Re: Social Media Platforms, Gov. Mbah And Opposition’s Obsession For Fake News

By Samson Ezea

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have responded to my good brother, friend, professional colleague and colleague in ex Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi administration, Hon. Wordshot Ugwuele’s rejoinder to my recent article titled: “Social media platforms, Gov. Mbah and Opposition’s Obsession For Fake News.” I would have not, because anyone who read in between the line of the two articles would understand clearly who is misleading the people.
My decision to reply him though belatedly due to my tight schedules is to correct some erroneous impressions and claims he made and at the same time answer the questions he raised and challenged me to address to prove my points clearly.
It is expected that in this intellectual fireworks of me and my professional colleague and brother, lessons would be learnt by those that are sincere to themselves and ready to accept the truth.
In the article, I passionately, objectively, professionally and factually xrayed the Opposition’s antics of fabricating and peddling falsehoods against Gov. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah on social media platforms during primaries, campaigns, elections, after election and even after he had secured victory in court without any incontrovertible evidence.
I used the word opposition which is generic, even though it is factual that any other political party that is not PDP that is the ruling party in Enugu State is opposition party. The article by any professional standard can pass editorial test of any national daily or newspaper.
Well, it is a statement of reality and legality that election is a process. It is a cumbersome and stage process that participants and their supporters can not say hurray or it is over until the process is completed. So anyone who decides to contest election or support any candidate in any election has automatically submitted himself or herself to the laws guiding the process and should be ready to accept the outcome, without minding whose is ox gored and how he or she feels. That is why it is often said that in election, it is not over until it is over.
Again, it is an axiomatic fact that Nigeria like every other democratic country has constitution and Electoral Act that guide the electoral process from the beginning to the end.
These laws are binding on all participants. Aggrieved participants are free and expected to approach the court to seek redress and not to act otherwise or take laws into their hands out of anger or emotions. In this case, it is obvious that the beauty and guiding principles of democracy is constitutionalism and rule of law. They are sacrosanct and sanctimonious.
Meanwhile, it is truism that during the PDP governorship primaries in Enugu State, which Barr. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah emerged victorious, the opposition fabricated and peddled falsehood on social media platforms that he was an ex-convict and was not qualified to contest governorship election. They even went to court by proxy to challenge his victory in the primaries, claiming that he was an ex convict. The opposition lost out. It would be recalled that the then Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN ) wrote an open apology letter to Mbah through the latter’s counsel apologizing for being misled that Mbah was an ex-convict. This is the truth and verifiable.
The same opposition fabricated and peddled falsehoods and blatant lies and even fabricated video clips that Governor Mbah used Enugu State looted public fund to establish Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited, without providing or presenting any incontrovertible evidence to substantiate the unfounded allegation. This baseless allegation was fabricated and peddled by the opposition 16 years after Barr. Mbah served Enugu State Government as Chief of Staff to the Governor and Commissioner for Finance.
This same opposition raised false alarm, fabricated and peddled falsehood that Governor Mbah forged his NYSC certificate. Despite all their grandstandings and braggadacio, they and their NYSC collaborators could not prove beyond reasonable doubt as required by the law in the court that Governor Mbah forged his NYSC certificate.
After the governorship election which Governor Mbah won and was sworn in, some opposition parties governorship candidates including Labour Party governorship candidate, who went to court to challenge the victory, included the alleged NYSC certificate forgery against Mbah and the alleged falsification of Nkanu East LGA result in their grounds of petition. All these were dismissed by the courts ranging from the Tribunal, Appeal Tribunal to Apex Court for lack of merit and incontrovertible evidence.
List of these social media fabrications and concoctions of opposition against Governor Mbah is endless. Unfortunately for the opposition, they have not been able to prove any of them in the court of public opinion or law courts till date, rather they are busy misleading people by fabricating and purveying more in the name of opposition politics.
My brother and friend, Hon. Ugwuele Wordshot, can you sincerely claim or tell the world that the above-mentioned malicious allegations against Barr Mbah, which were fabricated, peddled and even instituted in the court against him by the opposition are not lies and falsehoods, even when they had been dismissed and declared false, null and void by the competent courts? Haba!!!
Are you saying that the opposition in Enugu State does not believe in court and the judiciary? If so, why do they even approach the court and judiciary to seek justice in the course of challenging Gov. Mbah’s victory in the election?
It is the fabricating and peddling of these blatant lies and propaganda on social media that the opposition used to extort, mislead and hoodwink some people and gave them forlon hope of phyrric victory that nearly cause them frustration, heart attacks, and poverty, when Governor Mbah won at Supreme Court. Many of them are yet to recover from the reality of Governor Mbah’s victory, hence they have refused to leave their political cocoons and embrace the stark reality that Governor Mbah is their governor till 2027.
The reality before all of us in Enugu State and beyond is that Governor Peter Ndubuisi Mbah is the elected and legitimate Governor of Enugu State till 2027. There is nothing anybody can do about it. There are no two governors in Enugu State today and there will never be. This is simply, because it is unthinkable, unconstitutional and impossible.
As a journalist, who has covered and reported elections and politics for more than a decade before joining government as an appointee, I have since seen and realised that they are processes that are often defined or determined by their completions. It is not an idealistic game, but a realistic one. That I worked for the PDP during the 2023 elections and still working for the PDP led government in the state should not take away my sense of objectivity as a professional journalist. I also expected my colleague Ugwuele to think and act in the same direction as well. That Ugwuele worked for Labour Party governorship candidate, Barr Chijioke Edeoga and he lost in the election shouldn’t becloud his sense of judgment.
That I worked for Governor Mbah in the election and he didn’t win, do not suppose to affect the professionalism and sense of reasoning in me. That is the standard and ethics of journalism profession.
On Ugwuele’s claim that US Congress’s recent bill to ban Chinese owned social media app was not because of the security threat it posed to the US security is not true. Even Ugwuele accepted in his rejoinder that there are some features in the app that brought about the security concerns raised by US congress, which they overwhelmingly and quickly voted for the passage of the bill to ban or sell it. So why the needless contradiction?
I am neither against the use of social media platforms nor against opposition. The tonic and beauty of strong democracy is virile and vibrant opposition that engage government with superior ideas, arguments and expertise. Being harbingers and purveyors of falsehoods and lies against the ruling government or Governor Mbah on social media as being witnessed in Enugu State cannot make those doing such opposition politicians or leaders.
On the use of social media platforms or citizens’ journalism to peddle falsehoods and lies against GovernorMbah and others in the name of constructive criticism and opposition politics, the truth is that there is no absolute freedom of speech anywhere in the world. The onus lies on he or she who alleges to substantiate with incontrovertible evidence or face the wrath of law.
That Governor Mbah has not dragged anyone to court for slandering or defaming his character on social media as being done by opposition consistently doesn’t mean that he is guilty, weak or there is absolute freedom of speech, especially on social media platforms. It is does not mean that his social media detractors are right. They are not.
It may be that the Governor Mbah is unperturbed, focused and obsessed with his constitutional responsibility, hence he does not want any distraction. Knowing that the best form of politics is good governance and delivery of democracy dividends, it is not far from the truth that Governor Mbah may have concluded to use good governance and execution of massive infrastructural projects as being witnessed in the state to demystify the opposition without dignifying them with any response or joining issues with them.

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