In public communication, response to an orchestrated attack especially from social media should ideally be measured, self restraining and driven by purpose.
As I am not habitually one to jump into frays in this case as a panicky rebuttal to a coordinated social media attack on my person and character, my purpose here would be to sacrifice my preference for silence in order to get up and pull away the esteemed personality and exalted office of the Deputy President of the Senate, Rt. Hon. Ovie Omo-Agege, whom I have tremendous respect for and whose personality and office are naturally caught up in the middle of the unforced rumpus generated by my appointment. While i do not mind to take the hit, I would not want the Distinguished Deputy Senate President to bear any stain by association.
While i won’t claim to be a Politician as yet, I have nonetheless, put in over 25 years cognate experience as a Media Professional in Print and Electronic Journalism practice.
Indulging in self-praise would amount to vainglory and self-conceit, I would however risk to assume that my aforementioned professional track-record earned me the privilege of being hired to work with the immediate past Deputy Speaker of the 8th Assembly, Rt. Hon Lasun Yusuff of the APC until the 7th of June when the 8th Assembly wound down.
This is a pointer in one unequivocal direction, which is a combined loyal service to nation-building in both the Media and public service.
The searchlight for service I would also submit, came my way as a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria whose rights include freedom of expression in as much as it falls within the confines of civilized endeavors, lawful boundaries, sublime compliance, professionalism and the stimulation of intellectual engagement. These I carried out with the use of satires and literary imageries: expressions which were neither demeaning of our great country nor of her leadership. These are posts i hold dear and desire to have endure. It is therefore unimaginable if not laughable, that i would in panicky and dishonest move, "delete my posts, numbering up to 11,000"! One, if I had up to 11,000 posts, that must mean I had spent the past years doing nothing but indulging in endless postsings. How would i have had such luxury of time within the pressure we work under daily, managing my Principal on one hand, fulfilling my role as a family woman on the other, and giving myself to other upbuilding social services to better my environment and world? One more thought…If i had deleted 11,000 posts within the few days of my appointment, how were my traducers able to send mugshots of same deleted posts around and about? I have not deleted neither have I edited even one of my old posts on social media since my appointment. Please crosscheck.
As unfortunate as this incident is, the umbrage against my appointment is an unfortunate showcase of sobering reality to well meaning Nigerians that there is so much we need to do on civic engagement as the future of Nigeria rests on the quality of our followership which will produce future leaders. I bear this stark reality in mind as I daily attempt to mentor the younger generation through my social media posts and my character.
I shall resist the urge to join issues on the salacious insinuation of any working/ intimate relationship between Senator Dino Melaye and I. While there is no iota of truth in this, dissipating energy on it equates to according undue attention to sheer indiscretion from a group of people who probably still have a lot to learn from the tenets of honour, graciousness, dignity, depth of perspectives and uncommon ability to respect the sensibility of others, especially our fellow citizens. Germane issues must always rise above laughable conjectures and must never be made to suffer preposterous dimensions or such cluelessness emanating from myopic inclinations.
By the way, Dino Melaye represents my Senatorial district. The few interactions I have had with him were usually at public events, occasions where i muster enough honour to expand frontiers for my Principal and engage in robust political cross fertilization of ideas. Should i have worked for Senator Melaye in his political ambitions or even his party, I would have demonstrated some measure of honour to own up to it and actually turn down this appointment as I do not posses what it takes to be treacherous.
May I use this opportunity to express profound gratitude to the Deputy Senate President for considering me worthy to render my professional services to support his office for the betterment of Nigeria and her people.
May I also observe that in my capacity as Electronic and Social Media Adviser, the event of yesterday has opened a sobering perspective that a lot of gap is open to be filled in not just shaping the right narratives on social media but doing so with an impressive demonstration of mental aptitude and pure intellect.
To those who rose up in stout defence of my person, while i do express my appreciation to you all for such display of decorum, I dare say, please "don’t go yet", as we have a lot to do together in showcasing to the outside world, that as a nation with a teeming youth population, we can do better than continued indulgence in pull-down mentalities as self appointed judges from self-induced cages and prisms.
– Lara Owoeye-Wise is the Electronic and Social Media Adviser to the Deputy Senate President