Valentine Obienyem: Have You Tried Looking Up? – Martin Beck Nworah


Valentine Obienyem (herein after referred to as Val or Mr. Val) is the media aide to the former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Gregory Obi. I have great regards for Val because after reading his book on Ojukwu and following his strides while working for Peter Obi in Office, I saw a man young people like me can look up to for inspiration. I saw the perfect definition of hard work which leads to success personified by this gentleman and as Martin Beck Nworah, a youth in Anambra State, I took him as a model and wanted to achieve so much in my personal life; just like he did many years ago while still in school and while working for Mr. Peter Obi.

But since Mr. Peter Obi left office as the Governor of Anambra State and still retained Val as his media aide, I cannot say much positively about the man that was a huge source of inspiration to me in the past. What started out as a little altercation between APGA and PDP, Peter Obi and Victor Umeh; ultimately grew into a big war of words and propaganda directed to the state Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Willie Obiano. And the one name that has been a recurrent decimal is that of Barr. Valentine Obienyem and this really pushes me to ask; is he the media aide to Peter Obi or the political spokesperson or less preferably, his stooge? The events that has unfolded within the past few months if left unchecked, will surely breed serious trouble among Ndi Anambra who hold both Dr. Willie Obiano and Mr. Peter Obi in high esteem.

In the first instance, Mr. Val must come to the realization that his Boss (oga ya) did a very nice job as the governor of this state. In spite of his shortcomings and the many flaws of governance, he performed creditably well and laid the foundation for a greater Anambra State. But at this point, he (Peter Obi) is no longer the governor and must therefore allow Dr. Willie Obiano to continue the development of Anamabra state from where he stopped. If Mr. Val will be kind enough to look up and see the divergent projects taking shape in Anambra State, he will quickly come to the realization that Dr. Willie Obiano is actually working and taking this state to the next level.

Few days ago, Val referred to an elected governor of a state, under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as “Awka.” Asides been the governor of Anambra State, Dr. Willie Obiano has achieved so much in his professional life that I, as Martin Beck Nworah and a son of the soil, will never address him in that manner. It is a clear evidence of disrespect to not just the Office of the Governor but to the Person of Dr. Willie Obiano. If I was to Address Mr. Valentine Obienyem or his boss as “Agulu” or “Ifite” or “Onitsha”; it sounds too demeaning for his personality and people in their right-thinking state of mind will surely write me off. And to ever think that the man who says these things is a trained legal practitioner in this country, an ex-seminarian and a well groomed individual sends cold shivers down my spines. But wait; Mr. Val, have you tried looking up to realize that you are merely a media aide to Peter Obi and not Peter Obi himself?

Earlier this year, the former governor of Central Bank, Prof. Charles Soludo stated in his articles that he will not dignify Mr. Peter Obi (Oga gi) with a response to his(Soludo) articles since he is always sending Val Obienyem to present his opinions. Ndi Anambra holds these two men in high esteem as professionals and businessmen who have achieved so much in life; why should an ordinary media aide be the issue of discussion in an article that is critical to the development or otherwise of this country? If Val Obienyem can look up, he will quickly realize that he is over stepping his boundaries and making himself always available where he would rather keep mute and allow his boss do the talking. And of a truth, I don’t want to believe that Mr. Peter Obi approves of all the derogatory Facebook posts and articles been published on dailies that Val makes or else, we may begin to think that Valentine’s problems is an extension of his boss.

On Val’s out pour on the Willie Obiano led administration and how they have not allowed Peter Obi to rest since he left office. As Martin Beck Nworah and a youth in this state, I humbly submit that Mr. Val Obienyem should “aide” his boss to leave Ndi Anambra alone. It is no longer news that the popularity of Peter Obi is dwindling down courtesy of Val’s unguarded attacks at a substantive governor of a state. Mr. Peter Obi, with all due respect, is not and will never be an angel. No matter how highly placed a man is, he has vices that will always bring him out to to be criticized by the public. In sending Val to always respond to all criticisms leveled against him, whether constructive or not, Mr. Peter Obi is gradually opening up the hole that will drown his public acceptance in Anambra State by Ndi Anambra. And if Val will be kind enough to look up, he will quickly realize that he is the one shooting his boss in the leg.

