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22.10.2013 Feature Article

Umeh N5.76 Billion Secret Document With Willie Obaino; Where APGA Got It Wrong

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Once again, I'm tempted to reply to a press release issued by the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) titled “I do not fault their (APGA) rebuttal – Fejiro Oliver”, where various comments were made which we need to correct.

For the sake of posterity, my response to their earlier press release titled “APGA denial of the secret document with Obaino and matters arising” which was published by various news media WAS NOT A REJOINDER NEITHER IS IT A RETRACTION as APGA would want the world to belief. Instead, it was meant to right the wrong in their first press release.

I do not know what they constitute to be yellow or gutter journalism, but it smacks of dishonesty when we begin to characterize every bad report that are backed with relevant document as yellow journalism, while the ones that praise us are elevated to investigative journalism; it's so sad.

I do not know what part of the report is fake as classified by APGA's media and publicity. Is it not true that Ndigwe is an S.A to Victor Umeh or is it not correct that Chief Onwuka has been a Deputy National Chairman (South) of APGA? Maybe we deserve to know the 'correct' details if Fejiro Oliver is wrong.

If APGA wants to teach journalists how to do their work, by telling us to always get two sources to confirm their stories before publications, I'm sorry to say that I will not be one of their student. What other confirmation do I need when I tried to call their National Chairman's number, who was involved in signing the document, but his phone never rang and had to send a sms which was delivered, but he never responded.

I do not want to believe that my refusal to be persistence in my call to the chairman before the party eventually answer me is a crime. If the report had involved the governor, Peter Obi, I would have known who to call, but this certainly was not the case. Or was I suppose to wait for them to give me part of the national cake to kill the story, as it is mostly done in situations like this? I do not belong to the category of men who will collect brown envelopes to kill a story, thereby mortgaging my conscience. If that is my offence, let me commit such again!

Do we always have to go so low to classify whistle blowing reporters as fame seeking journalists? I do not need APGA to get the fame and I dare say with all modesty that I detest being in the limelight, hence I avoid controversial reports backed with document, yet I have to do the job which I am called to do. May I with all modesty tell APGA that I do not need their secret report to garner fame; as the fame is already gained. May I remind them that the secret daughter of Nigeria's Guinness book of world records holder, Senator David Dafinone was blown publicly by my humble self, with documents attached, as well as the plan to perfect PDP winning of the just concluded senatorial bye-election, which went the way I reported it, the money spent by the Delta State House of Assembly members for their legislative training in US, also being the writer of the satire about President Jonathan Goodluck resignation speech leaking which was globally read, that I had to switch off my phone due to the numerous calls coming in to confirm it. I could go on and on. So you see, APGA is NEVER a source of fame, for whom God has blessed, he has blessed!

Every journalistic standard to confirm the story was conformed to and I will urge APGA to be more realistic in tackling the story, by telling Nigerians whose signature are on the agreement and not twist my reply to their rebuttal to tarnish the report. The onus lies on them now to convince the world, especially Anambra citizen, not teach how to be a reporter. Still yet I do believe that they have a right to refute it, which is what I maintain.

“It is our job to expose; it is their job to refute, but it is the job of the public to decide on the truth”, so was I taught by my communication lecturer many years ago in the university. This is my story; this is my stand!

These little things matter…
Fejiro Oliver, a Journalist can be reached on [email protected] and +2348026797588 (sms only please). Engage him on twitter @fejirooliver86 and Facebook; fejirooliver86. Like our Facebook page- secretsreporters

FEJIRO OLIVER
FEJIRO OLIVER, © 2013

The author has 52 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: FEJIROOLIVER

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