By Simeon Nwakaudu
I got to know the fraudulent practice of Sahara Reporters first hand as events heated up towards the 2015 general elections.
Immediate Past Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, a principal sponsor of Sahara Reporters had led the invasion of the Rivers State House of Assembly, with his security details aiding indicted Former Rivers State Majority Leader, Chidi Lloyd in a case of attempted murder. These brutal politicians damaged the skull of a PDP Legislator, Michael Chinda. This innocent man was flown abroad to receive treatment in a London hospital.
Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, then Minister of State for Education led other PDP leaders to pay him a get-well visit. I was on that delegation. I did a statement with relevant photographs. Later that evening, Sahara Reporters acting on the instructions of Amaechi claimed that Barrister Wike used Government money to travel to UK. They refused to report the event. I wrote a mail to them, inquiring if a Minister and other leaders could not afford the air-fare to London. Needless to say they never replied. Sahara Reporters thrives in the diabolical misrepresentation of facts to promote the anti-people interests of their sponsors.
Governor Wike’s Presentation at Chatham House was aired live on social media networks. The interactive session that followed including his response to the issues raised by the representative of the students on scholarship were aired live.
The engagement with the students outside Chatham House was also transmitted live by one of the students. Every exchange is in the public domain. But trust the APC megaphone, they refused to report the presentation or the assurances of the Governor to the students. Instead, they cooked up a caption in line with the paid request of their sponsor, Rotimi Amaechi.
The mischief of the APC Controlled Sahara Reporters is part of the strategy of the failed political party to distort Governor Wike’s message at the Chatham House. Unfortunately for them, this approach has failed.
The message is out in the International domain. Governor Wike drew the attention of the world to the illegal activities of the APC Federal Government aimed at truncating democracy and crippling the rule of law.
He drew attention of the world to the deliberate politicization of security and INEC for the purpose of stagnating the development process and generating insecurity in the Niger Delta. He exposed the fraud called the APC, which funds Sahara Reporters. The Rivers State Governor outlined his numerous achievements, despite the challenges of economic downturn. He laid out steps to sustain these achievements.
Nobody expects Sahara Reporters to be fair. The medium was conceived in the deep waters of social deceit and monumental fraud. Today, Governor Wike is addressing infrastructural deficiencies in Rivers State because Amaechi used the funds to line the pockets of the likes of Sahara Reporters proprietors and other APC Stakeholders.
Sahara Reporters were in the forefront of the deception that sold APC to Nigerians. Today, rather than apologise to Nigerians, they are busy spinning more lies without conscience.
For the avoidance of doubt, on foreign scholarships, Governor Wike reiterated that the State Government will pay for final year students in critical science courses, while those studying arts courses were advised to return to Nigeria with the Rivers State Government footing their bills.
This was the same message that he relayed to the few students who met him outside in company of other Rivers indigenes. He simply referred them to his position when their leader spoke inside and admonished them against being unruly.
The APC even went a step further by engaging in photoshop of pictures that super-imposed youths who were nowhere close to the Chatham House. The videos released by the same APC never showed more than a single placard. On that placard , the few students requested for a minute from the governor. The governor gave them the deserved attention as a leader.
It must be stated that the Governor has paid about N1.5billion for the foreign scholarships since he took over. Amaechi’s administration despite receiving over N3trillion as revenue left this liability with debts in the region of several billions as admitted by the representative of the students.
Rivers people in 2015 saw through the lies of Sahara Reporters and the APC. If anything, they have been vindicated. The APC is a personification of lies, fraud, lack of capacity and hatred for development. These are charlatans who deride development, hate pro-people leaders and delight in seeing the people suffer.
The repeated onslaught on Governor Wike by the APC Media Wing is an agenda that is dead on arrival. Governor Wike is a target because he is a major pillar of PDP.
Where in Nigeria is APC prompting the interest of the people? Where in Nigeria does APC stand for the truth? Is there anyone in Nigeria who does not know that Sahara Reporters is APC’S weapon for mass destruction of truth?
APC’s deployment of Sahara Reporters and other discredited media trumpeters to the Chatham House has failed woefully. Governor Wike is like the proverbial dried meat. As you chew, his coast expands. He cannot be contained via false propaganda, deceit and innuendos.
As Sahara Reporters and APC weep over Governor Wike’s outstanding presentation at the Chatham House, they must be highly disturbed that the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Akwright joined other diplomats to listen to Nigeria’s Political Conscience.
A message for the principal sponsor of Sahara Reporters, Mr Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi from Governor Wike:
“Although successive governments tried to move it forward, the eight years of the immediate past government were the most regrettable in the State’s history as there were no tangible achievements to justify the huge resources that accrued to the State during the period of unprecedented oil boom. In stead, so much public money was either siphoned into private pockets or wasted on bogus and unsustainable projects”.
Though these guys have no conscience. The above is food for thought.