By CHIDO KANMA
A cursory dissection of the above titled piece on page 16 of the Monday, August 1, 2016 edition of Daily Sun elicited compelling interest. But, a deeper digest revealed a derisive impression of a work from the stinking and hackneyed depths of half-bakery, swayed hackling, compulsive musing and a scurrilous attempt at mental self-insulation. The writer, Ebere Wabara, a self- acclaimed professional, depicted through and through, a complete lack of grasp of basic developmental issues, obviously emanating from a ravenous and callous hate of the subject, which left a gaping emptiness in one’s belly. What he wrote was simply a work of hate and spite. Anyone who has followed Wabara writings in Daily Sun would have found that this man is out, every time to attack people’s reputation, to attract attention to himself. That’s exactly what he did in his write-up under reference.
Sorry for him. Wabara set out on a hallowed pedestal of misstated objectivity, drawing in profusely, his banters with a professional colleague who he claimed in quick gulps, sent him on a wrong mission of eulogy of the Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, through an article entitled “Rochas: Misperceived and demonized (1)” In that write-up dated July 25, Wabara praised Okorocha for his unprecedented achievements, especially his free education at all levels. The governor’s feat, Wabara wrote, “diminishes any soar grapes from the opposition”. However, a week later, he said he was forced to make a U-turn on his convictions on the governor’s leadership style and allied good governance issues, following days of torrential multi-media rebuttals. And I ask: what manner of man would jettison ingrained perceptions built on hard-rock, verifiable and empirical evidence? What kind of professional would openly declare that he was misled by a colleague against the background of his professional grooming and teething? Take, for instance: Will a medical doctor who knows and understands the application of analgesic drugs to patients turn round to administer healing balms for headaches on the cutting advice of his colleague? Why did Wabara, on the first score, go for secondary sources against his so-called confirmed professorial admonitions, if not that he was merely toeing the jagged path of a professional hireling, a hatchet man of ever-degenerating spite. The draper is his self-assigned tour of the state and the conviviality of his guards and audiences. Piercing through to nothing from hindsight is his state of origin and the instincts behind his mission. Is Ebere Wabara, a proud son of Abia state, and who had a bruising and interminable brush with the immediate past governor of his state mark the point at which the stormy rain began to descend on him?
Truly, Wabara is a boutique journalist, out to malign people. He’s not a man of truth; neither does he care for truth and objectivity that journalism cherishes. Every time he writes, he abandons the rules, the norms and commonsense that are required in the media, or indeed, any writing for that matter that should inform and educate the public. Digging under the toughening hide of issues, he attempted in a cavalier way to reinvent the stone-cold trajectory of Governor Okorocha’s first term in office which he grudgingly conceded was outstanding, and chronicled a wormy second tenure replete with tardiness, haughtiness and indifference. Wabara’s prism is simply a revolt of colours of prejudice. It was full of errors of parallax and of judgment, a mirage of emotions. In his strange apologia, he failed to fathom the cheering orchestra that he encountered in the streets of Owerri, Okigwe and Orlu. He failed to situate what end of the smoldering taper he stands, beyond “I responsibly declare that Rochas is taking innumerable wrong steps for reasons adduced presently”. And inescapably, he delved into thatched, folly-ridden canvas, foraying into a comparative analysis of Rochas with his immediate past predecessors – Ikeddy Ohakim and Achike Udenwa. How on earth could that be contrived and on what basis? Any objective mind can attest that all the past governors of Imo State combined have not matched Okorocha’s achievements in five years, and still counting.
Therefore, what Wabara went out to do was to destroy. It can only come from a dark web of conscience; the index of all jitters. Expectedly, his twitched comparism careened off to an excursion to Abia State, where he detailed the excesses of T. A Orji in a misapplication that a millipede would shudder at. The writer’s reputation to rake and sling mud rang through the “work” and, eventually took the up-swing when instead of cataloguing the immense strides of the governor which he strained languidly to hide, he sought refuge in excessive lampooning, undeserved diatribes and impeachable invectives aimed at impugning Rochas’ integrity. But, he failed. Wabara needlessly wrote volubly about “serial defections and other utopian democratic antecedents”.
Governor Okorocha has left no one in doubt that he is one of the contemporary Igbo leaders who have made landmark achievements in politics. The Ohaneze leaders affirmed that much during their recent meeting in Owerri. Ebere Wabara cannot diminish that accomplishment. Our leaders have spoken. A professional of his standing as Wabara claims he is, ought to know that vacuous assertions end up in doubt with a throb. Where then is the grounding? It convinced more of a portrait of mutilation, a job scooped in indecent robe and a trouncer in the garish mould of a writer. That is who Wabara is. Hurtling down his unwinding road, one wonders if in his “4 days stay” in the state, his eyes only roamed on demolitions of structures cluttering the road space, not less than 2000 outpatients at the Federal Medical Centre waiting for attention, and the Courts which were like graveyards. His eyes could not capture fully built overhead bridges adorning the major highways in the state capital of Owerri, the well paved concrete median lawns, the alluring water springs, the imposing National Conference Centre, the massive infrastructure across the 27 local governments of the state and the architectural masterpiece of structures dotting the landscape of Owerri, the eye-catching aesthetic scenery and beauty of the state capital, and the evolving orderliness in motoring, among many others. We have found out that Wabara never visited Owerri, never went to any of the places he claimed he did. Out of the spine – chilling pangs of extremity, Wabara plunged into his own dais of verdict – “Only two things thrive here: prostitution and kidnapping.”
At best, this is a pungent offering of quackery; the hot-ash flavor of a paradox. It opens a fresh and simmering vista of how a man with eyes open would misstep and stride down someone’s spine in all recklessness. It depicts how Wabara’s eyes will only see black eggs in a room filled with white eggs. As usual, his voyage is of the unredeemed. It is vital to advise the Sun Publishing Limited, a newspaper that has made giant strides in Nigeria’s media industry, to be wary of Mr. Wabara, for he can land the esteemed newspaper with innumerable libel suits. The management of Sun should sit him down, lock the room and rebuke and advise him to stop fudging facts, spreading hate and blackmailing public officials. This is in his best interest, safety and most importantly, to safeguard the reputation that Sun has taken over 13 years to build. Mr. Wabara does not have the objective mind and temperament to function as a journalist. He needs a refresher course.
* Kanma writes from Owerri