For media houses in Imo State, this is actually a time to weep and mourn. The state which has one of the worst and least media patronage due to poor government support and absence of industries/mega business concerns has yet added another phase of sorrow and agony to the media industry following Gov. Hope Uzodimma’s recent directive to his appointees warning them never to appear again in the news without his prior consent and authorization.
As bad and distasteful as the directive was, the governor’s aides were not only barred from appearing in the news without approval but were also instructed not to place advertorials, announcements or goodwill messages in the newspapers or radio stations without Uzodimma’s approval.
An official Government House memo dated 22nd April, 2021, signed by Gov. Uzodimma’s Chief of Staff, Sir Nnamdi Anyaehie and addressed to all Hon. Commissioners, Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants and Heads of Extra Ministerial departments which was intercepted by this medium reads thus: “The state government has observed with dismay the incessant and indiscriminate stories, advertorials and announcements emanating from some political appointees of the government showcasing their personalities and abilities without prior permission from the authority. Government views these practices as not only unhealthy but unethical and should be stopped forthwith.
Henceforth, it is expected that before announcement/advertorial on radio, newspaper or social media by any political appointee, such an appointee should seek the consent of the Secretary to the State Government/Office of the Governor, Government House, Owerri or be sanctioned accordingly. To be fore warned is to
be fore armed. Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of others”.
Some newspaper and radio house owners in the state who bared their minds to our reporter described Gov. Uzodimma’s latest directive as a draconian policy and one of his many orchestrated plans to send media houses off the market.
They advised the governor to immediately review the policy with a view to dropping it, noting that the singular policy has the potentiality of destroying the image of his government as well as fetching him more enemies in the media industry than friends.