It is no more news that but for the intervention of some mobile policemen, INYALI PETER, social media commentator and publisher of the online news blog, www.fearless reports.com, would have probably been unavailable to inform all of us that, ” yesterday (last Friday night) at about 12:27 am, in my country home, Obudu, Ipong precisely where my mother comes from, I was attacked by hoodlums co-led by Boniface Ishamali, Special Adviser, Petroleum and Special Assistant, Research and Development, Christian Odey (Ukpan) to Governor Ben Ayade.”
Those who attacked Inyali and bloodied him apparently did that because he critiques “…Gov. Ayade, their boss!” His bold conviction that the dancer’s steps stutter and his attendant refusal to applaud the sound made by several broken drums is the reason the king’s men sought him out for this whipping. But, as it always is, Ishamali’s sham will simply embolden Inyali, make him popular and the peoples’ prayers will cover him; because he is a journalist.
In today’s Cross River State, not many persons, especially those appointed to leprous positions, understand that journalists represent free speech, something so crucial in any democracy. The attempt to silence Inyali or any other journalist in CRS is akin to pulling the curtain over what is happening around the journalist. See, the primary responsibility of Inyali and several other journalists is to the public, who have a right to be told the truth. Attacking Inyali for serially disagreeing and speaking up against the visible half measures of the Ayade administration, is an attempt to create fear in Inyali and intimidate other journalists into keeping quiet while this pain game continues.
Let me leave the banner wavers to enjoy the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC-induced endorsement breaks while the lord of the inner ring hops from one office to the order, blabbing explanations. The clannish lot left behind has to keep busy looking for the likes of Inyali and assaulting them. I think they do this because those appointments given them come with no job description; the only way to ‘show working’ is to be destructive, especially to themselves.
I have seen a few laboured write-ups attempting to refute Inyali’s visible claims; of course an exercise in absolute futility. But, we have seen Inyali’s absolutely clear pictures after the attack and his pictures do not labour to make any case. I am happy that Inyali clearly understands and has emphatically stated that, “I’m not just a social media writer but a trained Journalist who understands that Journalism is a hazardous profession especially, investigation and critical writing which seem to be my area of interest” and I agree. He may have in his moment of anger and grieve forgotten to add too that indeed the pen he holds in his hand is mightier than the devilish efforts of social wannabes garbed in negative acceptable robes and unleashed on us all. Indeed Inyali sounded like one of the authors of our religious literature when he looked afar and sounded out clearly that this tainted era will come and go; did he lie?
God knows, I am deeply concerned that the firming up of life threatening assaults on more than average Cross Riverians by acolytes of this administration, has attracted no reprimands. Ifere Paul and Joseph Odok’s attacks dazed us all. Inyali’s, leaves us with the critical question, who is next? Potentially, anybody, man or woman, who is convinced that little or nothing is happening and says so, is a target. It is however important to also add that, if another person is assaulted, I mean the kind of person who may have the capacity to isolate his attackers and strike back, may the heavens not hastily fall down. We cannot begin to think in our heads that those who live by the sword will die by the effeminate slash of a kitchen knife, it must definitely be by the sword.
But come to think of it, what can propel any man or woman into threatening the existence of another man or woman for the basic reason that something that is not right is pointed at? Our governor is given a bad name every day because he created help appointment opportunities. That he has done so is not critically incorrect. My pain is that what should ideally be a ‘chop and shut up’ situation is being turned into a murderous chest beating exercise that criminally pokes fingers in our eyes. Perhaps, the idea is that we must all be laid back, mouths shut and refuse to speak up even when our competencies outweigh the seeming half competencies of those who providence has put in place as our captains. It is not and will never be ideal because the half decisions they make affect us and make us whimper.
Lastly, dear serial attackers, if what you represent is self serving it is not too late to make peace with those you have attacked and those you plan to attack. Blood flows in all of our veins and if you imagine that the tables might turn and the hunter can become the hunted, you will carefully take care of tomorrow, today. Unarguably a word is enough for the wise. Let us pray!
Iwara U. Iwara, the author of this article is the publisher of www.calitown.com
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