Abia Online Media Publishers Condemns Attempt To Gag The Media Abia State

The Abia Online Media Publishers Organization, an umbrella body of all bloggers and online media practitioners in the state, has condemns a recent audio recording of an intimidating phone call allegedly made by Mr Erondu Uchenna Erondu, threatening to deal with a critics of the state government.

Erondu, is one of the aides to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.

In the recorded call which was made in the Igbo language, the governor's aid warned the receiver to stop writing and posting any article concerning the state on his social media handles again, adding that he had always  followed all his post in past.

Erondu had said in the recorded call, "If pensioners are paid or not, whether Abia are working or at home, if roads are constructed or not stop writing anything about it or any government official or what happened to Mopol and others will happen to you".

"I'm telling you this because you are my brother and don't want anything bad to happen to you, I don't know if you people have the resources to bail you from Abuja".

Disturbed by the content of the call the receiver who begged to remain anonymous approached the body of  bloggers in the state to seek for Justice.

In a statement by the Comrade Ugochukwu Nwankwo, the
Chairman, Abia Online Media Publishers, the group condemns the act, while calling on Ikpeazu, to nip it the nub.

The statement read in part, "That phone call, where in the Governor's aide boasted of the many people he has dealt with and threatening to put the young man away if he dares to exercise his freedom of speech is the height of barbarism and an exhibition of power drunkenness.

"It should be condemned by every well meaning Abian because it will amount to setting a wrong precedence that may trigger a breakdown of law and order in the state.

"The World Over and in all Democracies across the globe, constructive criticism is an integral part of governance.

"Opposition elements are there to remind the government in power that there is an alternative structure waiting to grab their stool, should they fail to deliver on the mandate given by the people.

"Thus every visionary and progressive government that truly wants to succeed usually courts and improves on the loopholes magnified by her Critics because these days and in our clime, some people around the man in power only sing praises in order to curry favour".

Nwankwo also advise opposition elements and critics of the state government to be constructive in their approach if truly the motive was in the overall interest of the state.

"We call on the Governor of Abia state to call this particular Aide and his cohorts to order, and also be wary of the character of the individuals he puts in positions of trust on behalf of our people.

"None of us is more Abian than the other and we are known as a peaceful people and therefore cannot afford to allow our state degenerate into a society bereft of civility and peaceful coexistence.

Enough of this harassment, intimidation and maiming of Government Critics in Abia state. We have confidence that the Governor has the capacity to nip this ugly trend in its bud now", the statement added

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