By Dr. Chuks Osuji
My readers know that I am a pacifist writer and not a destroyer. From my American Education, I acquired the culture of promoting societal stability, economic development, political cohesion and the overall peace of the society. I cannot be seen to be dancing naked in a nearby market square like a journalistic ruffian called, Sam Onwuemeodo, who uses his little education to disturb the tranquility of the society, cursing his elders, insulting his professional colleagues and serving as a hatchet journalistic assassin to deride leaders in order to pull them down. But more than that, abusing and cursing his tradition and culture as if he was not born in the land of his parents.
But for the first time in my many years of literary expedition, I will show to Sam Onwuemeodo that according to Alexander the Great, “every sword has two sides: the fighting side and the peace making side.” Therefore, in this my rejoinder to his manure-like article in which he attempted to respond to my honest and fatherly advice, “to take a few days off away from his journalistic irresponsibility, cool off so that he (Onwuemeodo) can return to the path of journalistic sanity instead of continuing to be throwing mud on the new Government of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, to create a peaceful Imo and of course to “rebuild the Imo which he contributed in no small way to virtually destroy its infrastructure and the people’s social and economic psychic.” Instead of listening to that advice from a Senior Citizen, he went on wild-chase to attacking my person, my family and everything that I represent in an attempt to justify his wanton literary forest hunt in search of the three ugliest species of the bush such as the vulture (Udele), shrew (Nkapi) and monkey (Enwe).
Therefore, in response to his worthless thrash, which he thought I had forgotten, I will, in this rejoinder tell the boy called Sam Onwuemeodo that in truth and in fact, “there is no way he can be wiser than his elder. That although, I am a pacifist, I still possess a little cane to spank him a little bit if only to force him to think, think and think again.” After all, nature endows every man with two sides of thinking faculty: reasoning and unreasoning faculty. Unfortunately, some like the little boy called Sam Onwuemeodo, use their’s because of mundane things to be extensively unreasonable.
First, in an effort to discredit my intellectual edifice and height, he went and copied what appeared on the back page of my 1983 book entitled: APPROACH TO PRACTICAL POLITICS, reflecting my then profile as if he got this information through strenuous research. “Foul.” Indeed,that boy called Sam is a Commander in Chief of Plagiarism because my 1983 profile today in 2019 is not my true profile. In addition, if he has done any research on me he should have known that without Formal Secondary Education, I passed both the Ordinary andAdvanced Levelsof GCE in 1963 and 1965 respectively and proceeded to read Law at the University of London, a mission which I did not accomplish after two attempts due to health challenges. That boy called Sam did not include this because he knows that would amount to giving me life time credit as a person who went ahead to earn a Doctorate Degree (PhD) from an American reputable University in 1979 and not many of today’s PhDs by proxy.
He assumed that he is a brilliant person. Hence, he became the Student Union President of Alvan Ikoku College of Education. What this means is that he could not obtain admission in any of the core Premier University such as:University of Ibadan, University of Nigeria Nsukka, University of Ile-Ife, University of Lagos and Ahmadu Bello University. Whathe could get was admission in Alvan. What an intelligent and brilliant person indeed. Since he has deviated from the core issue of my advice to him, to talk about my background, I can help him by giving him more details of my background. I still remember one or two persons who went to St. Mary’s school with me in the 50’s including:Chief Hope Okeke, a second Manager of ITC, he can bear witness that I passed the entrance exams to enter into Stella Maris College Port-Harcourt and St. Patrick’s College Calabar in 1956. But due to parental handicap, I could not take the offers. Of course, there is no basis of comparism between a boy called Sam and myself. Perhaps, in his next rejoinder, he will tell us those universities he gained admission but could not go and why.
Many may still recall that his stay in Alvan was a period to foment trouble, conflicts and crisis between the students and the school management. A little enquiry here and there would unearth the type of monumental headache he caused the Alvan school authorities in the late 80’s.
The dwarfish unpopularity which he misunderstood emboldened him to contest local government election in his Ogbor ward in 1990 under option A4, without party. Expectedly by his people because of his antisocial behaviour, he was defeated by a mere auxiliary teacher. Today, we may ask Sam Onwuemedo to mention one single thing he has done for Mbutu community or his Ogbor ward in so many years with Rochas Okorocha except cursing, abusing and insulting the people. Can he go home today and move freely in his community?
