By Izunna Okafor, Awka
A veteran journalist and columnist, Sir Polycarp Onwubiko, has called upon the prosperous individuals of Anambra State to unite and establish a newspaper within the state. Onwubiko’s plea, detailed in his recent article titled “Anambra Super Wealthy Men Please Come Together and Establish Newspaper,” highlights the pressing need for a vibrant newspaper rooted in the Southeast geopolitical zone.
In his article, Onwubiko emphasized the pivotal role newspapers play in shaping politics and governance. He argued that neglecting the influence of newspapers equates to turning a blind eye to the unfolding challenges in Nigeria.
Drawing inspiration from the success stories of notable figures like former Abia State Governor Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu and Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, who launched the Daily Sun Newspaper and the Champion Newspaper, respectively, Onwubiko stressed the importance of patience and dedication in establishing newspapers. He pointed out that these newspapers became powerful voices for the Igbo people, advocating for their interests within the broader context of Nigerian society.
The 70-year-old journalist said his appeal was spurred by the exceptional masterpieces written by four erudite columnists in the Daily Sun Newspaper regarding the recent judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT). According to him, these columnists vehemently championed the cause of the Igbo people in politics. Onwubiko commended their fearless reporting and urged Igbo readers, both in Nigeria and the diaspora, to explore their articles.
He highlighted the four notable columnists and their articles on the PEPT judgment to include: “The Import of PEPT Judgment” by Ugo Onuoha; “Help, Tribunals Are Hurting Democracy” by Andy Ezeani; “The Era of Kakistocracy Has Come Upon Us” by Dan Onwukwe; and “Judicial Coups, Should We Still Keep Our PVCs?” by Casmir Igbokwe.
These columns, according to Onwubiko, have shed light on the injustices and irregularities surrounding the PEPT judgment, exposing the deceptive claims of INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) officials and the earlier misperceptions about the judiciary’s role in Nigerian democracy.
Onwubiko’s appeal extends to the wealthy individuals in Anambra State, encouraging them to consider taking over Mr. Godwin Ezeemo’s newspaper, ORIENT DAILY. He suggested potential partnerships or collaboration with Ezeemo to revive this newspaper, which boasts of state-of-the-art printing facilities in Awka.
Alternatively, Onwubiko proposed that the wealthy elites of Anambra could approach Governor Soludo to explore the possibility of using the franchise of the National Light Newspaper, a state-owned newspaper that was recently closed down. He stressed that hard copy newspapers were remain relevant and could coexist with online publications, provided they are managed efficiently and effectively.
Onwubiko, who is also a policy analyst emphasized that Anambra State was home to talented journalists capable of making a locally established newspaper thrive, with the right leadership from experienced media professionals and retired civil servants. He conclusively reiterated the call for the state’s prosperous citizens to invest in a newspaper that can serve as a powerful platform for advocacy and information dissemination in the region and beyond.
“To say that newspaper is a critical component of politics and governance, is merely stating the obvious. To ignore it is tantamount to crass ignorance of unspeakable evils going on in Nigeria,” he wrote.