A group, The Onu Political Organisation (TOPO) has dissociated Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister for Science and Technology from a proposed ‘Top Model’ award by Chart Media Group (CMG).
TOPO at a press conference on Tuesday in Abakaliki, said it faulted the inclusion of Onu in the list of Ebonyi people to be honoured at the awards’ night.
Gov. Dave Umahi, of Ebonyi, Dr Michael Okoro, Catholic Bishop of Abakaliki Diocese and Pastor Yunis Oyeyemi, Senior Pastor, Christ Embassy Church in Ebonyi were all pencilled for the awards.
Chief Egwu Chima, the National Publicity Secretary of TOPO who briefed journalists on behalf of the group, said that Onu’s consent was neither obtained by the CMG nor his approval gotten before including his name on the list of the awardees.
Chima said that his group was not opposed to CMG’s proposed award to some distinguished members of the public, but noted that Onu would not be part of the event.
“We are not unhappy with the group for proposing an award to Onu, we are only being scrupulous about the methodology involved in going about the award ceremony.
“We called our leader, Onu, to ascertain from him the veracity of this award and to our chagrin we discovered that he was neither informed nor did he give his consent to the said award.
“We also reached out to organisers of the award night, only to discover from them that they did not obtain the approval of the minister.
“We dialogued with the group and gave them date within which to reach out to our leader with a view to discussing and obtaining his permission to include his name in the awardees’ list.
“We regret to state that the group could not reach any agreement with our leader, we then demanded that our leader’s name should be expunged from the award advert bill boards.
“We also demanded that anything related to his name among the lists of awardees be also removed.
“The demands were not complied with and what we did was to remind them in writing.
“The date of the award night is fast approaching and they are yet to remove Onu’s name from the bill boards, hence we are constrained to address the press.
“We want to tell the whole world that Onu is not part of the so called ‘Top Model’ award ceremony.
“We also want to use this medium to tell the organisers that their action is reproachable, reprehensible, uncharitable, preposterous, demeaning and litigation bound,” he said.
The group insisted that Onu would not be disposed to receive any award from the group because he has nothing to do with the group.
Meanwhile, Mr John Enosakari, the group’s spokesman in an interview with , said that the group had discussed the award with Onu, who has given his permission, but insisted that his award be given to him at a separate date.
“The award is billed for Sept. 13, but we have fixed October for the minister’s own award and we have conveyed the date to him,’’ Enosakari said.
Edited by Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Obike Ukoh