He made a veiled reference to his marital stability to the effect that I could not make such a claim. What a boy with a yam brain! Either his source of information is jaundice, myopic or they told him something to fool him because he is foolable. Otherwise, he should have been told by those who know me that I have had unbroken marital relationship for over 50 years. Of what credit in marriage does he want to score? This exposes him to further public ridicule as a journalistic ruffian. After all, many from his Ogbo Mbutu know that his home is always in fighting mode, because of his unrelenting cantekerous relationship between him and his wife. Does he want me to say more?
This boy called Sam Onwuemeodo, wherever he has worked or gone leaves a trail of bad image. He forgets that according to Sam Black, “a man’s image is a fortress that protects him amongst the good and bad people of the society. If he loses image, he has tarnished his name. But if he protects it, he can use it to buy a train full of commodities without a penny.”
In an effort to see something more substantial to write, he began talking of irrelevances by saying that as a public opinion analyst, I do it for money making purposes. Yes, public opinion survey is a highly complex research which involves intricacies of data collection. Since I began that expedition in 1982, I have always looked for sponsors in order to produce reliable results. That is why in the last two public opinion surveys before 2015 and 2019 elections, we tried to raise funds from sponsors. I have not made secret of this. This boy called Sam wants me to open his nyash to the public of what he did when we approached Uche Nwosu for sponsorship, by that attempt. He played a fast one, taking millions from Uche Nwosu which never got to us. That is exactly what he did against Imo journalists, by using them to sap millions of naira from credulousRochas and Uche Nwosu because they were incredibly very anxious to grab the governorship of Imo State. This boy called Sam has no moral justification to claim that he is a clean journalist when a mere mention of his name in any quarters, people will snap their fingers and close their ears. Politically, socially and traditionally, there are few names people don’t want to hear. First is Sam Onwuemeodo. Today, the Nigerian Union of Journalist Imo Chapter is still reeling from the seed of discord and irreconcilability sowed by this boy called Sam.
When we talk of decency or personal integrity, Sam Onwuemeodo, should not even be counted among the crowd of people with integrity, honourand decency. This means, according to Christopher King, “These are the pivot of public image.” I was a State MAMSER Director for 7 years in both Old Imo and Anambra State, during which period I employed over 300 persons, I never took even a bottle of soda water to give a job to anyone. Today, the State Secretariat of National Orientation Agency is on Okigwe Road with its gate wide open. Any inquisitive journalist is free to go there to ask questions about my integrity. I have lived several years in Imo State at the apex of public domain. Perhaps, unknown to Sam, I still live in a rented house. If I make so much money from marketing public opinion as opined by this boy with short sighted historical sequence, could I not have had at least a semblance of four bedroom bungalow? He can’t make such claim because he discovered goldmine from Rochas which he serves as a hunting dog. He should tell the public how many houses he owns in Owerri and its environs, directly or by proxy, including those one or two in Singapore and two Far-East countries as alleged by many. Clifford Wilberforce once said, “Those who lay claim to integrity should not struggle to say it, rather it would be ascribed to them without efforts.”
Today, apart from vision challenge which Sam claims he prays to God to restore my sight, I will tell him that I don’t need his prayers because I have accepted my vision challenge as a blessing in disguise. After all, according to one bishop Uheun Barnabas, after listening to me at a lecture seminar in Kenya in 2009, he exploded, “This is the first time I have seen a happy blind man.” This boy called Sam, please keep your prayers to yourself because those who go to equity must go with clean hands. Don’t pray for me because your hands and lips are full of iniquities for insulting your elders, tradition, people and your society in the name of your uneducated propaganda in order to please the gods.
Recently, the youths of Mbutu in Aboh-Mbaise,designated Sam Onwuemeodo as “Persona non Grata” and theelders have poured a lot of curses on him for cursing and abusing their son, Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha. This boy called Sam Onwuemeodo should try to live above primitive egotismand face the reality of these fundamental curses. He must remember that amongst all the mortals, elders are the most next to God, and stop throwing muds on people including his elders and seniors. But I will not subscribe to his being banished from his soil of birth no matter his iniquity. However, his literary and verbal iniquities are worst than that of the biblical prodigal son. In spite of that, the youths, the elders, culture and tradition of Mbutu can still accept him back, if he makes all the necessary atonement for the gods, land and culture he has abused and insulted.
