Dung beetles in Enugu who, with no honour, steal people’s identity to propagate illegitimacy
The dung beetles of Enugu (áda n’éri nsi!) will never learn.
On August 13, 2023, the unscrupulous hacks in Governor Peter Mbah’s media team, published an article where they made spurious claims against my person. Ashamed of their own identities, these purveyors of counterfeit information stole the identity of Chimezie Ashuke, a noble indigene of Udi Local Government Area, and tried to claim that he was the author of the ill-fated article.
Chimezie Ashuke, not desiring to have anything to do with people who have formed a Siamese bond with falsehood, immediate published a disclaimer, informing the world that he had nothing to do with the article.
Just two days later, under the cover of August 15 night, the prolific falsehood factory rolled another fake news from its production line. Engineered, enabled and propagated by one Ugochukwu Nwanjoku, Governor Peter Mbah’s fake news factory circulated a story on WhatsApp with headline, “Edeoga’s Petition Against Me Hopeless, Throw it Out, Gov Mbah urges Tribunal,” and claimed it was written by Jonathan Eze.
Jonathan Eze is a seasoned journalist who rose to the position of News Editor in ThisDay newspapers before he was hired as Chief Operating Officer and Editorial Coordinator of Leadership group of newspapers.
Unfortunately for these identity thieves, dung beetles whose lives are spent rolling mounds of excreta, Jonathan Eze, a proud son of Obukpa Nsukka, is my friend. He called me minutes after his attention was drawn to the article, distancing himself from it. He declared that he has never had anything to do with the Peter Mbah camp, and although he does not live in Enugu, his mind, emotions and sentiments were in favour of the person whom Enugu people had voted for during the last gubernatorial elections, Chijioke Jonathan Edeoga.
Just like Chimezie Ashuke did, Jonathan also put forward a disclaimer, a copy of which I reproduce below:
Re: Edeoga’s Petition Against Me Hopeless, Throw it Out, Gov Mba urges Tribunal
My attention has been drawn to a story being spread on WhatsApp and other social media handles by the media team of the embattled Governor of Enugu State, with the headline: “Edeoga’s petition against me hopeless, throw it out, Gov Mba urges tribunal”, with my byline.
My name is Jonathan Eze, a Journalist, Editor, Publisher and a Media Consultant with over 15 years’ experience across a number of Nigerian national dailies, including Nigerian Compass Newspaper, Daily Times, THISDAY, National Economy and Leadership Newspaper Group, where I served as Chief Operating Officer.
I wish to state unequivocally that I am not the author of the story in question, and at no time was I contacted by anyone for the use of my name, which in itself is against the ethics of my profession.
As a firm believer in justice and democratic tenets, I did not and will not support the INEC-fabricated and indefensible results that gave victory to Mr. Mbah. My good people of Obukpa and Nsukka massively voted for Jonathan Chijioke Edeoga and we stand by his mandate.
No matter the propaganda and distortions they are embarking on to rob Ndi Enugu of their victory, the truth must prevail, justice will.be served and Edeoga would be sworn in as the Governor of the state.
Once again, I distance myself from the viral story which is not even gaining any traction as people have seen through it as a figment of the imagination of the writers.
Sad. Pathetic. Fraudulent. Despicable.
When the founding parents of literature adopted the use of pseudonyms (In Enugu, they call it “pseudo-names”) they had noble and innovative objectives in mind. But these semi-educated dung beetles have succeeded in turning it on its head, putting it to preposterous purposes, chiefly to keep their names and persons clean from the falsehood they spread, to create the illusion of legitimacy and, perhaps, trade on the credibility of people who have built good reputation for themselves over the years.
These were not the reason star writers like Jason Onyegbaduo (Pini Jason and Papa Juliet), Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot), Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss), and René Lodge Brabazon Raymond (James Hadley Chase), had for using pen names. Writers globally adopt pseudonyms for one or more these reasons:
1. To maintain anonymity when writing about something controversial, especially if it could also affect their personal or professional lives.
2. To establish a strong brand or identity among readers. For instance, if you are a horror writer, you may want to use a name that reflects your genre.
3. To avoid stereotyping based on gender or ethnicity. It also allows writers to cover topics they wouldn’t otherwise for fear of prejudice.
4. To distinguish their writing under one name from work under another name. For instance, a crime writer may decide to publish a romantic novel and choose a pen name to use in this new genre.
5. To distinguish their writing from that of another author or public figure. For instance, a new writer called Stephen King would need a pseudonym unless he wanted to compete with the famed horror novelist.
6. To write together under a single name. Sometimes, if more than one person is working on a writing project, the group of authors will adopt a single pseudonym rather than using all their names.
7. To get a second chance with publishers. Yup, some authors use a pen name because their previous book failed and publishers have ignored them since. By adopting a pen name, they have a chance at a fresh start!
No one who has read the fabrications, distortions and unimaginative fiction from the Enugu fake news production line would associate them with the above seven noble objectives. James Hadley Chase, for instance, worked as a salesman, primarily focusing on books and literature. He sold children’s encyclopaedias, while working in a bookshop, later served as an executive for a book wholesaler, before turning to a writing career. He knew that he wasn’t going to get a chance with publishers if they knew he was the same person who moved from door to door selling books.
On her part, Mary Ann Evans knew that the male-dominated environment of the 1800s when she wrote would give her little chance, so she adopted the name George Elliot. Those who read one of her more famous novels, such as Silas Marner, would never believe it was written by a woman.
Since the inauguration of Governor Peter Mbah, the people of Enugu have witnessed nothing in the likeness of good governance. It has been strife, scandals, killings and subjugation of the vox populi. While the people have been abandoned to the mercies of kidnappers, the government has made a preoccupation to hunt down those who manage to survive the strife. A few days ago, an NGO, the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre, released a damning report, pointing accusing fingers at the government in Enugu as partaking in the harassment and intimidation of journalists.
What makes the entire media strategy of the dubious guys in Enugu unintelligent is the illusion on which they anchor their strategy. And it is not entirely too hard to link their fraudulent activities to the fraud which has been perpetrated on Enugu State at the elections. After all, they say birds of the same feather flock together. People also know that the dung beetle cannot change his trade.
For instance, there is no person in Enugu who does not know how uphill a task it is for Mbah to survive the court petition brought against him, his political party and INEC, by Chijioke Edeoga and the Enugu State Labour Party. Everyone knows that he was unable to prove that he performed his compulsory national service. Mentioning the DSS official who appeared at the tribunal, as the writer did, is cheap and unintelligent, because it has clearly been established that the official is what lawyers call a meddlesome interloper who went for an investigation without the authorization of his supposed employer (was it not also revealed he is a retired official of the DSS?). It is well-known that, by the provisions of the Nigerian statute books, only the issuing authority can certify the validity or otherwise of the certificate they issued. Neither the DSS nor any other security agency can confer validity on any certificate.
We were also all present when Mbah’s star witness, Festus Uzo, admitted in open court that there were both mathematical errors in the declared result, and overvoting in Nkanu East. Uzo made the job easy for the judges, same as INEC did, when it not only failed to present the subpoenaed bimodal voter accreditation system (BVAS) machines used for Nkanu East, but also told the court that the certified true copies of election results submitted by Chijioke Edeoga and the Labour Party should be relied upon in dispensing justice.
Need I say more? The eagle in Ugo Nwanjoku’s identity appears to have flown away from him, beyond the atmosphere into the exosphere, where there is no oxygen. He needs to urgently guide his craft back before he gets lost in the vacuity of space.
And mark my words, many of them are crouched in that flying version of OceanGate submersible, whose end is predictable doom.