by Charles Oputa
The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it. – George Owells
Arise, O compatriots,
Let’s serve our Fatherland
With love and strength and faith!
How hard service must be in a decadent society like ours where words like credibility, honesty, honor, truthfulness, professionalism and integrity are fast becoming extinct and rapidly being replaced by corruption, greed sharpness, evil, materialistic lust, the list is endless! That’s how deep the rot is.
However my story today no be dat yarn. National awards were given a few days ago to deserving and not so deserving Nigerians. Honorary awards are meant to be given in recognition for exceptional achievements, integrity and distinction. So therefore, I hereby confer my own nationalist award of Officer of the Order of the Niger, OON to Mr. Nicholas Ibekwe.
I’m sure so many of you are wondering who that is and yes until a few days ago, I didn’t even know who he was. He is a young journalist who was bold enough to chose a path of integrity, honestly and professionalism against all odds of being a minority and chose to speak for the truth.
Our minds have become so beclouded with the truth as being shaded that when we come in contact with it,we have a repelling approach to it and may even begin to see those who dare to be bold and speak out as over sabis or ITK’s ( I too know ).but really, should that come as a surprise to anybody In a society where morals are eroding, and people have succeeded in convincing themselves that the truth is no longer important.
Our minds are so closed because when we see the truth we can’t even trust it based on the fact that for so long, lies have been exchanged for the truth and now we are caught in-between what is really true and what are lies and thus, the confusion of what is right and what is wrong begins.
Mr. Nicholas Ibekwe chose to speak about the alleged bribe money that was given to them to write a ‘good’ story about the collapse of the synagogue building. There were 15 journalists there and 750 thousand naira was shared. Only one person chose to cry foul! one person chose to standout, one person chose to speak the truth.
For a very long time now, the stone have been left unturned concerning what really goes on in this country. The rich and privileged do whatever they like and as it is the norm nothing happens, Because we all have been corrupted by weakness and fear. You hear of the issue for a while and like the wind, it simply blows away. For instance, till now, we are all confused about who’s responsible for the money smuggled into South Africa, CAN President Oritsejafor or the Federal Government, we are yet to hear the truth. Like joke, the fight for #bringbackourgirls is gradually quieting. We never know what is really going on. Till date, the allegations against Major General Abubakar Mohammed has not been clarified but the soldiers involved have been sentenced to death, no digging, no probing. If they did, we never heard. When it becomes a crime to report freely criminal activities,then it becomes obvious that leadership is made up of criminals. QED.
What injustice! It takes a little mistake from a less privileged man and his life would be no good from thence forth. I would ask, was the law made only for the poor?
I would say it clearly that what journalist Nicholas Ibekwe did is something I haven’t seen in a million years just to exaggerate a bit. I have been silent about it but have been following the news surrounding the alleged bribe given by T.B Joshua to Journalists to shade the truth. Hummmmmmm
To me it came as a surprise that in this rot, there are a few who are still bold enough to do the right thing. Yeah, people are saying he is an opportunist but I would ask is it not better to be an opportunist with the right thing than an opportunist with the wrong thing? All the journalists who went there allegedly received the bribe were opportunist, as they chose 50,000 over the truth. Others are saying Nicholas Ibekwe declared self-righteousness, but I would say he declared the truth, is it because he was the first who thought of the right thing to do and came out with it?
As a celebrity and a journalist myself, I know how hard it is out there, we are all facing this thing, although everybody own get em level. I understand, just like I understand with my okada boys dem and poor people who need assistance, I do the same thing for the journalists like I do for them. I call mine ‘white envelops’, not given to them as a bribe but as a fact that being in the game I understand the hustle. I don’t care what people say about me in the media so long as whatever you are saying is not based on assumptions but facts. When journalism fails to report with truth and objectivity, abuse of professionalism ensues.
My most recent encounter of that with a publisher was the propaganda about my being gay. Many platforms carried it yes but why did I sue only National Mirror and Daily independent?
The answer is very simple. When you write a story that has not be adequately researched and backed with facts, you avoid debasing a person’s credibility and integrity
The truth is a bitter pill that only very few people like myself fight for it and it is for this fight of truth that this matter has been taken to court. The next hearing will be presided on the 9th of October in Lagos state high court. I hope the world is watching because I want justice. And I go so shout if it is denied me.
I’ve never had any beef with T.B Joshua, in fact when I was PMAN president, he helped us financially with a few of our programs and I am grateful. But my focus is not him, my focus is that this young man did a right thing and should be rewarded. People do evil all the time and they are applauded for it, why is it so difficult to applaud an uncommon good. Many lives (about 115) were lost in that fall, who is going to account for it?
We’ve been kept in the dark for too long; this should come as a breath of fresh air. We need people who can tell us the true position of things as it is, not sugar coating and shading the truth from the populace.
If not for this my ‘brokage’ thing going on with me right now I would want to do more however the Charly boy foundation is pledging 300,000 naira for any journalist who shows remarkable intergrity in the discharge of his duties and can write and speak the truth no matter the odds.
I hope Nicholas Ibekwe is reading this, I want to meet you, I want to congratulate you, I would love to reward you for your boldness. You have not only been professional as a journalist, you have also be courageous. Your boldness must never go unnoticed or unrewarded. There is God.
If we make it a habit of not rewarding people who make an attempt to do good, then evil will reign supreme in this country and we all will hate ourselves.
The reality is that a small subset of the population have been working, conspiring, for years against the rest of us in an effort to completely own and control Nigeria and everyone in it. The shitty system and the country we have today is a direct result of this, the ultimate conspiracy. That’s why there are a lot of rifrafs in power, that and the fact that the majority of my people are ignorant of this conspiracy against them. Hummmmm there is Godooooo.
We should all learn to stand for the truth and the right thing even when everyone would be against us for doing the right thing. We are already down as a people and as a nation, what else do we have to lose, we should stand for the truth and protect the right thing at all times…at least from now on.
Charles Oputa also known as Charly Boy is an entertainer and social critic, he writes from Abuja.
Opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.