By Ogu Bundu Nwadike, M.A
Misrepresentation and misinformation are the spinal cord of propaganda. Another term for lies and falsehood is distortion of truth. One wrong notion of the role of opposition is that every truth from the ruling party must be countered with lies, falsehood and propaganda. But the right opposition watches out for established faux pas by the party in power and use facts to redress it.
In Imo State, the current opposition is not playing their roles appropriately, effectively and efficiently. This is because they distort facts with lies, falsehood and propaganda, thereby misrepresenting and misinforming members of the public.
The article entitled: “Anger As Governor Ihedioha Sacks 10,000 Imo Civil Servants!” with the rider: “That Is Their Punishment For Voting Against Our Party – PDP Chieftain” is a pure instance of very bad opposition. But when you consider that the author is Efcc Jones Rochas Onwuasoanya, a wandering minstrel of a media aide to the immediate past governor, Rochas Okorocha and his son-in-law, Uche Rochas Nwosu, then you disregard all the lies, falsehood and propaganda he has coupled together.
Truth is that Governor Emeka Ihedioha hosted the organized labour in Imo State on Friday, July 5, 2019 in Government House, Owerri. The leadership of the workers were fully represented with Comrade Austin Chilakpu, leading the delegation. The Government of Imo State was also full represented with the governor, his deputy, secretsry to the state government, chief of staff, head of service and others present.
In his rather long speech that was very expository and revealing, Comrade Chilakpu, inter alia, firmly reported that there were over 5000 illegal employees in the civil service, especially those that were illegally employed since March 2019 after the governor had emerged victorious in the election.
Comrade Chilakpu threw a challenge to the head of service, the accountant general and the permanent secretary that a check of the payroll since 2017 will show that there are at least 5000 illegal workers in the civil service of Imo State. He elaborated on how so many shoddy deals were done to include many fake workers in the salary schedule of the State. He appealed to the governor to redress the anomalies.
Based on that, Gov. Emeka Ihedioha there and then ordered that the chief of staff, the head of service, the account general and the leader of NULGE, the National Union of Local Government Employees to look into the exposé by Comrade Chilakpu and present their report to him on Wednesday, July 10, 2019. There was no issue of sack of anybody. The governor never ordered the sack of any worker.
Probably what the opposition and some left-wing journalists sympathetic to the opposition misconstrued for “sack of illegal workers” was the governor’s order that ghost workers have till the same Wednesday to disappear or be sure and ready to face the full wrath of the law when they are caught after the leave granted them. The governor also warned the relevant unit heads that they will bear the brunt of any ghost workers discovered in their respective departments.
It’s not in the character of Gov. Ihedioha to make policy decisions extemporaneously and instantaneously without the backing of the rule of law and due process. He would only order the sack of any worker if it’s proved beyond reasonable doubts that he or she doesn’t qualify to be counted among bonafide workers.
As he is wont to do, Gov. Ihedioha’s decision to sack any worker will entail a recourse to the legislature for legal impetus to act to that effect. He’s a senior apostle of rule of law and due process. He’s an advocate of pure democracy, which prescribes respect for the people who are the true raison d’etre of democracy.
It’s therefore incomprehensible where Rochas and Uche Rochas Nwosu’s media aide got his idea of Gov. Ihedioha sacking 10,000 Imo workers. It’s only bad opposition role of distorting truth with lies, falsehood and propaganda, aimed at misrepresenting and misinforming members of the public that would inject such ideas into his stream of consciousness.
Probably too, having failed the selection test conducted by the then governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, that led to the employment and gazetting of 10,000 workers that were sacked in one fell swoop by Rochas Okorocha, this notorious media aide felt he would hurt and harm the Ihedioha administration by telling the lie of the governor sacking 10,000 workers. There was nothing like that. Let all well-meaning Imolites disregard henceforth everything written by these set of bad opposition players. Reading and believing them pollutes sensibilities.
Let reason and common sense guide every judgment of the things you read and hear about the RebuildImo administration of His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha. He never ordered the sack of any worker and no worker has been sacked as at today.
Nwadike is the Special Assistant on Research to the Governor of Imo State.