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20.11.2008 Feature Article

Open Letter To The Publishers of Saharareporters and Pointblanknews

Last time, the President of our Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Musa Yar'Adua, left the country on a-more-than two weeks sojourn which brewed controversies all over the country and among our people in the Diaspora of his whereabouts. From the Presidency, the news then was that he was observing some religious obligations in the Saudi Arabia. But from the people's parliament, there were speculations that he was in the Germany for medical checks of which some unconfirmed stories said that he went for transplant of his alleged ailing kidney. We all knew that the nation was stalled, because there was less power given to the Vice President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan by the president to man the affairs of the nation while he (Yar'Adua) was away. We looked on with optimism like a child in wait of mama from an early morning market for our president to tell us where he went to when he comes back. But rather than do that, our president sneaked into the country on a weekend without apologizing to Nigerians he left for weeks and without telling us where he was coming from, but summoned those in the presidency after some days of his arrival into the country to take “oath of secrecy” which they obliged.

The oath issue raised eyebrows and shouts by Nigerians that the president is not making democracy in our country to be transparent by that single act. The presidency didn't give a hoot to that people's criticisms, but people continued shouting. Your organizations, among other Nigerian owned media outfits, were in the forefront to feed Nigerians what was happening. Elendureports publisher, Jonathan Elendu, was later arrested by the Presidency after the News Agency of Nigeria alleged that some hackers hacked into its news email and circulate information that was not coming from the New Agency of Nigeria, on the issue that Yar'Adua has resigned or would resign.

When Elendu was arrested; your organizations also published articles and letters condemning the arrest of Elendu. Elendu was kept in the confinement of the SSS men in Abuja for weeks without trial, in a country that clamours for democracy and transparency?

There were fears among Nigerians who always read your undiluted stories that you are the next to be arrested by the SSS men in Abuja, according to speculations in the news. Text messages began to circulate everywhere and mails too, that no one should dare arrest you people.

Perhaps you are not in the-know of this or you are, but many Nigerians who love democracy love what you are doing so much. They love how you have changed the face of opaque journalism we once experienced in Nigeria by your resilience Internet journals that have never had rival in the history of our great country Nigeria being governed by some grand liars.

When you started this dreaded news publication outfit in the Internet by the politicians, perhaps you did not have the cognizance of where it was going to take you to. But today, it has taken you people to a sacrosanct stage in the minds of Nigerians of well meaning minds. And there is no how or way to say 'more grease to your elbows' than to send this piece to you asking you not to be heartquaked of any rumour of arrest. Maybe, this government is mediaphobia. If the Federal Government is looking for whom to arrest, it should arrest ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and his cronies, they might have some stories to reveal on how they misgoverned Nigeria for eight years, and not you guys.

Thank you.

Odimegwu Onwumere is the Founder of Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State, Nigeria. [email protected]

Odimegwu Onwumere
Odimegwu Onwumere, © 2008

The author has 586 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: OdimegwuOnwumere

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