me yesterday (Tuesday) in the presence of Chris Akaraonye, Imo NUJ chairman. I have been giving her a progress report.”
The NAWOJ Chairman confirmed that the Commissioner tore the request paper. In her words, “it happened, immediately hearing that it is NAWOJ he tore it and thrashed it under his table. In the past the government has always been supportive. It is not about me, Vivian. I can find my way conveniently to anywhere but as the leader of the group I owe a responsibility to Imo women. If anything happens to them tomorrow, it is Imo women.”
Imo NAWOJ had in the past received government support to attend their previous conferences, but this year’s request appears abandoned at least at the time of filing this report