Nigeria Matters

What Will You Do Or Say?

Ehen, you’ve been passing yourself of as an intellectual busybody, venturing opinion on this and that, and on matters that sometimes do not concern you. You rub politicians’ noses with your satire and hope to get away with it.

You pass yourself off as a patriot and claim that you love your country; some doubt your genuine intentions. Some allege that you blow hot and cold sometimes, they can’t really place you. But you refuse to be cowed but still not knowing where the journey of which you embarked upon yourself will lead you and your country which you claim to love.

You device your own philosophy, patriotism with a conscience. You attack those you think are biased against your country and your people, your people attack you for attacking those who attack your country and your people. You get swung like a pendulum that you even wonder on whose side you are on.

It must be the western media you write, they blow things out of proportion, they are biased against us, they don’t see anything good in us you reason. Some applaud you, some others vilify you. You have sold out you hear them say.

You look around your country and wonder if you are not being overly patronising and patriotic, is it time to call a spade a spade? Is there anything they write or say that is not true? But you change your mind; they should have looked at the good in us as well.

The same global media networks begin their game again; Jeff Koinage breaks a story on CNN from inside the heart of darkness, the Niger Delta region. He shows the militants in their spirit dance, the first ever. And then the controversy erupts, your minister of information calls the report contrived, Jim Clancy stand by their report. Jeff states that he did not pay anybody to act any role in the report. Opinions are divided; you watch and monitor the developments.

And then out of the blues, CNN invites you to come and discuss the matter, they say they have been tracking you, come and say what you think. First you wish to duck because you are torn by emotions. You feel sympathy for Jeff, a fellow journalist; you know what he went through to get the story. But then you feel a deeper sympathy for your country, which you have argued in the past was being overtly misrepresented by the western media.

What the heck you tell yourself, perhaps a big opportunity to pluck your book to a global audience, a PR coup. You accept the invitation but you have only one day to get ready. What are you? A blind patriot or a journalist, whose side are you on? You know that a global audience will be watching.

In the studio, anchor woman Becky Anderson leaves you and Jeff, the man at the centre of the storm who joins via satellite to fight it out. You feel for him, a fellow journalist and African brother, but you know that your country comes first though it has not done much for you. You think of J.F Kennedy and conclude that you can not let your country down.

In the studio, you banter with Becky and Jeff but know that you will soon go for each other’s jugular. Placed under such a spotlight, what will you say and do; whose side will you be on?

Find out what I said and whose side I was on as CNN airs International Correspondents which goes out on Saturday (18/02/07) in the early hours at 1.30 am (European time) It’s repeated on Saturday (18/02/07) at 4pm and again at 6.30am on Sunday (19/02/07).


The author’s The Long Harmattan Season is available from amazon.com, iuniverse.com and other book sellers. February 2007. info@uchenworah.com

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