The recent attack on Chinagorom Christopher made it expedient for me to write about this topic I had been nursing for a long time before now. What actually motivated this post was a conversation somewhere in Owerri. We were discussing the crack among the social media and image launders of the Imo State Governor viz a viz the Rescue Mission. In that discussion, I was of the view that this government has been unkind to the young men who have risked their integrity defending this government and its policies even when the government and their principal was at an all time low public and acceptability rating. I held the opinion that it was uncharitable that none of the Rescue Mission social media faithful made the list of over 200 man contingent of this government that visited Turkey twice. None were captured when 305 selected Imo youths were purportedly selected from each ward and given N1Million each. None ever got appointed into any office. Rather people who just jumped in got either the plum appointment of SA Social Media, contracts or even a certain lawmaker from a neighbouring southeast state who was alleged to have bagged an over N30Million contract to launder the image of this government on social media.
In that conversation however, I was countered by persons who were of the opinion that these folks are just getting what they deserved. They posited that life is all about packaging and how you carry your self. The recent treatment meted out on members of the RSMSG, as they call themselves seem to prove holders of this view right. I shall go forward to advance my reasons. But before I do so, I must appreciate that these guys had given everything in the defence of this government and even doing so till date. The truth is that being a Rochas Okorocha defender or image launderer is not an easy task. One cannot do so without sticking his or her own integrity. The policy summersaults, inconsistent policies, irrational and not well thought out programs, buying into controversies, strange idiosyncrasies and vagaries of negative acts and utterances have characterized the last seven years of the Rochas administration. Yet these men and women, took the bullet for the man they loved. They never bordered what people think about them. Many of them has been insulted, cursed and even rejected by friends and relations who hold contrary opinion. In all that they remained steadfast, even when they defended the most caziest of policies or actions of government that in most cases even against their own conscience.
In all that endevour, not many of them really knew how to harness the opportunity of working for a ruling party or government in power. All over the world, people support a candidate to grab power with some positive motivation in return. But once such government wins, you must find where you really become relevant or where your talent or enterprise is best suited. You don’t just go about meeting political office holders without any proposal or demand to be appointed into a place you find an opening for which you are best qualified. This has been the bane of the group of men and women who call themselves the Rescue Mission Social Media Group the RSMSG. It is commonly said that the way you project yourself is the way people would respect you.
At sometime in the first term of this administration there arose discontent amongst the group then referred to as OMC, (Owelle Must Come). Many of them were uncomfortable that a non-Imo indigene and PDP-Ohakim administration defectee was given the office of SA Social media to coordinate them. The appointment generated so much bad blood. But the truth is that you don’t blame someone who saw an opportunity and used it. Dude saw a void and made a proposal for need for the administration to appoint an aide to coordinate social media. His application was considered and the office was created. Those who worked for the government or who were doing the social media job for the governor either did not have the requisite qualification or did not have the carriage, vision and inventiveness to push for the creation of the office.
After all that bickering, it was still under that person they so back-bitted that they got their first meeting with the Governor where they were feted and blessed with Android phones each and other goodies. Before Iyke Ogbonna organized the meeting with the Governor, none of the RSMSG could boast of them coming in close contact or getting a reception or appreciation from the governor.
Unlike President Buhari, when the Governor won a second term in 2015, he did not in anyway acknowledge the efforts of his men on social media. This was because they never made themselves relevant.
When the government they worked for won a hard-fought second term, none of them found their place. None found a place they were more suited or qualified. It took a certain person yet again from outside Imo State to grab the social media coordinating office. To achieve that he saw a vacuum when this government was facing the worst PR Bashing. He devised a brand called “ROCHAS PIKIN”. It sounded stupid but it achieved the desired purpose. He assembled a crew of Cameramen and bloggers. He took pains out of his own pockets to capture the few successes or projects done by the government. He bought facebook and twitter Ads for the government projects and engaged better than those who had been on the job. Unlike those who did in the past, his does not use pseudo facebook accounts to attack and insult people, but rather uses them to advance and promote his narrative as every normal Imolite.
