By. Ferdinand Ekeoma
The article with the above caption was written and published online by Onyebuchi Ememanka, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu on Public Communications.
According to him, his article was prompted by an announcement on a radio station wherein Dr. Alex Otti OFR was announced as the sponsor of the Old Amasator Football Competition. Ememanka who is from one of the communities that make up Amasator, boasted that “Our people have always sponsored our annual competition and will continue to do so. We certainly do not need an Alex Otti to sponsor our football competition.
The Old Amasator Community is no platform for emergency sponsors of an event that has been in existence since the early 1990s”
This Ikpeazu’s aide went ahead to make other hostile, ridiculous and unwarranted comments coated in Cold War arrogance, against one man, Alex Otti.
To be very honest with my friend Onyebuchi Ememanka, we weren’t surprised reading his write up which can best be described as “The Hand of Easau and the voice of Jacob”
I said so because, Okezie Ikpeazu had since commenced his bitter politics of senseless extremism deploying misguided characters to either attempt to stop Alex Otti from entering some places in Abia South or, unleash violence against Otti’s supporters there for daring to support him. So what Abia state government just did through the said article is “let’s bully and discredit him” for daring to have anything to do with Amasator.
Ememanka’s interest wasn’t to correct an impression where he felt there was need to, else he wouldn’t have veered off dangerously and provocatively, but his desire was to express his sadness that Dr. Otti was being mentioned in a place where he expected his name to be a taboo, and then try if he could succeed in using cheap propaganda, hate speech and intimidation to stop him from attending the football event, but does Abia state government and its sad and desperate agents have the capacity to halt Otti’s progressive voyage? No they don’t have.
I would like to throw a few posers to Ememanka and his intolerant boss, Okezie Ikpeazu, which are;
1. You claimed that you had fruitful talks with the new officials of the team, and that at no time did the name of Alex Otti come up. Does this not expose the limit of your knowledge of what’s happening there, and does it not also tell you that the officials are not held down by sectional parochialism as you would want them to be held, since the same organizers of the football event you held talks with later went on air to announce Alex Otti as their sponsor?
2. How does announcing Otti as the 2018 edition sponsor translate to Otti being an Alpha and Omega of Amasator Youth Assembly, or how does it erase the legacy of past sponsors or re-write the history of the competition, let alone cast aspersions on the integrity of respected leaders from the area?
3. Why did you dedicate needless energy trying to, though fruitlessly, ridicule Otti over an announcement he was never aware of and never authorized, yet you did not even bother to mention the name of the issuer of the announcement let alone direct your question or attack at him or her?
4. A gentleman who described himself as a member of Amasator Youth Assembly dismissed your post, and bluntly and authoritatively told you that their leaders had failed them in the Assembly because they would always make pledges and refuse to redeem them, hence their resort to imposing N10,000 annual levy on each member, and told you that they have every right to seek assistance from elsewhere.
Rather than confront this bold and honest gentleman, you hurriedly and angrily deleted his comment. Was it because you are intolerant of opposing views like Okezie Ikpeazu or because you feared his heart piercing facts could ridicule you and make nonsense of your anti Otti sectional mumbo-jumbo ?
5. Why did Abia state government shamelessly send it’s agents to go and attempt to bribe the organizers of the football event with huge sums of money at the dying minute so that they could cancel Otti’s invite if the government is not highly irresponsible?
The truth is that the Okezie Ikpeazu led government is too petty and primitive, and of course grossly unpopular and incompetent hence it’s penchant for viewing every Alex Otti’s action as a threat, but if Ikpeazu and his misguided allies had eyes, would they not have deduced from Otti’s conduct by now that he doesn’t play to the gallery in the name of seeking cheap politically motivated popularity, because popularity, love and acceptability are honours he had since gotten in abundance from millions of Abians and Nigerians through excellence in conduct and character.
A man who as an MD/CEO of a bank was the brain behind the biggest sponsorship of the biggest Heart Foundation in Africa (Kanu Heart Foundation) cannot waste precious time and energy dragging the sponsorship of a small annual football competition of a community with Dark-Age minds, so telling us that he should go to Arochukwu or Isialangwa South to sponsor a football competition sounds like a malaria induced miasma not worthy of a response.
However, Otti cannot succumb to the shameful blackmail of some inconsequential characters and refuse to respond to a reasonable and fair request of a youth body in genuine need of assistance in any part of Abia state.
Let me inform my friend Ememanka and his boss Okezie Ikpeazu, that in spite of the nonsensical attempt to create confusion through that cheap and hocum of a propaganda, and in spite of the desperate and shameful dying minute attempt by Abia state government to compromise the organizers of the football competition to cancel their invitation to Otti, Otti still graced the occasion in grand style, and it was a huge success, as Team Umuocham defeated Team Umuchichi by one goal to nothing (1:0)
As feared by Okezie Ikpeazu, Otti arrived the venue to the joy, excitement, support and solidarity of his people amid cheers and ovations of acceptability.
Otti shall continue to honorably honor such invitations from peace loving Abians and cannot be stopped by a Desperado governor who by all standards is not more Abian than Alex Otti OFR.
Ferdinand Ekeoma is
Media Assistant to
Dr. Alex Otti OFR.