For those who are still wondering why the campaign train of the Delta State Governor, Mr Ifeanyi Okowa, has not received the expected publicity and razzmatazz as it was during his first coming in 2015, SecretReporters can authoritatively report that practising journalists in the list are in conspiracy to frustrate him, following the shabby manner of treatment meted out to them by the campaign council.
Findings by SecretReporters revealed that the Deputy Director of publicity for the campaign, Mr Timi Tonye has allegedly diverted monies meant to be given to journalists after every coverage of the event.
According to our insider sources in the campaign team, over N1 million was approved for every campaign, to be shared to journalists. Our sources within the press community confided in us that Tonye rather diverted some huge chunk of the money and gave one of his boys to remit peanuts to them, an action which angered them.
We gathered that instead of giving the online media N80,000, he gave them N40,000 while Warri Correspondent Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) got N100,000 instead of N150,000, that was pencilled down for them. Other chapels were also cheated.
Speaking to us, the journalists complained on how rash and brash Tonye and his team has been to them and threatened to boycott Mr Okowa’s campaign train
“Micheal (NUJ State Chairman) told us to even leave the campaign for them if this is how they will be treating journalists”, stated a source.
Another of the aggrieved journalist was more vocal in condemning the poor media arrangement of the campaign
“Is this how Uduaghan did it in 2015 even though he was not the one running? I read that Fejiro Oliver has boycotted the campaign. It is the same way all of us will leave the campaign for them to do their reports themselves. The way those guys treated us in Sapele and Koko like animals cannot be forgotten and we will pay them back”
Mr Okowa who flagged off his gubernatorial campaign last week Thursday as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flag bearer has a serial contender and loser, Mr Great Ovedje Ogboru of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as his main challenger.