Few years back, January 18 2003 to be precise, the SUN newspapers Ltd managed to sneak into the already saturated print media industry that has witnessed heavy casualties in recent times. How the progenitors of this powerful newspaper managed to achieve the feat has remained a surprise to me. But it is not unconnected with the wonderful hands of the three musketeers in the industry: Dimgba Igwe, Mike Awoyinfa, Femi Adesina. These three giants brought in their wealth of experience you cannot buy with money from defunct Weekend Concord in the Concord stable. Former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu saw the proposal of these men and bought into it and the SUN newspaper was born. Since June 16 2003 when this great newspaper went daily, it has not looked back. SUN has become the darling of all. The unique style of reporting, the kind of stories the paper carry, the beautiful prose, the language, the presentation, the imposing headlines, the crime reports and its crops of wonderful writers appealed to Nigerians and they accepted the SUN hook, line and sinker. Looking back in the past seven years, I think the management of the SUN newspaper has done very well for themselves and has achieved what others could not achieve. I praise them for this, I salute their courage and I doff my hat for this great feat.
However, I am sad today. Sad in the sense that the SUN is going down the drain. Sad that a paper that was founded and pieced together by committed men and women with former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu as financier is losing focus. Sad that the people’s paper is derailing and moving out of track. I am shedding hot tears that a successful paper founded by somebody from the Eastern part of Nigeria is on its way to the Golgotha. Why am I saying all this? In the past few weeks, the SUN newspaper has been positioning IBB for President on the front page of the people’s paper without remorse, without considering the feelings of its teeming readers, and without reflecting on the past histories of Nigeria. Yesterday, it was IBB considers joining the race for 2011, today it is IBB eyes the Presidency, tomorrow it will be IBB should return. This is absolute nonsense, silly, foolish and totally irresponsible.
When the federal troops threw bombs in Aba market during the civil war, Biafra recorded a lot of casualties. The then Head of State Biafra, Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu went the scene to see things for himself. On seeing the number of casualties, he cried out in Igbo language, Anyi o foro one? (How many of are remaining?) If out of stupidity political irresponsibility, mediocrity and lack of foresight, the SUN goes down today, how many of such national newspapers owned by people from Igboland are remaining?.
If the SUN newspaper is positioning IBB for Presidency in 2011, I want to advise that they are trying to sell a fake product. If it is attempt to whitewash the failed General and politician in readiness for 2011, I want to advise that this is an exercise in futility. IBB failed in 2003, failed again in 2007 and I tell you, he will fail again in 2011. My only regret is that some people and institutions, like the SUN will go down with him this time. Impunity has eaten deep into the fabric of our society, our culture, our psyche, our thinking and I think this is dangerous. What this country has been suffering in the past 17 years since 1993 were the pains inflicted by IBB and his cohorts and they think we are foolish people. No, they are the ones that are foolish. Some writers wanted to write IBB back to power in 2003 and 2007 but we stopped them and now they are back again and they will fail. One school of thought has suggested that IBB should go into the business of wrecking cars if he is looking for what to do, because anything he touched during his nine years in office turned to ashes. He came in 1985, saw and destroyed Nigeria. If in 2011 we are still asking for the likes of IBB even after the disaster called OBJ, I think ours should be a hopelessly retarded country that is totally irredeemable. If actions carry consequences, those who created yesterday’s pains do not control tomorrow’s potentials.