MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
A Nigerian poet and journalist, Mr. Sam Oritsetimeyin Omatseye has stirred the hornet’s nest as a good number of Nigerians have risen up against him in condemnation of an article he wrote, entitled OBI-TUARY and published on his page in THE NATION’S newspapers on Monday.
Reacting to what some journalists have described as “satanic verses,” Omatseye’s piece has been considered as a hate speech irresponsibly crafted to spite the Igbo race and ultimately de-market the Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi whose increasing popularity in the political space is unsettling his political rivalries.
At a time political gladiators and their supporters are expected to espouse what unique manifestoes they are coming up with in their bid to win in the 2023 presidential elections, many Nigerians are irked by Omatseye’s brand of journalism that obviously portrayed him as a man on a mission to destroy Peter Obi for the sake of creating opportunity for his pay master Bola Tinubu to win the forthcoming presidential election.
In his criticism of Omatseye’s article in the social media, a literary icon; Uzor Maxim Uzoatu said Sam Omatseye “slavishly serves his pay master through his many bought-and-sold writings with a frightening giddiness that belies his age.”
Uzoatu said further that ‘the Sam Omatseye tragedy is that he has spent his entire life time serving certain interests such that he had completely lost touch with broad-minded reality.”
In his own reaction, another journalist, Mr. Valentine Obienyem asserted that “it is hard to find in all records of opinion-writing, a piece more barbarous, stinking and oozing scalding lava of obscene volcanic words not just about a person but also about a people – The Igbos.”
Some commentators while condemning Omatseye’s write up as clear threat to Obi’s life expressed dismay that the piece has not received enough reactions from the media who ought to see it as unethical and demeaning of a journalist of Omatseye’s calibre.
Speaking anonymously with *AtlanticNewsonline* on the write up, some journalists outrightly described Sam Omatseye as “a hungry journalist who can breach journalism ethics in attempt to protect his paymaster; Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his All Progressives Congress (APC).
Reacting to the write up also, former media aide to Ex- President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Reno Omokri in what looked like advice to Omatseye via the social media, remarked that by his write up “you are not up against Peter Obi, but against citizens who want a New Deal for our dear country, you are up against students who have been at home on account of ASUU strike for upward of five months.
“You are up against citizens of a nation that has become largely unsafe. You are up against victims of insecurity, unemployment, hunger, want and poverty. You cannot therefore in selling your OLD worn out product disparage the image of NEW.”
Omokri continued by telling Omatseye that “the Rescue Nigeria Movement that you see across the land is indiscriminate of region, religion, so be guided. You provoke the youthful paladins of this redemptive voyage when you try to cast the movement in ethnic and religious colours, so be wise.
“The ills they seek to correct through Obi and Datti 2023 ticket is a national one. Do not paint it with ethnic or sectional colours because it won’t stick,” he cautioned.