By Simeon Nwakaudu
There is no denying the fact that The Nation Newspaper is owned by an APC leader. It is also a known fact that the ownership of a medium affects its house style and news coverage patterns. However, it is embarrassing that The Nation Newspaper and its management have allowed a disgruntled APC Member to serve as its correspondent in Rivers State.
I am surprised that The Nation is not embarrassed by the condescending reports that their correspondent in Rivers State churn out on regularly , all in the bid to link Governor Wike to everything that happens in their political party.
I woke up on Saturday (25th January, 2020) to see The Nation Newspaper screamer on the front page: "Rivers APC Hits Wike", with a rider that the Rivers State Governor was lobbying to join the party since he can't take over PDP . For the Editors of The Nation, whenever Governor Wike is mentioned, the bar is relegated and unprofessional actions take over.
Nationwide, everyone is aware that the APC is on life support in Rivers State. For over four years, there has been no APC and there has been no Rivers APC leadership. It has been a case of empty drums making noise to be heard. Not for any Electoral Reasons.
If there is anything like APC in Rivers State, it exists in the fertile imagination of The Nation Newspaper and their APC Ambassador detailed to churn out fictional reports against Rivers State and the State Governor.
Otherwise, how would The Nation Newspaper allow political vindictiveness propel it into elevating beer parlour talk into newspaper report? Why would editorial due diligence be sacrificed by The Nation Newspaper simply because they want to mention the name of Governor Wike in their unending political crisis? If they are now ashamed of being associated with their self-inflicted political disaster, then they should seek help.
It is disheartening that The Nation Newspaper continues to rehash the same concocted face-saving allegation that the failed immediate past Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi made at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in the presence of President Muhammadu Buhari befo
re the last General Elections.
This concocted story aimed at diverting attention from the failure of Rivers APC did not save the AAC/APC/ARMY/FSARS Alliance from total defeat during the 2019 General elections.
One wonders who The Nation Newspaper is referring to when it called Rivers APC? In the eyes of the law, no such party exists from Ward to the State level as far as Rivers State is concerned. Yes, there are several factions and clubs within the APC in Rivers State that are jostling for Recognition, but none truly exists.
It smacks of editorial recklessness and ineptitude to throw up the name of Governor Wike, in a struggle amongst several weakened APC associations in Rivers State.
It is tantamount to administering 'panadol' on Governor Wike, when the different factions of Rivers APC are suffering from prolonged headache. As associates of Rivers APC and the faction of the Minister of Transportation, The Nation Newspaper should restrict its 'medicinal ' benevolence to members of their association that subscribe to lies, deception, divisiveness and under-development.
I am surprised that the Editorial Board of The Nation Newspaper is yet to view Rivers State as a place where it can write on the huge developmental projects of Governor Wike. I am shocked that the Editorial Board of The Nation Newspaper still views Rivers State from commercial lenses of churning out lies on Governor Wike to sell extra copies of the paper.
Having supported different political parties since 2014 to spread falsehood and lies against Governor Wike and Rivers State, it is high time The Nation Newspaper changed its technique to a more productive and truthful approach. Rivers people are fully in support of their Governor and they are never be deceived by half baked lies.
This is not a time to play the Ostrich. The Nation Newspaper and her associates in the different camps of APC must start rebuilding their ailing political party. Rivers APC cannot be revived on the altar of lies and irresponsible propaganda. If propaganda was enough, Rivers APC would have won all elections since 2015.
Governor Wike has been magnanimous to the ailing opposition, despite their love for mischief and injurious falsehood.
On 21st February, 2019, Governor Wike called on the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to accept the reality that their party will not be on the ballot for the 2019 General elections in the state.
Governor Wike urged the leaders of Rivers APC to accept the judgment of the Supreme Court as the will of God, saying that nobody can resurrect a dead horse.
The governor made the call in a State broadcast on the rescheduled Presidential and National Assembly elections coming up on Saturday, 23rd February, 2019.
The governor said: "Truth be told, the Supreme Court has spoken. INEC has confirmed. It is the will of God and there is nothing anybody can do to return the APC to the ballot for the 2019 general elections in Rivers State.
"But this, I believe, is not the end of life for the APC in Rivers State. There is always another day and as political leaders, we must have the courage to accept the reality, know when to stop fighting for nothing and tell our followers the simple truth, even if it may sound bitter. I would therefore advice my brothers in the APC to endeavor to put their house in order, allow the prevailing peace to continue and prepare for 2023".
Beyond projecting injurious falsehood, has The Nation Newspaper or her APC Correspondent or associates ever focused on the exclusion of Rivers State from the allocation and implementation of Federal Projects since 2015? Are they pretending not to know that almost all developmental projects in Rivers State since 2015 have been the exclusive work of Governor Wike?
Elections are over and this is the time for governance. The Nation Newspaper cannot subject Rivers State to a perpetual condition of needless politicking. Rivers APC is not in Government and they have ample time on their hands to lie against each other. The Nation Newspaper should not drag Governor Wike into this endless mess of Rivers APC's unnecessary intra-party rivalry.
There should be a conscious effort to transit from campaign mode to governance mode. Sponsoring media campaigns of calumny will not resolve the deep-seated challenges facing the ailing Rivers APC. Calling Governor Wike names can only bring momentary pleasure, which will disappear after the press conference or interview session.
Since that ill-fated press conference by the Minister's Rivers APC faction, has the crisis disappeared? Since the trending of that misleading Information circulated by The Nation Newspaper , the Rivers APC crisis has worsened. At this juncture, we may require the services of National Population Commission to ascertain the number of factions that exist in Rivers APC.
In all of this, one fact is constant. Governor Wike's connection to Rivers people is getting even stronger. He is busy fulfilling his campaign promises to Rivers people and that is what matters to them.