In just one year in office, Dr. Willie Obiano has worked very well and his government is very popular in this state. Val and his boss always travel in and out of the country and “rarely” do they spend time among the common folks on the streets to sample their opinion about the Willie Obiano led administration and I will help him with that. An important aspect Mr. Peter Obi (Oga gi) didn’t pay much attention to was the media of this state. Mark my words, he paid little attention to the Anambra Broadcasting Service and till he left office, even workers in that government establishment publicly refused or most preferably, denied having anything to do with it. It took Dr. Willie Obiano less than Six months in office to pump life into ABS again. If you’ve started looking up, you would’ve realized that a world renowned media guru from our State and a former high ranking staff in GLO is now the MD/CEO of ABS. If you’ve started looking up, you’ll realize that a new digital studio and a gigantic three storey administrative building is about taking off. In less than one year from now, the whole media spectrum of Anambra Broadcasting Service will be transformed into what you (Val) will love to use in spreading the message of your boss to the whole world. And that is just a tip of the iceberg. I mentioned the media because that is where I am coming from and I have a perfect comprehension of what has been going on in that sector since the time of Chinwoke Mbadinuju.

Take it or leave it, Ndi Anambra are really happy with the level of development and investment that is coming into the state right now. Have you heard about ANSIPPA and ACTDA? The Cargo Airport? The three modern fly-overs been constructed right now in Awka? The divergent road networks linking our inner towns? The multi-million dollars agricultural investments? The new look of the State House? And the one we all love so much; have you heard about the spirit of Anambra? That positive spirit that is evoked each time the Anambra State anthem is been sung? If Val does not have an mp3 or disc player, one of his apologetics should send him the Anambra State anthem, he needs to listen to it. And after hearing, seeing and verifying all these developmental strides taking shape in this state, a man in his right senses will refer to his governor as “Awka”. (Tufiakwa)

The youths of Anambra State thanked Mr. Peter Obi for doing so well as a governor during his tenure. He has finished and left the stage. Let him allow Willie Obiano to work. Valentine Obienyem, with all due respect, has not reached a level where a press conference will be called to tell an “ordinary” aide to stop insulting our governor. If he throws a single punch at the Office of the Governor again, we will throw fifty at his personality and that of his boss. These distractions is getting out of hand and we thank God they didn’t have their way in the State Assembly elections just as they did in the federal. Peter Obi left the stage while the ovation was at the loudest and Val Obienyem should not bring him so low that Ndi Anambra will see him as an enemy of progress.

My name is Martin Beck Nworah and as onye Anambra, I am happy with the level of work Willie Obiano is doing in my state. Valentine Obienyem should use his Facebook to connect with his old friends from the seminary and law school. With all due respect, I should not be referring to a man I once looked up to for inspiration in this manner. But as the saying goes, if you bring yourself so low to dine with children, be ready to dance with them. He first threw the punch at the Office of an incumbent governor and carelessly referred to him as “Awka”. So therefore, he has opened the floodgate of aspersions to be poured on him first, and if we confirm his boss (Mr. Peter Obi) was aware of that particular Facebook post, then we will include him. Anambra State is not in captivity waiting to be rescued by Peter Obi or a media aide. Because the more Val continues to treat Ndi Anambra and our governor in this way, the more his principal will appear to be a clog in the wheel of progress of Anambra State.

Barr. Valentine Obienyem must try hard and look up. The same people he is insulting today because he is working for Mr. Peter Obi are the same people that Ndi Anambra hold in high esteem. If he feels a criticism leveled against his principal is not constructive enough, let him reply to it in a matured manner. He is a trained professional and I want to believe his Facebook account was hacked and all these short commentaries about Anambra State and our governor that has a “ghetto” undertone released in his name was not from him. If so, let him make an official clarification but if he indeed made such comments, then I will agree with Prof. Okey Ndibe, as he rightly said in his 2011 article, that Val is a merchant of lies.

Anybody who will read this article and bring it to the knowledge of Valentine Obienyem must tell him not to reply for a singular reason that is audible to the deaf and clear to the blind. Martin Beck Nworah is not known anywhere; I am just an ordinary young person in Anambra State. Replying this article, either directly or by proxy, will end made up making me popular and creating more opportunities for me to write more. So if he reads this, let him ignore it and pretend like it was never written. Although it will be published in major dailies both online and on print media, he must ignore it. Because if he attempts to reply in any manner whatsoever, he will be opening a door for me to climb the same ladder he climbed many years ago to be where he is now. And he should also prevent his boss from reading this because Mr. Peter Obi may end up on Google to search my name and realize I have better and more constructive ways of addressing issues than referring to my governor as “Awka”. I wonder what will happen after that.

So there you have it my erstwhile mentor and friend I never had, Mr. Valentine Obienyem(ESQ); you can try “scrolling up” again to read this so my message will sink in. In all you will do please, ignore this article because if you give credence to it by replying, then more…more…more…and many more will come. We will keep ourselves busy and coin silly names like “Awka” “Isi Mango” and several others that will come to mind. And who knows, we may end up writing a Nollywood script.

Till we get the Promised Land, I shall be waiting for when you will pass me a glass of water and thank God for the gift of grace for the race.


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