GOVERNMENT OF IMO STATE
RE: OUR OFFICIAL REACTION TO THE ATTACKS ON THE GOVERNMENT, IMO PEOPLE AND GOVERNOR ROCHAS OKOROCHA BY THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, PROF. VIOLA ONWULIRI WHILE AT A PROGRAMME ON HOT FM OWERRI
On Monday, February 17, 2014, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor Viola Onwuliri appeared on the People’s Assembly programme of HOT FM, Owerri. As usual, the management of the ‘Radio House had informed listeners to the programme about the federal minister’s coming.
While at the programme, Imo people had expected her to brief them on what she has been able to attract to the state almost three years she has been a federal minister.
Imo people also expected her to tell them what the federal government she has been part and parcel of, has done for the state, since the inspection of the administration.
The good people of Imo state had equally looked up to the minister to brief them on the visit of the president to the state and what would be his activities in the state, including the commissioning of federal projects, if any.
Unfortunately and to the apparent disappointment of Imo people, the minister took the one hour she spent on the programme to insult the office of the governor of her state. She also insulted her governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and insulted Imo people by calling them militants.
Even, the minister could not be civil enough to respond to some sensitive questions asked by some Imo people who had listened to her insults. Again, she could not answer an ordinary question on the projects the federal government could be said, to have executed in the state. When she could not help the situation, she told the caller to wait for the expected press conference of the state chapter of the PDP. In other words, if the federal minister could not remember any federal project in the state, it is the state PDP that would do that.
We won’t respond to the insults or attacks the minister directed at the government of her home state, her governor and the people of the state, she repeatedly called militants. We are only responding to express our disappointment, regret and register our shock.
That an academic professor, who had taught in the University for many years, who is also a minister of the federal Republic could spend one hour on radio to abuse the government, governor and citizens of the state could only elicit regret and disappointment.
The minister did not talk about her achievements as minister as they concern her state, she did not talk about the achievements of the Federal Government as they also affect her state, and did not talk about the achievements of her party, the PDP as they equally concern the state. This calls for worry. She indirectly did a good Public Relations Job for the man she was attacking without her knowing it.
It is also important to inform the minister and her co-travelers that President Goodluck Jonathan had earlier been briefed by his minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku on the transformation that has taken place in less than 3 years in Imo state with Governor Okorocha as the architect after his visit to the state. So rushing to the media in an effort to envelop the achievements of Governor Okorocha to deceive Mr. President is a waste of time and energy.
It is again important to remind the minister that if she can not attract projects to her state, she could also be ready to tell Mbaise people how many of their people she had assisted. This idea of people using attacks on Governor Okorocha to cover their own deficiencies has become awkward and absurd. It is no longer fashionable, because Imo people have come to know the truth and that was why they bombarded the minister with questions that threw her off the balance, forcing her to be calling Imo people militants when they are not.
For the minster and every other PDP chieftain including aspirants to be talking about Rochas and his administration from month to month, is an indication that they have been boxed into a very tight corner. And the only way they thought they could be helped out is by making effort to create imaginary crisis between Governor Okorocha and Mr. President, by feeding the president with wrong information about the state government and the governor.
It has also become clear that those opposed to the state government have nothing to tell Imo people except what they think Okorocha’s government has not done well. So they know they will have problem in 2015, hence all these unwarranted attacks.
We appeal to the minister to talk as minister, and as a Professor when she deems it necessary to talk to the media again, and should drop any feeling that would make her throw caution to the wind.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media