25 years ago today, the Orkar coup and journalism—Nsikak Essien - CVIEW NEWS

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Monday, 20 April 2015

25 years ago today, the Orkar coup and journalism—Nsikak Essien

Nsikak Essien

I published the long coup speech 25years ago today of late Major Gideon Orkar in National Concord newspaper because the IBB government responded to the speech after supressing the coup. How could I have published their response without publishing what they responded to. I asked my news editor, one of the best in this business, to copy the speech from the radio. Then we recorded every important news story on radio and television from every part of the world.
The following day an army team including a Lieutenant colonel and a Major arrived at Concord newspaper office to arrest me. I was in office but without my official car. Our security staff didn’t know. A call was placed to my office to confirm my presence and the military arrest team. I asked Deacon Ben Okezie to answer the call by chance. He saved my life being my Special Assistant by telling the military team that I was out of town. They asked him to ensure that I reported myself at the DMI, Apapa. I never did. I ran home to Akwa Ibom for a week.
I knew nothing about the coup. It wasn’t part of journalism to plan coups. But wait for this. In deed the coup speech was written by my staff as I came to know 10years after at Ikeja cantonment. He was smuggled out of the country to safety through Ghana by the Canadian High Commission.
The DMI would have killed me as they did to others for something I knew nothing about. I only did journalism.

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