Posted by News Express | 16 December 2021 | 1,794 times
Emeka Nwosu, a seasoned print journalist, has reported politics and power for a considerable period from the vantage positions of corridors and inner recesses of power. My first encounter with him, accompanied by Victor Ifijeh and Eric Osagie, all of them promising young journalists who were to establish their names in their professional firmament, was in 1991. I had indicated interest in running for governorship of my State, Cross River, under the then military President, General Ibrahim Babangida`s elaborate transition to civil rule programme which turned out to be endless and earned the diathermic general the sobriquet.
“Maradonna”, after the famed Argentine footballer who would deploy every method, both fair and unfair, including the “hand of God”, to score goals.
Emeka was on the political desk of Daily Times, then Nigeria`s oldest, widest circulating and most authoritative newspaper reporting the programme, its dynamics and the dramatis personae. The transition programme ended in the fiasco of the annulment of the presidential election of June 12, 1993. He was a witness to those epochal events which he reported, as a journalist, from the inside more or less. He had been incorporated into Chief Abiola`s campaign team, watched the campaigns and watched history unravel.
He interrogates the transition programme which he describes as “rich in conception, elaborate in scope, deep in content, and innovative in character”, but lacking in sincerity, if not outright dubious, in its execution and draws out the lessons to be learnt from it. General Babangida missed the historic opportunity of being a national hero and putting an end to the ethnic and religious content of Nigerian politics. The annulment of the elections took us right back to our medieval roots where we started; and we have remained stuck there till date.
The title of the book is diversionary, if not misleading, as it is not only about politics, power or the media. The book is rather the author’s story about his life, from childhood to adulthood, the major socio-political events and experiences of the time, including the defining Nigerian civil war which form the prism from which he sees and interprets politics, power and the media and shaped his perspective. It tells of his personal struggles and involvement in those events. This is the story of struggles from childhood to an eminent sojourn in journalism and his arrival in public service. It is the story of any Nigerian who grew up in the village in his time, particularly those of the Igbo nationality and a testimony to determination and resilience.
The author tells of his leadership roles as a student, journalist, and in the community; his attempt at elective office, his role in the campaign of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to be President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the frustrations, as a member of his media team, in marketing a tempestuous and volatile principal. His, is a story of the exhilarations of realized expectations from political exertions and the pains of dashed hopes, as is the nature of politics at any level. He tells the story of the international exposure which both journalism and public office offered him and the innate joys of family life.
He dealt with a dysfunctional so-called federal, yet essentially unitary, structure which he rightly concludes cannot endure. The resulting inherent contradictions of the system have become evident in the rising insecurity, social restlessness and increasing clamour for restructuring, resource control and self-determination. Our political structure has become more of a drag and impediment to social cohesion and development. In spite of her acknowledged existential threats, the loss of state monopoly of violence, the author, though conditionally, still has faith not only in Nigeria but her greatness. He believes that this can be achieved through focused, visionary and transformative leadership. Nigeria has always been in deficit of leadership. The author believes strongly in the rotational principle amongst the geopolitical zones and power sharing.
I recommend the book to every inquisitive mind as it makes a good reading for leisure, information and knowledge.
•Being the FOREWORD to Dr. Emeka Nwosu’s soon-to-be-presented new book, Media, Politics, and Power in Nigeria: A Personal Perspective. Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, OFR, CON, SAN, who wrote the FOREWORD, was Leader of the 7th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Former Chairman, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and is a Life Bencher.
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