They may deny it but in seven years the Rescue Mission, the social media team only met with the governor inside the Douglas House during his birthday courtesy of Rochas Pikin. He pushed for it and the governor approved it. He even used persuasion to get those in opposition to join with all manner of subtle approaches. Though however he tried, we in the opposition refused vehemently but not without respect to the man who for the first time showed he had the carriage to meet the Governor any time any day, including being imbedded in the governor’s daily itinerary in or outside the state. They may still deny it, but the first time they got a lunch party with the governor and unhindred access to the Governor’s Ogboko mansion was still by the same man. While they were busy visiting all Rescue Mission office holders houses, attending carnivals, football competitions, constituency empowerments of rice sharing, Abasidiong aka Rochas Pikin has been running daily coverage with his crew of the Governors outings in Ogboko and yet retiring to his house and family in Owerri for his night rest. Infact, he was one of the few who got on board the governor’s limited spaces on board chattered helicopters on voyages.
This post is an expression of outrage that people were in Kingsley Uju’s House in Egbema from dusk till dawn. The incident of the beating I learnt happened at 4am gentlemen. What would family men, women, graduates and enlightened citizens of Imo social media who are not from Ohaji Egbema be doing in Kingsley Uju’s house in Egbema? Does it mean they don’t have programs? Even if you don’t have your own programs, can’t you resist the one that would rob you your sleep, quiet time and family life in your own Aso Rock? Why not go spend the night in the Governor’s house or Deputy Governor. Why be in the house of the Deputy Chief of Staff at 4am?
The matter becomes worst when you realize the altercation started when they demanded that they be given enough water to go round. When I learnt by hindsight that the host told them ”he doesn’t have a pure water factory” when they rebelled that the water he gave them was not enough at 4am made me close to shedding tears. What is bottled water my dear brethren? How much is the highest table water by Nestle or Coca Cola Bottling Company, that enlightened Imolites should be insulted in far away Egbema at 4am? No person who values you will insult you for even the costliest Champaign in the market. The reason is that you are worth more than any drink in this world.
Anyway you look at it, that the fuse was caused by demand for water means the host did not make provision for the visitors. It showed how much he valued their visit. The carnival was for his people of Ohaji Egbema. Kingsley Uju I know has the capacity to hire journalists at nations highest news media like Channels, AIT etc to cover the carnival if he so desired. The claim that they went to cover the carnival is therefore punctured. Why go enmasse? Why not send delegates? But the fact that people stayed in a man’s house till 4am showed lack of carriage. Responsible people have a time frame they stay late out. They make arrangement for mobility so that when others are going, you also bid your host bye and zoom off. You don’t get stranded in another man’s house at 4am to the extent of begging for water. Just water. Before you do that you make sure, the person values you to get you somewhere to lay your head and to guarantee your provisions. Why should my people be stranded in Egbema by 4am in the morning?
I don’t know the roll-call of those who were slighted at Egbema, but I can comfortably tell you Ekwe Scott and gift Okedinma who are from the very local government would not be there. Both men have refused to be wearing RSMSG uniform to be going about people’s houses on occasions and at courtesy calls. They have all worked their ways to have unhindered access to the highest level of this administration and whom they have chosen to work with and who so regards them. Nwadike Chikezie is manning his duty post in Nkwere and dedicated to his job and duty. Chidi Nwofor is an accomplished builder whose involvement with people in power is to see how to advance and contribute in his area of expertise. Fcc Jones hate him, insult him, but he has put his business and enterprise of paint distribution and building paintings as his advantage for being close to government. Sometime ago when they tried to malign him they used the fact that he asked for funds to help him shoot his movie. But that is his art and the world would attest he shot the movie and his intellectual property keeps people educated and informed in their homes while he sleeps in his house.
It is not enough to work or support a government in power, the question is what do you have to offer? Where do you fit in? How will your talent, expertise or substance contribute to good governance and administration of the state. Wearing RSMSG uniform and muffler, going about courtesy calls and parties hosted by House of Assembly members and Rescue Mission office holders does not portray you as responsible and serious. Get yourself something to do. Go to see office holders when you have something reasonable to demand or communicate. Create value with distance. Let them demand to see you or demand to see them when it is irresistible for them not to reject your visit.
The entire incident in Kingsley Uju’s house to me would have been avoided if people knew where they ought to be at any given time. Let us change our ways in this 2018.
Kissinger Ikeokwu wrote from Owerri