David Iyofor: A Diplomatic Chief Press Secretary

David Iyofor was once the Senior Special Adviser to Governor Chibuike
Amaechi of Rivers State on Media matters, and later the Head of Media and
Publicity for Amaechi’s re-election campaign, since the inception of his
administration. But there was a swing in the positions on July 23, 2011,
when news reports were that the Governor had approved the appointment of
Iyofor as his new Chief Press Secretary (CPS). Iyofor took over from the
apparently conscientious Mr. Blessing Wikina, instantaneously. The
appointment of Iyofor was welcomed by many as a deep-seated appointment of
a non-Rivers person into such a position in the state, even though Iyofor
would say that he does not see himself as non-Rivers person. Nonetheless,
Amaechi fulfilled the desire to integrate non-Rivers people into his
government-dresser, shaving him of any perceived ethnic narrow-mindedness.

While many have expressed gladness over this beyond-compare slot of Iyofor,
others still bear a feeling of umbrage towards him. In a particular
quarter, they have requested Iyofor to go and read certain books pertaining
to his new job – an indirect antipathy and mistreat that he should improve
on his duties. To these people, they debased Iyofor and laundered an
opposite image of him as somebody who was fighting a commissioner over who
was competent enough on the job of information dissemination for the Rivers
State Government. They have even tagged him with names other than David
Iyofor and made the office of the CPS look as if it was responsible for
fighting against crime in the state. This happened whenever Iyofor passed
his press briefs across the media on how the state government has been
unremittingly fighting the situation of crime in the state. But whether
there was an incessant bank and other hush-hush business robbery in Rivers
State, almost on weekly basis, how does this translate to be checked by

Iyofor’s antecedents from his days in Ovation show that he is not known for
noisemaking. And because he believes in positive actions than in lies as
some of his colleagues in other states may do, some detractors have gone
out to characterize him as hollow and with zero self-confidence in the
handling of his office. But this is not true of Iyofor. It is significant
to say that Governor Amaechi did not make a wrong choice in Iyofor as his
Chief Press Secretary. There is also a clear indication that Iyofor is
qualified to serve Rivers State, even above being a media officer to the
governor, but also as a seasoned journalist of intercontinental eminence.

It must be stressed that Governor Amaechi didn’t appoint Iyofor to cause a
problem; it is rather some disgruntled persons that are causing verbal
problems because Iyofor was appointed CPS. Conversely, well meaning Rivers
residents are laughing at such persons. Most residents are of the opinion
that no one who comes in contact with Iyofor in the discharging of his
duties has been disappointed. He has direct diplomatic aura of a media

Upon all the assaults on his personality, one likeable aspect of Iyofor is
that he has not bothered much about the denigrators of his person and
office. When he does respond, he does so wisely, like a man who would
prefer to run away from a mad person in the market who accosts him, instead
of engaging the mad person in a confrontation. The duplicated offensiveness
and frequent battering comments on Iyofor since his appointment can be
interpreted as just a series of vicious threats, because he refused to flex
muscle with some political-urchins. While anybody is entitled to his or her
opinion, in earnest such opinions lack weight if they are being
mischievously distributed. Iyofor’s service abounds with memorable track
records without any traits of idiocy and brigandage.

It is too funny that some people sleep with ethnic bias, wake with earth
eyes and walk with ethnic legs, which Iyofor dislikes. The main question
here should be for those who drink from the brood of ethnicity: What
happens if Rivers State is divided? Iyofor is not a political jobber and
could be far from thinking in any form, the plotting of the downfall of
anybody in the government. In all fairness, those who have been attacking
Iyofor need our sympathy, because their selfish interests have prevented
them from seeing that he has been putting his best into making sure that
the state flourishes under Governor Amaechi.

Rivers State cannot continue this way: Fighting Iyofor without any reason
for doing so. Iyofor is a Chief Press Secretary, working earnestly with the
Amaechi-led government for the development of Rivers State. He has been
showing full representation and equal opportunity in the business of the
Governor’s press issues. It is expected that others should follow in the
same way. There is no need for the brickbats and backbiting against David
Iyofor, who has been using his head well in the service of the state.

Written by
Odimegwu Onwumere
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