By Okenze George Nkwoji.

The arrest and detention of popular broadcaster, Chinonso Uba by Police authorities allegedly on the orders of Imo governor, His Excellency, the Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma exposes the absence of rapport between the government and the press in the state. It also betrays the inability of government image makers to manage small crises.

At best, Chinonso Uba and his antics should have been ignored with ignominy in the same way Rochas did when he was in power. Smearing of putty by opposition press has become the traditional “ime oji”, presentation of kola nuts to every Imo governor.

From Ohakim, Rochas to Ihedioha, the tradition is the same. There is no argument that Chinonso Uba is a vociferous critic of the Uzodinma administration. There is also no doubt that governor’s indignation is righteous since he is a human being with feelings.

However, there is absolute need to ignore what the Chinonso Ubas of this world are doing. This is because the public ironically enjoys listening to their gossips which in turn makes them popular.

Moreover, Imo public understands that journalists as the watchdogs of the society are known for bashing governments and therefore view them more as gossips. This is the reason governor Hope Uzodinma’s popularity continues to soar higher and higher despite being battered by the press. This goes to show that Imo public does not believe the bad press on their governor.

The truth is that Chinonso Uba is not alone in this practice of bashing the government. Many of the journalists currently working with the governor were once his virulent critics.

The sobriquet “Supreme Court governor” given to our governor was coined by Ambrose Nwaogwugwu when he was in PDP.

The long list of dangerous opposition press now in the governor’s media team includes Collins Opurozor, Collins Ughalaa and Ogu Bundu.If these people could be working with our governor today despite battering his image, who thinks Chinonso Uba cannot join the governor tomorrow?This question arises because irrespective of the angle it is viewed, the arrest and detention of Chinonso Uba rather rattles the government.

It is absolutely not in the interest of Governor Hope Uzodinma whose political profile is gradually rising to the envy of his competitors in the coming November guber election. It is also happening at a very wrong time.

After all, aside the fact that he is not as bad as the people I mentioned earlier, nothing will be gained if Chinonso is imprisoned.It is for this reason that I suggest that our governor should emulate Rochas Okorocha who became deaf to the press and its criticisms. Rochas was fond of mocking the press for criticising him in order to sell their newspapers.

He preferred accusing the press for not paying him royalties from profits. He trivialized press attacks by encouraging them to continue as he enjoyed it. That was how Rochas dealt with us, the press.He did not arrest any journalist throughout his tenure.

Our governor should therefore please take a second look at the case of Chinonso Uba and play Rochas to his antagonism. After all, since those who were once against him are now working and defending him, I will conclude by saying “nothing spoil” in Chinonso Uba. He can still become your friend tomorrow to contribute to your re-election bid.

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