Finally, let me return to the last point of this discussion. That boy called Sam postulated that I did not support the candidacy of Emeka Ihedioha until he won the governorship election. Do I need to say anything about this, I ask the public? It is a shame that Sam whose highest educational attainment began and ended at Alvan and not today’s Alvan Ikoku’s College of Education, should have known that there is a difference between political support and professional service. I am proud to say that professionally, I worked for Prince Eze Madumerein his governorship bid from the point of professional calling. Everybody in this society and beyond knows that my support for Emeka was not based on my identity as an Mbaise intellectual but based on the undeniable fact that out of the 71 governorship aspirants and more which we surveyed, Emeka Ihedioha to me, professionally, was the most favored candidate to carry the day and that was what public opinion survey revealed. Interestingly, Ihedioha and his aides know that they did not sponsor that public opinion survey and that one or two persons who made substantial contributions were not announced first or second. It was rather Emeka who came first. This boy with a diatribe tongue called Sam can now see where integrity lies. No matter what, people like Sam Onwuemeodo cannot make distinctions between professional service and personal interest. Clearly, we are not quarreling with Onwuemeodo because of his choice not to support Ihedioha. After all, what can a man of his diminished physical status and empty professional competence offer to Emeka’s ride to destiny? People and I grant him the inalienable right to make a political choice. I as a political scientist can never ever crucify him for that choice. What people like myself are quarrelling with his unlimited abuse, cursing and vilifying people of all status and ages all in the name of money from former Governor Rochas Okorocha. If he had put a break to this cantankerous abuses and primitive journalism immediately after the governorship election in Imo State and gone into Siberia or Saigon to cool off, today we would be talking of his past inglorious journalistic damage poured on himself. But instead, he allowed insatiable greed to becloud his little sense of decency and respectability, because of the unlimited amount of money he nets from his boss. He has behaved like a greedy monkey who saw a bunch of banana in a narrow basket. She puts her hand and was able to get one finger of the banana bunch. She tried to bring out the entire bunch which was impossible. As she was trying, a prey got good hold of her, and she lost the bunch of banana and also lost her life. If this diminutive boy called Sam Onwuemeodo could read this and reflect over it, he may begin to see peace of mind which has eluded him now for years. He prides himself as a stubborn person. Just like this monkey, that type of fate might befall him.
Futhermore, he should remember what I told Balarebe Musa many years ago, when he sturbornly resisted Kaduna House of Assembly. I warned him that, “political obduracy will always result in political collapse.” He was later impeached and removed as the Kaduna State Governor.
He knows that it is tempting to leave Okorocha’s money, but he may ask, what of the last effect? This is a question which this little boy in a man’s age should ponder and find the answer to. After all, “a woman, who goes to the market to continue to disturb marketers, will continue to see stones and sticks raining on her head unstoppably.”
One more advice, “littleSam Onwuemeodomust be told that he should not fiddle with the tail of a tiger, whether the tiger is alive or dead.” As a man of diminutive stature, he would not listen to advice because by nature, people with diminutive stature like him such as Adams Oshimole, El Rufai, Chris Ngige and Napoleon Bonabart, do not take advice. According to Shakespeare, “it is not in themselves but in their styles.”
In concluding this little bashing, in order to curb the verbal excesses of this little journalistic manikin and brigandage, it is important to respond to what he said about the fact that I once floated a magazine called Weekly Opinion which he claimed that was able to produce only one edition. May God help to sanitize the writing hand of this habitual liar.This exposes him the more as a pathological liar who wants to score credit without working for it.
That magazine began in 1982. That boy did not even remember that it was China Achebe who was the Guest speaker at the public launch in Alvan hall. The magazine was begun long before the 1983 elections. Then, we concentrated in calling for the return of Chukwuemeka Ojukwu. In one of the editions, I predicted that if ojukwu was to be pardoned and to return home, that the then NPN must do it to enable them reap a political benefit for pardoning him. My prediction worked, he was pardoned and he participated actively in 1983 presidential election process.
Now, intelligent and discerning readers could see empty lies of this little boy called Sam Onwuemeodo. Here again, he has shown that he does not have even the microscopic knowledge of research. How could he and where did he study it? Even if he studied research methodology at Alvan Ikoku College of education, it is one based purely on educational research. With the benefit of sound knowledge of research methodology, how could he not know how to do research except by indulging in plagiarism like the one he copied my resume as his research product. I believe that after this little bashing, this little boy should swallow his over bloated ego to properly assess himself and to know what the reasonable members of the public think of him.
Let me stop so far because it is not advisable to shoot a butterfly with a Danegun.