Odimegwu Onwumere Makes Finalist In West Africa Media Excellence Awards

By G.U Chukwu

At the maiden edition of the West Africa Media Excellence Awards held on Saturday night, October 28 2017, at the Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra, Ghana, your dogged and multiple award-winning journalist Odimegwu Onwumere emerged finalist with his article published in The Nigerian Voice, Nigeria.

Onwumere emerged finalist in the Anti-Corruption Reporting Category. According to a statement issued by a three member judges of the awards in the persons of Ms. Sophie Ly who is an experienced Senegalese journalist, media trainer and media development expert; Mr. Lanre Idowu who is an accomplished and highly respected Nigerian journalist, editor, author, publisher, media owner and trainer; and Ms. Elizabeth Ohene who is a veteran Ghanaian journalist, over 400 published stories that were sent in by journalists from 12 countries across West Africa, 15 journalists made the finalists from six categories.

Conversely, in the well competed awards, Jesusegun Alagbe of The Punch, Nigeria, won in the Anti-Corruption Reporting Category.  But Onwumere was elated that his name was not among those who entered for the awards but were not finalists, adding that having made a finalist showed that he is doing better in his chosen career than the poor leaders in Nigeria.

He added that objective journalism pays better than an oppressive government anywhere in the world, especially such that Nigerians have come to endure in the recent times in the name of democracy.

Onwumere said that objective journalism is hated by oppressive leaders but journalists inclined in objectivity in their reportages would stop at nothing to expose the highhandedness of the looting leaders and keep in touch with the different communities of their ill behaviours.

He, therefore, called on moneybags and the authorities to help journalism and journalists in this clime by pumping in money to sustain them. He, nonetheless, thanked those who have helped in one way or the other in making him the renowned journalist he has become today.

G.U Chukwu, Owerri.

October 30 2017.

Advertisements

Hard Times (poem)

By Odimegwu Onwumere

We face hard times in different ways:

They could be marital, job, health, educational,

relationship, monetary, spiritual challenges.

Just name them.

But the worst of all the challenges is

when a person or persons you had thought

would say “Hello, take it easy”

do/es not care.

It pains when you reach out to people

and not even a text message from them

comes to you.

They feel above the board and do not care.

Anyway, we will not give up no matter

the challenges and the downgrading habit

of those we have reached out to.

Their downsizing of us

is part of the hard times, part of the challenges

we must overcome.

Their crass behaviour helps in shaping us

to win against all odds.

The key is we must have confidence in ourselves

and work harder to break the jinx

of the hard times.

Hard times are part of life

and we cannot run away from them.

Yes, they pinch us; they make us to cry in our closet,

but we will never give up.

In all, we have to remain positive in such negative situations.

(c) Odimegwu Onwumere; Oct. 23 2017. +2348032552855)

{poem} Missing My Dad

By Odimegwu Onwumere

My Precious Father: Ichie L.M Onwumere

I didn’t know much

the importance of having a Dad

till these two years and,

of not being with one.

The bird in the hand

is often not cherished, adored,

till she escapes into the air.

Who can fly?

Many things we do not cherish today,

we regret when they are gone

tommorrow.

I don’t only miss my Dad;

some parts of me died

with his passing

(c) Oct. 18 2017; Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet, Writer and Media Consultant.

How A Lady Embarrassed A Man For Approaching Her

BEYOND RELIGION AND CULTURE: Her gait was enchanting much as it was alluring when Kelvin my friend who was riding a bicycle on the cool evening saw the abundantly beauty on Saturday, September 30 2017, crossing the dangerous Oyigbo Express Junction, Rivers State, where security men stationed at this place have turned to terror of a sort, after the IPOB’s September 12 imbroglio.

He then made a move. The young lady suspected to be in her middle 20s was a beauty to behold, but her carriage was a misplaced one. “Hello, lady,” Kelvin said on getting to her, walking side by side now, with her. The lady kept a long face and neither replied Kelvin.

“Goodeveing, Lady,” Kelvin added. The lady in a very low but arrogant tone replied. “Goodevening,” she said.

“Thanks,” Kelvin replied. “I could not resist, at least, coming closer to you when I saw you passed somewhere, along this road.” The lady was yet to respond. Kelvin was rolling his bicycle by that hands and had followed the lady to a distance. “Stop embarrassing yourself,” the lady later talked and kept her long and pride-full self.

“That’s an overstatement,” Kelvin retorted. “What is the embarrassment in seeing a lady and walking after her?” Kelvin asked, but the lady did not say a word.

“Is it that you don’t like men coming after you or you are looking down on me because I’m coming to you with a bicycle?” Kelvin asked. The lady was a bit remorseful on hearing Kelvin spoke. She turned and looked at Kelvin, but this was the point he had to turn back. “I will be leaving now, so that I don’t embarrass you further,” Kelvin said, and left.

When Kelvin narrated his ordeal in the hands of the lady to me, I did not need a soothsayer to conclude that she was in her arrogant self because Kelvin didn’t come to her in a Venza or the other. But Kelvin she looked down on was well educated, mannered and stunningly wealthy.

At least, he had about 5 different storeys. Each is not less than 2 decks. He had some companies and what not. A young man in his early 30s. “The lady, perhaps, didn’t know the meaning of embarrassment,” I consoled him. “I think it was expected of her to have told you that she’s married or not interested in your overtures than the other way she took.”

