The Tyranny Of Technology. The Jerry Chukwueke- George Eguh Drama.BY OBINNA NWOKEOMA

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Technology and the social media are set to wreck severe havoc on the career of politicians especially the desperate ones. Already, they are finding it difficult to hold clandestine meetings to undercut one another. Even ordinarily harmless gatherings are becoming vulnerable to the ‘tyranny’ of technology. At meetings, even mere jokes get to the enemy camp the very moment they are cracked. The reason is simple. Spying on each other has become the order of the day among politicians. Unlike before, confidence is fast eroding among even supposedly friendly politicians. There are moles everywhere.

These days, even some state governors prohibit their cabinet member from bringing in their cellphones into executive council members. It used to be: ‘Please Switch Off Your Phones”. But these days, phones are not allowed at all as moles could easily put them on the silent mood and carry out their business.
But perhaps the biggest worry will be in the area of ‘settlement’. Already, technology has made it quite easy to trace monies paid out in settlement of one transaction or the other, whether in business, governance or politics. But these days, there seems to be a growing habit among politicians, themselves, to leak monetary transactions with their associates, either in a bid to blackmail or to ensure that the assignment for which the payment is made is carried out. The development is scary but a recent incident in Imo state is sending shivers down the spines of many politicians, together with their handlers.

Currently, the media in the state is awash with a drama which started with the self-exhibition by Mr Jerry Chukwueke, a well-known politician in the state and serial governorship aspirant, on his WhatsApp status of a certain payment he made to Mr. George Eguh, another politician from Okigwe zone, on June 26, 2024. Promptly, the post on Chukwueke’s status, a Debit Note depicting the transfer of the sum of Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (#350,000.00) from the former to George Eguh’s Zenith Bank account through a Moniepoint Microfinance Bank, surfaced on several WhatsApp platforms.

Not unexpectedly, the social media become abuzz with the following questions: What was Chief Jerry Chukwueke motive for exhibiting this payment? Was it a mistake? A trap for Eguh who is alleged to be coordinating two governorship aspirants in the same Owerri zone where Chukwueke comes from? Or is it nemesis? Attention seeking? Overzealousness? Questions, questions, questions but Imolites are all ears in expectation of the truth.

Not surprisingly, those involved in the drama are bombarding the curious public with a rain storm of damage control, including a “Stop and Desist” from Eguh’s lawyers and some Okigwe youths shouting, “Sabotage!!!”.

The narrative from Eguh is that the troubling payment is a “burial donation” from Chukwueke to Eguh, but this is generating another round of controversy on its own.
Sir George Eguh’s mother, Ezinne Constance Eguh (Nee Njoku Oba) died sometime in March 2024 at the age of 94. She was buried on May 16, 2024, whereas this troubling payment was made on Wednesday, June 26, 2024, a clear forty-one (41) days after the burial of Ezinne Constance Eguh.

Needless to say, the narrative is not adding up. A Jerry Chukwueke, reputed for his large heartedness, could not have waited for close to three months – counting from the time Mrs Eguh died – to donate a mere Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand to a friend. Even so, a move by Eguh and his handlers to publish a list of those who contributed money for his mother’s burial has added more salt to injury. They (un)cleverly omitted the dates the donations were made and accordingly published on the WhatsApp platform created for that purpose; whereas observers argue that the proper thing would have been to show the dates and allow members of the public to make up their minds. Next question: Why did the WhatsApp platform suddenly disappear? The platform was still on until Wednesday, June 26, 2024. Why was it hurriedly deleted?
Added to the above is a threat letter from Eguh’s lawyers to an internet writer; which pundits argue is another panic move that may boomerang. Of course, not a few doubt the prospects of a court process since those concerned are sure to be shooting themselves on the foot if the matter goes to court.

In the court, the two accounts, (that of the payer and the receiver) – respectively in the Moniepoint Microfinance Bank and Zenith Bank – will be brought in for scrutiny and that may lead to further exposure of both gentlemen, plus other beneficiaries of the ‘largesse’ from Mr Chukwueke, who is criticized by many for his posturing as a governor-in-waiting come 2028.

Not a few argue that by advertising the payment on his WhatsApp status, Chukwueke’s desperate aspiration to become governor may have come to an abrupt end. Whether deliberate or inadvertent, pundits see it as one too many, an unmitigated disaster. As they say, the chickens have come home to roost. But perhaps by far more significant is the message: Aspirants and political jobbers must “shine their eyes”. There is no hidden place again for political undertakers. Technology can be both benevolent and tyrannical.

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