Azubuike Ishiekwene’s Flight Of Fancy By Akin Adeolu
Reading through the article by Mr “famous” Azubuike Ishiekwene in the Leadership of Friday, August 22, 2014, titled ‘Gwoza Wives Fighting With Bare Hands’, one would not be in any doubt that he has serious grouse and disdain for the Nigerian military. He sanctimoniously engaged in name calling trying to rubbish the leadership and officers of the army ostensibly to show his love for the junior ranks. Shocked at the holier-than-thou attitude of this man whose antecedent in the Punch as Editor is still a study in corruption, I decided to read the online comments on his article. Alas, I was delighted that some readers gave it to him.
His reputation as a corrupt journalist came out clear. In same way, his readers identified his hollow logic and bias against the military. I deliberately put my use of the word “famous” in quotes to show that I mean it in another sense. When someone is irredeemably famous for indulgence into negative things, you call him notorious. Indeed, Ishiekwene was proved to be a notorious journalist in the comments that greeted his inciting article.
Actually, having been allegedly sacked from Punch a few years back, we should be interested in knowing if Ishiekwene is as clean as he tried to portray himself or he is simply proving notorious. Ishiekwene is widely known to have got the sack from his exalted office as Editor in Punch when he was confirmed to have become used to blackmailing people and collecting bribes in ‘Ghana-must-go’ bags as against the popular ‘brown envelopes’. His racket ran into millions of Naira. Yet, he would bellow at small reporters who collect ‘brown envelopes’. There was also the allegation of massive fraud with regards to adverts, which today’s “holy” commentator and columnist, Isjiekwene was said to have perpetrated to defraud the Punch newspaper. He is yet to clear himself of these allegations, yet he is there in another newspaper still running others and institutions down apparently for commercial gains. Is it in continuation of the habit, as old habits hardly die?
From the numerous false claims and allegations he made against the leadership of the army, it is clear that Azubuike wants to be settled. He said two or three soldiers are sharing one gun. Haba Azu! Why this lie? And you say you are a senior journalist! Nonsense! Go back to school of lies and blackmail! If spokespersons are not to be believed or taken seriously, is it articles of blackmailers like you that should be taken seriously?
Indeed if people still believe in honour, Azubuike Ishiekwene should not be trying to address the world in sanctimonious tones in view of his notorious antecedents. People like him will do anything to pull others down.
If the Leadership Newspaper still expects to be taken seriously, it should not allow Ishiekwene to use its platform to continue his trade in blackmail. Enough of the nonsense he writes in that useless column. Is Leadership providing him a safer haven for mischief having been booted out of Punch? Azu Ishiekwene is too notorious. He cannot change. But he must not be taken seriously until he clears his name as a blackmailer. He may never be able to do so, the way he is going. The military authorities should not give in to his blackmail, which is apparently aimed at pecuniary gains.
The next thing he may do is to float a newspaper for the purpose of continuing his business in blackmail. Surely, there will be no hiding place for corrupt journalists, editors or columnists like Azubuike Ishiekwene. Somebody should please remind him that those who live in glass houses must stop throwing stones.