It is pertinent that we learn how to approach people and how to respond to people. Pls, what kind of lady is this?

Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet, Writer and Media Consultant based in Rivers State.

How Being A Journalist Saved Me From Nigerian Police

BEYOND RELIGION AND CULTURE: The notorious security agents stationed at the popular Oyigbo Express Junction in Rivers State after the September 12 IPOB impasse apprehended me today (September 25). The reason was that I stopped and was rolling my bike by hand just near one of their vans. They said that I ought to had stopped somewhere that was not even well defined in their language to me. They later asked me to pack my bike but one of them, on looking critically at the ID card on my crest, said, “So, you are a pressman. You are among those talking rubbish at LUV FM of our excesses here.” I kept quiet. But one of them seemed to know journalists better. “Leave him to go, these guys are dangerous,” he told his colleague. I was still quiet. Later, I took my bike and left. When I got to my family house and narrated this story, neighbours praised my job as my rescuer. “If not, those police guys would have asked you to bring 10k before you will pick your bike,” one of the neigbours said. “What the police and SARS are doing at that Oyigbo Express Junction is pure extortion ranging from seizing people’s phones, arresting and molesting innocent people in phantom search for those that disarmed some of their colleagues of 3 guns and burnt their car.” The stories of heinous things the security agents are doing at the Oyigbo Express Junction were much. The stories reminded me of a brother, Wonder Generator, who saw me early in the morning and was telling me of how the SARS seized his bike simple because there was no plate number on it and asked him to go and bring 10k.

Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet, Writer and Media Consultant.

{PRESS RELEASE} Wike: When Are We Going To Hands Down In Oyigbo?

PRESS RELEASE 

Wike: When Are We Going To Hands Down In Oyigbo?

Four days from today would make it two weeks that a special security agents were stationed at Oyigbo, Rivers State, precisely, at the popular Express Junction, after the September 12 2017 supposed impasse in the area that was fingered to be an IPOB affair.

{Wike During 2015 Rivers Guber Campaign}

Even before the security agents came to the place, the least chaos that erupted had settled down and the residents were out for their normal businesses. However, the rather prolonged stay of the security agents at the Express Junction makes it look like there is a war going on in the area, which should not be so.

If you are riding a bike, you are forced to roll it by the hand to pass the Express Junction. Pedestrians are not left out of the security nuisance: They are forced to hands up while crossing the Express Junction.

And the question is – how long are we going to see this in Oyigbo? – a place that has been as peaceful as the cemetery from the time immemorial. The worrisome aspect of it all is that the security agents are converting the Express Junction to what we are yet to understand: The often shots of gun in the air by the security agents are embarrassing just as they do not send good signal to the Government of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.

If there was a cult rival in Oyigbo, that would have been a different thing. The idea would have been that the security agents must fish out the culprits before they retreat to where they were deployed from. But in this case, Oyigbo is peaceful before and after the September 12 bottleneck.

I hereby call on the office of Governor Wike to call the security agents to order, to allow residents and passersby to walk freely without any form of molestation by the security agents.

It does not add up that Oyigbo residents should be raising their hands up before they walk the Express Junction. In a sane clime, this security method does not represent the wish of democrats in a democracy.

The practice by the security agents can be attributed to pure intimidation given that in a democracy, the “people shouldn’t be afraid of their government,” one Alan Moore, V for Vendetta would say, “Government should be afraid of their people.” But in Oyigbo, the people are being intimidated to be unnecessarily afraid of the government, which invariably was not the mindset of Governor Wike.

We should not allow anti-intellectualism and anti-democracy become a recurring decimal in the political sphere in this country. Let the governor read Mahatma Gandhi, “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?”

Notwithstanding, if the security agents must stay, let the residents and passersby be allowed to walk freely without raising their hands up and the motorcyclists, not rolling their motorcycles by hand before they cross the Express Junction.

The continued mandating of people to raise their hands up and motorcyclists to roll their machines by hand, do not achieve positive gains to the government of Governor Nyesom Wike, but a bad name.

Oyigbo is not known for charlatanic maneuvers, so the residents shouldn’t be subjected to ridicule and inhumane features in the name of security checks. Let the governor withdraw the security agents to allow people go about their normal businesses. The security agents’ presence at Oyigbo Expressing Junction is not only intimidating the residents but also halting individual businesses.

Odimegwu Onwumere is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV). Mobile: +2348032552855. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

Date: September 22 2017.

[poem} Oyigbo On September 12

By Odimegwu Onwumere

{Scene of IPOB protests}

The orgy of messages has been received in Oyigbo:

Some vehicles cremated, human grievance still mountaining.

The streets are littered with baked chaos,

Stern-looking agents from Aso-Ruse watch in apprehension.

Biafra protesters clamour for freedom

Adjacent-to the craving of the man from Daura;

Who fancies their blood sponged-down the ocean

In lure of freedom he sees as a taboo.

Men are drinking coffee to expunge sleep

Yet, sleep befalls them like a possessed by malaria.

There is nowhere to lay the sleeping head

In a land where soul and body are shoddily severed.

Certainly, everyone is un-free

Except for supernatural empathy.

©Odimegwu Onwumere; September 13 2017.

Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com