By; KENNETH ORUSI, Asaba
Visibly angry journalists in Delta State has rejected a press release from the state Ministry of Information on the respond of the chairman, Local Organizing Committee (LOC), Solomon Ogba, of the Africa Senior Athletics Championship Competitions just concluded at the Stephen Keshi Stadium Asaba.
The release tagged: “CAA ASABA 2018 FALLOUT: Abati article unfortunate, disgraceful-LOC Chairman”, was sent Tuesday evening by the Media Assistant, Sam Ijeh to the Commissioner of Information, Patrick Ukah, at about 6:24pm.
The journalists in their various responses to the release said they were not ready to defend Ogba, “I saw your report but I am not ready to defend Solomon Ogba. Let SWAN who he fed well during the event defend him”.
They said Ogba was a disgrace, calling on him to beckon on the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Delta Chapter which he gave priorities to, abandoning other reporters who covered the event.
Another journalist, Tonychuks Okwunebe, wrote on his Facebook handle accused SWAN of been selfish, saying “SWAN Delta State, should note that sports writing is just a beat and that tomorow they can be posted to political platform, another kind of beat. So, feeling superior at the just concluded CAA Asaba 2018 over other resident Journalists who also covered the event is uncalled for. A Journalist is a Journalist whether you write sports crime politics entertainment or lawyer. Do not create any division because who bele full today go hungry tomorowwww”.
But Victor Sorokwu, in his response to Okwunebe, said, “Hmmm…don’t sound like the proverbial fowl that left its killer and kept twisting its neck in protest against the ground. Yes, members of Delta SWAN of about 20 members got N20,000 each as honorarium for a 5-day long tournament and you want to crucify them. So what would you do to the ASAC-LOC (Media Subcommittee), who I learnt got a N150million vote for about 200 journalists who attended the event?
It would be recalled that Reuben Abati, on his website, lashed out on the LOC for alleged shoddy work, “Shame on all the local organisers of the just concluded 21st Africa Senior Athletics Championships held in Asaba, Delta state tagged #Asaba2018 for spending N4 billion of the Nigerian taxpayers’ money to procure disgrace, and embarrassment for Nigeria, bring odium unto the country, attract the contempt of other African countries and cause an international relations disaster. Sport is an important tool of diplomacy and global negotiation for power and identity. The branding opportunities involved in sports are vast and immeasurable. In the recently concluded 2018 World Cup in Russia, countries fought hard because they knew their national image was at stake. The host country received plaudits for giving the rest of the world a tournament to remember. We were told that smiling anyhow to strangers is considered strange in Russia, but for the World Cup, Russians were told that it is human and normal to smile in public”.