By James Ibechi
Those who are awaiting the end of Dr. Samuel Ortom’s reign as Governor are daily increasing in number, but they will not hold their breath.
Like in the days of the rising public angst and sentiments against the poor leadership given by the former ruling party, PDP, so it is now in Benue.
It is like the forces including the social media activism, which pulled down the PDP’s stranglehold on the state and the nation in the days of the cankerworms, are returning to the trenches, to reenact history. Hehehe!
Scathing facebook posts with a new slogan “OUR BENUE, OUR PAINS, which is intent on deriding the Ortom administration, are a sad reminder of the history.
Or how do you explain the stories flying around at warp speed in recent times – the latest being that of the governor empowering youth with wheelbarrows – which have been a titillating fodder for social media commentators, who brand Governor Ortom as not only bereft of ideas but a failure?
Or what is the explanation for the situation where despite the strong rebuttals by the government media top brass that the governor did not send anybody to inscribe his name on any wheelbarrows, neither had he empowered the youth with the one-wheel truck the minds of the commentators and their swarm of followers still cannot be swayed?
As it is, they seem to be hell bent on seeing the end of the administration before it completes its full lifespan. They have permeated the grassroots with negative stories against Governor Ortom, to the extent that in some of the villages the governor is now seen as “Nebuchadnezzar reincarnate,” for no just reason, I believe. Could this be that the information machinery of the administration is floundering? No idea.
The administration clocks 2 years later this month. Instead of celebrating with the administration over its positive impacts in education, healthcare, infrastructure development, security, and what have you, the critics no doubt seem set to cast a cloud over the governor’s performance and on his foreign trips that are rather yielding investors into the state.
The commentators have been battering and smearing the governor’s image. But this is not enough to inflict a fatal wound on him.
On the wheelbarrow saga, I think what should touch the sensibility of any discerning member of the reading public is in the question: why do the social media armchair commentators and their hordes of readers find it easier to believe the story of the wheelbarrows as published by the governor’s traducers than the rebuttal the story elicited from the governor’s media or image managers?
It is all because of one “disease”, unpaid salaries, which when it clears, as it soon will, everything will fall in place and hands will jam for the governor, because by then there will be no other sin of the governor for which to continue berating him. Hallelujah!
However, there is need to subtly advise the administration’s media inner circle to listen to the public perception of the government, to be able to properly advise the governor.
For, there is presently a growing perception that there is a disconnect between what the masses want and what the government holds dear, salary issue aside.