By Issa Itopa Lucky
Recently, I read a review about Governor Yahaya Bello‘s recent interview with Channels TV. The review was carried in Observers Times, a media outfit owned by Austin Okai. Much as I have no problem with the reviews, the part number 4 where the reviewer by name Odih Daniel Nuhu crossed the lines of decency by claiming that Ex-Governor Ibrahim Idris sponsored thugs, is not just sad but worthy of condemnation. Such opinion shows how uninformed and rather misguided the Odih Daniel Nuhu of a person is, about facts.
Ordinarily, one would have expected that Austin Okai, the owner of Observers Times will put the publication to scrutiny before putting it out, especially at a time now that we are faced with the war with fake news as a nation, but then, because Austin Okai is a known party to fake news itself, he decided to bring low the bar of journalism and allow such misinformation to fly on his medium.
This does not however come to me as a surprise. Any keen observer of the politics of Kogi State will state without hesitation that Austin Okai himself has become a champion in the art of rubbing in the mud the name of the Ibro family as he finds need to so entertain himself and his gullible followers; as he wishes to take turns and filter the media with misinformation about the Ibro family, today it is Ex-Governor Ibrahim Idris, tomorrow it is the son, Abubakar Ibrahim, next week he turns the queue around and continue to attack the family on media unend, seeing how peaceful and peace-loving the Ibro family and the Ibro political family is.
Without probing far, the word of caution is simple, Austin Okai should call his latest attack dog named Odih Daniel Nuhu, to order. This is as Austin Okai, the publisher and owner of the Observers Times is by the baseless and inciting anti-Ibro publication, complicit as publisher, in the spread of such fake news, hence this publication seeks to caution Austin Okai, to put a stop to the constant art of dragging the good name of baba Ibro in the mud.
One expects that Austin Okai and his co-travellers ought to have learnt already from the mistakes that led to the loss of Kogi State to the APC in the 2019 Governorship election and as such, they ought to start learning how to respect elders and leaders than to be railroading leaders who clearly made the way for them to even be the best they ever have been today.
Very importantly, Austin Okai and his co-travellers must learn that it is entirely unethical to abuse leaders, especially the person of Ex-Governor Ibrahim Idris, considering what good Ex-Governor Ibrahim Idris has done both in office and even many years after leaving office, in terms of fighting crime, provision of infrastructure, human empowerment and even State and nation-building.
Therefore wherever Austin Okai and his co-travellers find His Excellency Ex-Governor Ibrahim Idris, sponsoring thugs at any point in time, they ought to fear the possibility of lawsuit being brought against them for defamation of character, even to the extent of that of the person of an elder statesman like His Excellency Ibrahim Idris.
Ex-Governor Ibrahim Idris may not have an active media but that does not mean his good name and that of his family and that of the Ibro political family is open to any form of media attacks from anybody as there still remain some of us who are witnesses to Ex-Governor Ibro’s good and we would not hesitate to respond immediately via the same media where the Ibro political brand or name is made a subject of bad perception.
Issa Itopa Lucky writes from Okene, Kogi State.
26th December 2020