BY SAM ONWUEMEDO#
I have taken time to read what Amby Uneze, supposedly the ThisDay Correspondent in
Owerri wrote about me in response to the clarification I gave over the wrong impression he
had given to the public that the governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha had banned the
ThisDay and Vanguard newspapers from the Government House.
In the clarification, I gave reasons behind the governor asking the two reporters to stop
covering his activities.
And in his response, he never denied any of the reasons I had given. He rather took on me.
And Amby Uneze calling me, Sam Onwuemeodo, a jester is an indication that he does not
know the meaning of that word. And for the publication, Amby Uneze was not the author. I
know his capacity and I challenge him to prove that he was the author.
Amby mischievously tried telling my story in this profession. He does not know me and
should not have known me because the gap between him and me in this career is too wide
and even long before now.
Amby Uneze is the one who gate-crashed into journalism. And I challenge him to prove me
wrong with verifiable evidence. But for me, I grew from the ranks.
Let him mention the schools he attended and the Newspapers he had worked with, for the
25 years he claimed.
I attended Mbaise Secondary, Alvan Ikoku College of Education, University of Nigeria and
University of Lagos. And some of my School mates at certain levels are also in the
profession. Joe Ajero, the Factional President of the NLC was my School mate, Clems
Aguiyi, who writes for the Sun too, Alex Duru, Ikechukwu Amaechi, Emeka Opara and
so many of them. I also have BBC World Service Training Certificate on Conflict
I joined defunct Lagos Eagle Newspaper as the South-East Zonal correspondent. And later
joined Vanguard and I proved my mettle. I was the Imo State Correspondent. Two years
after the Otokoto crisis, I was transferred to Port-Harcourt to be incharge of Rivers and
I was in Port-Harcourt when the then Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon.
Godfrey Dikeocha asked me to come and be his Chief Press Secretary. And I did. His
successor, Rt. Hon. Kelechi Nwagwu inherited me, but later brought in a new person. And
an empty man like Amby has the audacity to call a man who had served two Speakers as
CPS a Jester. He would have himself to blame because I am going to go the whole hog so
that this blackmail can stop once and for all.
I later became Media Adviser/Consultant to ALGON Imo state under Hon. Mayor Eze as
Chairman, later, Special Adviser to ISOPADEC Chairman, Chief Jones Uzoka. I was also
made a member of Aboh Mbaise Local Government Transition Committee but I told them
to take my wife. My story in this vocation is a lengthy one.
As a Journalist I covered Otokoto Crisis, Bakassi riot in Aba, Odi invasion, Saro Wiwa’s
Exhumation, Choba/Wibros Crisis, Justice Oputa Commission and hundreds of such
sensitive incidents. And someone who had served two successful Speakers as CPS could not
be described as a jester. And today I have been CPS to Governor Okorocha for more than
On the issue of Journalists in the State, relating with Journalists isn’t the same with
socializing with them. I relate with them enviously but do not socialize. That’s my nature.
Yet, under me, they have met with the governor more than they had done in the past. At
least no year had passed since I came without Journalists in the State meeting with the
governor for interaction for more than four times.
And they have unhindered access to the Government House and I stand to be contradicted.
No restriction of any kind so needless having pass-tags.
No governor had in the past gone to the NUJ press centre to interact with the whole
journalists in the state. But I have taken the governor to the NUJ press centre for three times
to meet with all the journalists in the state. I want to be Challenged on all these Claims.
Amby Uneze was with an Owerri based Newspaper, The Horn, when I was in Owerri for
Vanguard. That time, Gerry Ogu was the ThisDay Correspondent. He has never gone out of
Owerri to practice Journalism. If he says it is not true, let him show proof.
I accused him of working as an electoral officer in the 2015 election at Ngor Okpala, he
didn’t deny it. I accused him of allowing his coming from Mbaise to becloud his sense of
objectivity in Journalism, he didn’t also deny that.
Amby said he has practiced Journalism for 25 years. Fine. Thi sDay newspaper is 22years.
And like I had said, as at the time I was in Owerri, the ThisDay Correspondent was Gerry
Ogu. He should mention the newspapers he has worked for the 25 years and I will
Challenge him that we publish our appointment letters.
He has never been formally employed in any establishment including the Owerri based
Horn newspaper published then by the late Chief Onii Egbunine. He was freelancing. Today
he is not also a real employee of ThisDay. He has never attended any interview for
employment in his life. Let him prove me wrong.
In all the places I had worked I attended interviews, went through probabation and got duly
Confirmed. And if Amby Uneze prove me wrong on any of these Claims or issues, I resign
as CPS. Someone who is 25 years in the job, his appointment letters should reflect the years
in question. I attended interviews in all the places I had worked including Vanguard under
Frank Aigbogun now publisher of BusinessDay.
I Challenge Amby that we publish all our Certificates from Secondary to University if he
attended any and if at the end of the day it is proved that he attended better Schools and has
better Certificates more than me I resign the following day. No more talking now.
In this Journalism job let him also prove that he is my superior in it or my equal and I will
also resign as CPS. I am serious about this. And those who know me would attest to this.
Even the man he is working to make governor could not Pass WASC Exam and JAMB. He
knows I know what happened and let him Challenge me on that.
Since he has woken me up, we will get to the end. Let Amby mention the Schools he
attended and let’s see whether he would make any Claim beyond School Certificate with
few number of Passed Subjects.
Let him mention the newspapers he worked for in Enugu and Cross River where he claimed
he had worked. Show the appointment letters or samples of Stories he wrote from the two
States. He just told cheap lies. But he has shot himself on the leg. I am going to drag him
out for people to know how empty he is.
Let him also mention any media related position he has held anywhere in the world. If he
proves me wrong in any of these Claims or Challenges I resign as CPS.
If he attended University which one and where did he do his Youth Service and which year.
No hiding place for him and the man behind him.
I did my Youth Service in Bauchi State in 1990/91. We were in the Camp when the Orkar
Coup took place. Let him publish his discharge Certificate and I publish mine. The guy is
the least I had expected to Challenge me. He does not have what it takes at all. At all, at all.
Amby Uneze is not the proper person to Challenge me in this Profession.
Let him mention any outstanding story he has Covered in this job. I won Lufthansa Airline
Award in Port-Harcourt with Sam Akpe of Punch then and Joe Obi of ThisDay then.
I have my Colleagues today at the highest levels of this Profession, so many of them.
Finally, read what he wrote “Onwuemeodo who I know do not have a root and lacks
basic knowledge of where he claims he hails from. For sure, no true Mbaise son or
daughter makes negative references to his or her fatherland or his people. The fact
remains that in as much as a true Mbaise son or daughter is proud of his or her roots,
he/she makes sure that it is Mbaise first before any other thing. So, this human being
has on several occasions denied his paternity, that is if he has one at all”. This speaks
volume, and thereby confirming my Claim that he has allowed the Mbaise factor to becloud
his sense of balancing or objectivity which the Journalism Profession demands.
Mr. Amby Uneze, after he had off-loaded all he had against the governor on Ekeukwu
Market sent this message to me on Sunday, August 27, 2017 “My brother, your
government has a very bad case. What you people should do is to arrange for a few of
us and do the right thing, not empty promise. It is an advise”. This is the kind of
Journalist he is.
I want to also use this opportunity to let elements like Amby Uneze know that I am being
driven in this Profession by the grace of God. That is what I enjoy. And indeed, divine
location. All I have been in life and the one I am occupying now are not by qualification,
experience and connection but by the Grace of God. And they can’t help it.
Sam Onwuemeodo is the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor