Writing with the heading, “Kukah, Udom and The Hollowness of Piety” Udo Silas, former GM of the State-owned Pioneer Newspapers hides beneath the cloak of sentimental verbiage to throw dirts on the hard earned reputation of Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Every writer has an inalienable right to free speech, provided for by the laws of the land. It includes the right to write and be read, to scribble and to publish. That right, however, does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously. The Udo Silas we know cannot be taken seriously, not on the subject matter of Governor Udom Emmanuel.
In this very lame verse, Udo makes very stinking comments on the person of the Governor. According to him, “My impression of him(Governor Udom Emmanuel), like most leaders in our nation, is that he is fully subscribed to the folly of sycophancy. Like many Akwa Ibom people, I see him as not only arrogant, but wholly captive to the omniscience of his person. I may be wrong”.
Not only is Udo Silas wrong, he certainly needs help. His article is riddled with fallacies, illogic and false conclusions. I will attempt a breakdown.
FALLACY NO 1.
Udo Silas falsely accuses the Governor of masterminding and being part of events that led to the 10 December 2016 church collapse of the Reigners Bible Church. In his words, “There is also talk on the streets of your government’s ALLEGED complicity in the events that led to that avoidable human waste”.
He then goes ahead to further wrongly accuse the Governor of shielding the church founder, Akan Weeks. Hear him, “the reason why you have not done anything (lets not even begin to discuss your well publicized administrative report) is because of your friendship and loyalty to Bishop Akan Weeks”.
It’s beyond me why Udo Silas would chose to justify the peanuts from his new paymaster with a sensitive issue that concerns human lives. Udo is enlightened enough to know that Governor Udom Emmanuel was in that church when that unfortunate incident occurred. This writer moderated at that service. We live with those pictures everyday. Udo cannot be more catholic than the pope. The Governor personally supervised the rescue efforts at the scene of the incident that day, made calls and stood for long hours to save lives. The Governor did not spare any cost in bringing in the best surgeons and consultants to treat those who were affected. The Governor has received the report of The Commission of Inquiry he set up to thoroughly investigated the incident and a white paper is expected. Is Udo Silas a necromancer to have seen the white report before it is made public? What does justice mean to Udo Silas? Is he expecting the Governor to arbitrarily declare people guilty, tie the noose on their necks and strangle them to death? Will the sight of that make him happy?
FALLACY NO 2:
Udo Silas in another attempt at mischief claims not to know the Governor to justify his hogwash. He says, “I do not admire Udom. But I do not hate him. I cannot in any true sense say I know him. I do not think he knows me too. But I have heard him”.
This is a rude attempt at comedy. I served in the Media/Publicity Sub Committee of the Governor’s campaigns before 2015. Udo Silas was in that committtee. It is important we know the background and intent to Udo Silas’ countless false alarms against the government. Trouble started for Udo Silas in the campaign team when on three occasions he absconded with funds meant for radio jingles and TVCs. This is no blackmail. He bought very limited slots that left everyone stunned. He refused to show up at campaign rallies on the grounds it was demeaning for his person to be seen at such places. He didn’t report any story and very reluctantly wrote one feature throughout the run. The job was done and the ” great” Udo Silas resurfaced after the elections to make a case for his appointment into the government. Frustrated that his appointment is not forth coming, he has resorted to this end game. He labours to lay hands on any dirt to throw at the Governor and the government of Akwa Ibom State. It is instructive that the public be kept on red alert should they stumble on Udo’s verbal rockets.
FALLACY NO 3:
Udo Silas also takes a swipe at the Governor on his decision to build a worship centre in the state. In his words, “Lest I forget sir, you said somewhere in your Easter message that you are building an international worship center that we deserve. You warned us not to play politics with God’s name…What you desire to build is not for us, but for yourself. It appears an exercise in self-glorification”.
The Governor had clearly envisaged these feeble and flimsy criticisms against the worship centre. So, he succinctly said in his Easter Message to Akwa Ibom people that ” We are building a befitting International Worship Centre. This State is a wholly Christian State. If anyone tells you we don’t deserve a worship centre as we have in other States, tell them they should not use God’s name to play politics”. If I may add, this is not also a good topic to justify monthly tokens by Udo Silas’ sponsors.
It is *the* honest opinion of every Akwa Ibom son *and* daughter, residents and vistors, that Governor Udom Emmanuel is focused, passionate and committed to delivering good governance in the state.
The excellent development strides mentioned in the Governor’s Easter broadcast did not tickle Udo Silas’ intellectual libido. He didn’t hear when the Governor said that “Our road projects are opening up the hidden treasures of our State. Consider the internal roads we are doing in Ewet Housing Extension and Shelter Afrique. Consider the over 1700 kilometres of road with 35 bridges spread all over the State, these are not just regular routes, these are enduring, durable and economically viable roads. Good roads are the engines of economic activities. My compatriots, I am laying a solid foundation for tomorrow. And our State is marching on.
‘Last month, I gave out interest free loans to our traders, elsewhere, this is not done. But because I preach sustainable development, development that is not just about today, but conserving what we have for better use in the future, we have provided these soft loans to our traders, and from the testimonies they have given, they have expanded their businesses. Our developmental plans are geared towards things that connect us to the needs of today while planning for tomorrow. That is why this State is marching on and the gates of propaganda cannot prevail.
‘We have diversified our economy and put accent on agriculture. We are cultivating over 16,000 hectares of land under the FADAMA III scheme, our vegetable Green House is helping us produce best-in-class tomatoes, our farmers are busy at work in the rice fields in Ini, over 600,000 thousand bags of fertilizers have been distributed to farmers across to the State to ensure higher yield of their crops; our Dakkada garri ensures that this staple food remains affordable. We are doing everything thing possible to put food on the table of our people and our State is sure marching on!”
‘We have refurbished our hospitals in line with our determination to improve the healthcare services especially at secondary level. Etinan Hospital, the General Hospital at Ituk Mbang, also at Ikot Okoro, the General Hospital at Ikono, all have been remodelled and provided with some of the equipment that can compete with the best in the world. Our 25 containers having State of the art medical supplies had arrived and are currently in use. Efforts are in top gear to get the Ibom Specialist Hospital To take-off full steam. Last month, I inspected the dialysis machines at the Hospital as well as the ambulances. We are investing in our health and wellness, and Akwa Ibom is marching on”.
Writers like Udo Silas do the society no good when they take money to run others down in crafty ways. Udo is not in any position to lecture Governor Udom Emmanuel on moral issues. He cannot hide under fine words and phrases to mock the sensitivities of Akwa Ibom people
A dishonest writer, like Udo is like a cancerous growth in the society. He misleads the audiences, he provokes his readers into chilling unbelief and anger. A dishonest writer disgraces the journalism profession by acting in utter breach of the ethics of the noble profession, he draws the contempt of the discerning public who look up to the media for fairness and objectivity. A paid writer lends credence and support to the untrue and misguided statement of some members of the public that journalists are cheap. A dishonest *journalist* storms the gates of heaven with his lies and rages the entire celestial choir against him; he draws down to himself the vengeance of Almighty God whose very nature is truth and is incorruptible.
If Udo Silas’ sponsors think they have found a new hand, they should stop paying him a few months and see who the next target is.
Finbarr is a public affairs analyst