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The New Face of Ebonyi: Classic Triumph Over ill-fated GLO Oga Sim Advert (Video/photos) 

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By Melvin Eugene Ebenyi

Like other numerous media campaigns conceived to downplay the strength and rising status of Ebonyi, the salt of the nation, the ill-fated GLO Oga Sim Advert which received avalanche of criticisms from discerning minds when it surfaced online in 2019 has finally been diminished to worthless effect.

Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital through noticeable Infrastructural strides is not only transformed but can now favorably compete with major cities of the world.

From Good roads, to other world class infrastructures dotting every corner of the state. The once dust of the nation now practically ranks best among the league of states. It is a story of total transformation, yet, the GLO Oga Sim advert remains on Glo’s YouTube account, undeleted, three years after social media smoky protest against it.

The good news is that Ebonyi State, the salt of the nation has classically changed, wearing new looks.

Recall that group of Ebonyi activists, namely; Onu Innocent, Richard Inya and Chris Nnanna Ogba Jp had in 2019 submitted a petition to Mr Mike Adenuga of Globacom asking him to without further delay take down the ‘Oga Sim’ Advert (video) from all his company’s platforms, and stop further airing of same from being aired on any media platform and tender an unreserved apology to the government and people of Ebonyi State.

The group who in strongest terms condemned the said video advert, urged Mr Adenuga to take an objective look at the said advert, look at the bigger picture and add his voice to the petition.

The Advert which was described as ‘injurious’ to the reputation of Ebonyi people received wide condemnation especially as it reflects an ignoble status of what could be referred to as an old Abakaliki; a development that is regretted of a multinational that is scooping it’s millions daily in the state, with little or no ‘Consumer Benefit’ accrued to the people.

The petition which seems to be a reflection of the people’s reactions against the Advert was copied to all relevant stakeholders for complaints and record purposes.

Read the full text of the petition below;

27th April, 2019.

Mr Mike Adenuga,
Owner, Globacom Limited,
Mike Adenuga Towers,
1 Mike Adenuga Close,
Victoria Island,
Lagos.

Sir,

GLOBACOM’S DISRESPECT FOR ABAKALIKI (EBONYI STATE): A CALL TO TAKE DOWN THE “GLO OGA SIM ADVERT FEATURING LAGBAJA.”

May we draw your attention to one of your company’s adverts titled “Glo Oga SIM: The unrivaled Big Boss of Data, featuring Lagbaja” which has been running on various media platforms including major TV channels in Nigeria.

Let us quickly point out that the manner in which parts of your advert portrayed the city of Abakaliki, the capital of Ebonyi State is disrespectful, humiliating and deeply offensive, and does not in any way represent what the city is or looks like. No matter the message your advert was designed to convey, we believe it has been marred by its dangerous message which clearly promotes the usual fallacy that had stereotyped Abakaliki as a city of poverty-stricken, downtrodden, timid and helpless people living in undeveloped, unhealthy and shabby environment.

While your company and some other persons may see it as just an advert, and while some people may dismiss our observation as irrelevant and a non-issue, what we see is a harmful message and a serious insult on the people of Ebonyi state. By airing this advert, you are marketing your products, while demarketing Ebonyi State and its people thereby undermining in splits of seconds the developmental efforts of both the government and our people over the years.

This particular advert has also become a serious source of emotional and psychological trauma to us every time we get to watch it and we believe that a lot of our people feel the same way.

Abakaliki is the capital city of Ebonyi state, a state which is now considered the fastest growing state in south eastern Nigeria with over 5 million citizens scattered across the globe including professors, top political leaders, international businessmen, doctors, engineers, top religious leaders, lawyers, and other hardworking citizens in different fields of life, most of whom are your loyal customers spending thousands of naira on your network, and it beats our imagination why your company chose to portray them in this ugly manner.

For a well-respected company like Globacom, whose vision is about the “People” and whose aspiration is to build Africa’s biggest and best telecommunication network, this particular advert represents a new low for your company and it goes further to expose a careless attitude of insensitivity and inability to pay serious attention to details.

Sir, we therefore demand:

1. An immediate take down of this advert from all your media platforms.
2. That your company stops further airing of this advert.
3. That your company tender an unreserved apology to the government and people of Ebonyi State.

Please be informed that we are prepared to boycott all your products and as well encourage other
concerned citizens to do same in protest for this act of humilation. We shall also mobilize a host of other citizens to carry out both online and offline protests if your company fails to meet all our demands within two (2) week from the date of this letter.

However, you may wish to delegate a team from your organization to visit Abakaliki to see how it looks, for apparently, there was no such activity before that production.

Thanks for your anticipated cooperation.

Petitioners:
1. Mr Onu Innocent Chidi (08156453381)
2. Mr Inya Richard (08038709697)
3. Mr Ogba Christian Nnanna Jp (08034371937)
All Ebonyi State (Concerned) Citizens.

Cc:
1. Executive Governor, Ebonyi State, Nigeria.
2. All Ebonyi State (concerned) Citizens.
Honourable Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Ebonyi State.
4. Honourable Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Ebonyi State.
5. All Ebonyi State National Assembly Members.
6. All Ebonyi State House of Assembly Members.
7. Nigeria Communications Commission.
8. Federal Ministry of Communications.
9. Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria.
10. President, National Association of Ebonyi State Students.
11. President, Akubaraoha Youth Assembly. 12. Facebook Inc.
13. Twitter Inc.
14. Google Inc.
15. YouTube Inc.
16. Dstv Africa.
17. Channels Television Network.
18. Africa Independent Television.
19. Nigerian Television Authority.

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