• Response to one Bebenimibo’s repeated social media mischief
A coalition of writers committed to the promotion of literary ideals, Pen for Social Impact and Development, has reacted to a publication said to have been sponsored by one group, Coalition Against Bad Governance (CABG), collaborating with one Prince Meshack Bebenimibo to spread disparaging remarks about Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
In the said publication titled “Group Battles Osinbajo Over Failure To Honour His Promise To Ijaw-born Author,” CABG had said it was advancing the interest of Bebenimibo, whose claim has been countered by the writers’ coalition as mere falsehood.
In a statement signed by its secretary, Ejiro James, the Coalition said: “Our attention has been drawn to a spurious allegation by a group that called itself Coalition Against Bad Governance (CABG) falsely claiming that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, did not honour his promise to a 32-year-old Ijaw youth and author, Prince Meshack Bebenimibo, over his publication of his numerous unpublished books.
“For the record, the Vice President did not promise Bebenimibo that he would help him publish his unpublished books during Bebenimibo’s chance meeting with him in January 2017, as the young man wrongly claimed. It is even ludicrous to even make such a claim.
“It would be recalled that the Vice President, had in 2017, during his tour of the Niger Delta region met with stakeholders and people in the region to engage with them on how to address some of the region’s challenges.
“Since the VP’s tour, the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari has undertaken several infrastructure and development projects in the region, which include the take-off of the Maritime University in Okerenkoko, Delta State, commencement of the Ogoni Clean-up and the Bonny-Bodo Road and Bridge project, in Rivers State, and the establishment of several modular refineries in different states across Niger Delta.
“VP Osinbajo is renowned for his people-friendly disposition and heart for the people. On many occasions during his official visits and activities across the 36 states in Nigeria, the VP has stopped to interact and engaging with ordinary Nigerians and the masses, young and old, despite social class or status. Obviously, Bebenimibo was privileged to meet briefly with the Vice President, when he visited Gbaramatu Kingdom, in Warri South LGA, Delta State, in 2017.
“However, it is sad that the self-claimed author has decided to take this goodwill meeting for granted, and for selfish and pecuniary gains
Bebenimibo claimed he “received a letter from the Presidency with instruction contained, but nothing came out of his efforts.
“This is a blatant lie. On various occasions in the last few years, Bebenimibo has been able to reach out to a couple of aides of the Vice President, who have supported his ambition with some financial support.
“We have gathered on good authority, that this same youth, on several occasions had continually harassed the VP’s aides with unsolicited phone calls and thinly veiled threats, as if the VP owed him a favour.
“It is clear that the young man has been getting the wrong advice or has a misplaced sense of entitlement. For one, the VP is not a book publisher nor is he a literary agent that he would make such a promise.
“Secondly, VP’s aides have tried on different occasions to help the young man personally through cash donations. But it seems that greed or outright mischief has overtaken his behind the misguided youth’s recent regurgitation of a false allegation.
“Thirdly, this is not the first time Bebenimibo has been up to this mischief and outright attempt at blackmail for the last few years. The self-proclaimed author of motivational books has in the past used back channels to reach out to the aides of the Vice President on this claim.
“Many people have met with the Vice President on several occasions and have used that as an inspiration to make their lives better. However, we are disappointed that Bebenimibo, an able-bodied youth, has continued with his ludicrous campaign of calumny against the person of the Vice President through his ulterior motives via social media channels and faceless groups.
“It is clear that Bebenimibo has found other mischievous elements in the supposed group called CABG, which should rather be focused on what it claims it represents, rather than the misguided attempt of falsehood and mischief being peddled by the self-proclaimed author.
“According to the group, Bebenimibo claimed he wanted to fulfil his dream of becoming a great author coming from the region. Notable authors, playwrights and poets from the region include the likes of Tanure Ojaide, Buchi Emecheta, John Pepper (JP) Clark, Ben Okri, and more recent names like Eghosa Imasuen, among many others.
“But it is a fact that they never attained great literary heights by peddling mischief and misguided attacks on prominent personalities. Rather, they honed and harnessed their literary talents through hard work, consistency, dedication, and discipline.
“Many creative youths like Bebenimibo have also utilized social media and the Internet to project their literary and creative works and are getting recognition for that. The young Ijaw author should borrow a leaf from such enterprising youths and publish his works online and maybe some book publishing house might find him.
“The Ijaw-born author’s repeated mischiefs through various channels do not speak well for hard-working youths in the Niger Delta. Also, it does a great disservice to many hard-working Nigerian youths making genuine efforts to develop themselves and achieve their goals through noble means.
“Also, he could personally make contact or meet directly with literary agents and book publishing firms to introduce his unpublished works and manuscripts to them. They would not hesitate to assist him to become a published author if they deem his work good enough for mass publication.
“Again, instead of the author to be peddling falsehoods and disparaging the personality of the Vice President on social media channels, he could use that same medium to freely advertise the books he claims to have already authored to garner more publicity.
But it seems such commendable endeavours of applying oneself to one’s craft and personal development are lost on misguided youths like Bebenimibo, who claims to come from the oil-rich Gbaramatu Kingdom.
“Sadly, it seems this youth is rich only in mischief and peddling false claims about the Vice President. We would advise him to desist from such crass attempts at outright mischief and acts of defamation, and rather focus on his supposed passion and how he can further develop his writing craft to achieve his dream.”