By Ike Njoku

Section 39 of the Nigeria constitution as amended guarantees the right to freedom of expression and provides, and provides as follows "Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinion and to receive and impact ideas and information without interference ".

While the constitution permits freedom of speech and expression, but not on slanderous adjectives with the intention to defame a person's character.

Section 373 of the Criminal Code Act,defined defamation as a matter likely to injure the reputation of any person by exposing him or her to hatred,contempt or ridicule or likely to damage any person in his profession or trade by injury to his or her reputation.

While the constitution permits freedom of expression,we have to be careful on our choice of words.

For the Owerri Equity Group to come out publicly in one of the state's tabloid and write that Senator Osita Izunaso who is barely one year old in office with ALMOST NOTHING TO SHOW FOR HIS REPRESENTATION is an affront and insult on Senator Izunaso and the good people of Orlu zone that gave him their mandate.

This unfounded allegation is not only misleading, ridiculous and mischievous, but a big hoax.

It is black mail from mischief makers who are acting the script of their paymasters.It is preposterous for a right thinking person or persons to allow himself to be used as a tool to malign his fellow human.

Izunaso,as we all know has track records in both the Green and Red Chambers.

Facts they say are sacred, like the Labour Party Presidential candidate will always say "Go and verify".

I think the signatories to the Equity Group Press Release did not cross-check their facts before going to press.Saying that Izunaso has nothing to show in his one year of representation is exhibiting their ignorance publicly.

Suffice it to state that document from the National Assembly, showed that out of 109 Senators from June 13,2023 to March 2024,25 Senators including 4 ex-governors in the Senate have not sponsored an Bill and Senator Izunaso's name is not among the 25.

Just to educate you a little, it is on record that Senator has moved a motion for the full implementation of Disabilities Act.

Inspite of the fact that he is not from Abia State where Nnamdi Kanu comes from,he is the only senator from the south East that was torched on the continued detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and he courageously moved a motion for the release of Nnamdi Kanu.

He supported the creation of Orlu State to balance the equation on six states per geopolitical zone,and argued that Orlu has 12 local governments and bigger than Bayelsa, Gombe and six other states,as such qualified for State status.

He was recently recognised by American President Joe Biden for his efforts in improving the life of persons with disabilities in Nigeria.Few months ago,he received the Champion Newspaper Senator of the year Award.

Barely four months of his inauguration into the 10th National Assembly,who is who in Nigeria collapsed into Imo State, precisely on October 30,2023 for the mother of all empowerment where over 500 indigents from Imo West  senatorial zone and beyond were empowered by Senator Izunaso.The occasion held at Imo Concord hotel,attracted eminent personalities from the state including media gurus like Channels TV,Arise,AIT, Galaxy and the print media,both locally and nationally were all present to cover the event, and yet some uninformed people went public to say that he has nothing to show for his representation,i take exception to that.

Politics according to some political schools of thought is who gets what,when and how.power is taken and not given.The concerned Group were there sitting at the comfort of their homes when the current president of Nigeria Bola Tinubu, then,said that it is his turn to rule"Emilokon" ,and never voiced out anything.

Regrettably, Nigeria is 64 years this year and no Igbo man has been elected the executive president of this country inspite of the fact that they are among the three major ethnic groups of this country.

The big question is,do igbos have one mind? are the in unison as to achieve their yearning?are there saboteurs to igbo's presidential desire?.This is the question that the people of Owerri zone should be asking themselves in view of 2027 and not attacking innocent people.While our people were busy crying marginalization, Tinubu and his cohorts were busy building structures, strategizing and interfacing.

Bearing in mind that power is taken and not given,I advise the Owerri Equity Group to think a way of putting their house in order,be ready to speak with one mind and start building their structures now across the 27 LGA's,like they alleged that Izunaso is doing.

My mother once told me as a young growing boy then "that sitting down and wishing makes no man great,the good Lord has send the fish,but you must dig the bait".

Who on earth believed that Uzodinma can wrestle power from an incumbent governor like Owelle Rochas, that goes to say that nothing is impossible."men dey ooo".

My brothers from Owerri zone,while I align with you in equity as a human,it is said that determination is the key to success and not mere wishful thinking.

Instead of attacking Izunaso,a lawyer and politician with proven experience, comptence and integrity, that once served as the Natonal Organizing Secretary of the ruling APC and the presentation Chairman of the Senate Capital Market Committee,it is better to interface and possibly negotiate with him than media attack that will not yield any positive dividend."ADVISE NO BE CURSE".

Ike Njoku is a member of the Nigeria Union of Journalist and writes from Awo-omamma,Imo State.


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