Details from a raging controversy on social media have exposed the dissatisfaction of the chief press secretary of the governor of Kogi State, Petra Akinti Onyegbule. In the said conversation with a media consultant, Mike Ile, she was quoted as saying that the rating of the governor has nosedived incredibly.
According to an insider who pleaded anonymity, the Kogi CPS, Petra Akinti Onyegbule, contracted Mike Ile, to carry out some damage control for the state government sometime in June 2017.
“There is ample evidence that the CPS contracted Mike Ile to do some social media intervention to buoy the rating of the governor in the social media space given the bashing it has received in recent times owing to nonpayment of salaries and a host of other issues.”
From the communication exchanges between the CPS and Mike Ile seen by Vanguard, the Kogi CPS “admitted to having sleepless nights due to the below-par ratings her principal was receiving especially for his inability to pay civil servants for over fifteen months as well as the controversial double voters’ registration saga earlier this year.”
A source privy to the transaction between the Kogi CPS and Mike Ile stated that the CPS, Petra Akinti Onyebgule, in an attempt to save her job, called on the Abuja-based Social Media consultant to come up with a strategic action plan to launder the image of the Kogi government.
“While agreeing to take up the job, Mike Ile stated his hope that the governor would endeavour to do more to serve the needs of the state.” The CPS responded by admitting, “No need for pretence o.” She went on to admit that some aides in Governor Bello’s government needed to be fired.
“Somebody should take the fall, seriously. We will work on all of these strategies,” She was quoted to have said in the conversation. Consequently, the CPS invited Mike Ile to Lokoja, the capital of Kogi state for a meeting.
Mike Ile indicated that “he was introduced to Governor Yahaya Bello, chief of staff to the governor, the DG Media, Commissioner for Agriculture, as well as the head of the state’s new Bus transport service. All of them were intimated by the CPS as to the reason why he was invited.”
According to Mike Ile, “All hell broke loose when I commenced work and monies were seemingly not paid as agreed. The deal fell through. There were insinuations that the CPS had sat on the money.”
According to a close confidante of Mike Ile and the Kogi CPS, he stated that “both Mike and Petra have a history. In 2015, the duo worked on the campaign team of a gubernatorial candidate, and Petra was accused of financial infidelity.”
That history was laid bare in the leaked chats when Mike warned: “Let lightening not strike twice in one spot.”
Petra responded by saying, “You can’t keep rubbing the PAST in my face.” She went on to assure him, “You will get your money, I mean it.” To bolster her pledge, she sent him screenshots of her conversations with the Agric Commissioner over the matter.
It was also revealed that the CPS was in the habit of using companies of friends and associates to pitch for jobs in Kogi state. It was also shown that the CPS approached the Mike Ile on the 16th of June, 2017, asking to utilize his registered media firm to pitch for a business opportunity in Kogi State which she tagged NEWMAP.
After that, she was said to have stopped taking Mike’s calls. But fresh trouble arose when the CPS Petra lied to a policeman that there was never such a deal between her and Mike. The apparent lie angered the camp of Mike Ile, and it culminated in the leak of what seems to be proof of the agreement. Mike is said to be preparing to sue the CPS.
The source also said that this scandal further highlights the suspicious behaviour of public officials and politicians who make promises like during electoral campaigns, promises they have no intention of fulfilling. The source said “they have no respect for agreements, written or otherwise, and their loyalties even to their bosses, are always unclear when they have private discussions.”
“Across Nigeria, you get to hear the pains of young entrepreneurs who submit brilliant proposals to agencies only to have their ideas utilized without compensation or due credit. One of such instances was when the CPS went ahead to hold a media tour recommended by Mike without involving him.”
Another source close to Mike Ile said, “The Petra we all know can never use her monies to run any government. What did she use to hold the media tour? Was it sand? This gives the team of the governor a terrible image”.
He said “the CPS, Petra Akinti Onyegbule is no stranger to controversies. Recently, Petra also made the headlines when she accused one Omooba Ojora of defrauding her of nine hundred thousand naira. Caught in a web of lies and deceit, rather than apologize, the CPS took to social media to claim that
she was only helping Mike. But evidence from the chats suggests otherwise.”
Meanwhile, when Vanguard put a call to the CPS, she did not object to the claim but simply said she had nothing further to say about it.
According to her, “I have no further thing to say about this. I have put it behind me. Mike knows about it. Thank you.”
The chat history: