By Paul Okonkwo
A major downside of the proliferation of news blogs in an age defined by the desperate search for “scoops” is the risk of falling prey to purveyors of falsehoods masquerading as activists.
An example of this is a statement issued by a certain Barrister Benedict Ezeagu suggesting the developments in Enugu State are not commensurate to the resources earned.
As an Enugu resident who has witnessed the massive infrastructural turnaround ongoing across the state, I consider it unfortunate that the outright fabrication was published by some gullible media, including an otherwise respectable organisation.
Given the antecedents of the author of the purported “press statement from Save Nigeria Group” impugning the integrity of the Enugu State governor, it’s expected that any self-respecting media organisation would take his claims with much more than a pinch of salt. Mr. Ezeagu’s statement was not just infantile, it seethes with shocking levels of ignorance that belie his status as a lawyer and could only have been motivated by mischief and pecuniary goals.
How can anyone pay heed to an individual who had previously been denounced and described as an impostor by the organisation on whose behalf he claims to act? It’s just one of the perils of the social media.
Mr. Ezeagu describes himself as the “National Coordinator” of the Save Nigeria Group in his self-serving statement. But, interestingly, here is what the organisation thinks of him: “Mr. Benedict Ezeagu, the alleged convener of a press conference during which an ultimatum was issued to President Buhari, is neither a member of the Save Nigeria Group nor its National Co-ordinator. Furthermore, the designation ‘National Co-ordinator’ does not exist in SNG’s leadership structure. This is an act of impersonation and a deliberate attempt to convert a respected platform for malicious intent. Please disregard any information that is not shared or verified through any of our legitimate platforms.
“Convened by Pastor ‘Tunde Bakare in 2010, the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) is duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission and will seek legal redress for this infraction.”
The words of an individual so openly denied by an association in whose interest he purportedly acts can certainly not be relied on. It’s an indication of a severe character flaw – or something even more insidious. His actions cannot possibly be motivated by public good.
It’s okay to have contrary views in a democracy; but to suggest the Enugu State governor has not met the people’s expectations is nothing but cheap blackmail. The public should be wary of such craven individuals driven only by partisan interests.
* Okonkwo wrote in from Enugu.