The Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, has been asked to henceforth desist from engaging in journalism of falsehood and blackmail.

A group, Equity and Justice in Politics and Governance Movement, EJPGM, Thursday in Abuja, called on Sowore and his platform to desist from series of blackmail and name- callings that he and his media outfit, Sahara Reporters have been known for in recent times .

According to the group,  Sowore’s journalism of blackmail will not take him anywhere.

In a statement made available to the Nigeria Times, the Convener, EJPGM, Momodu Tarka, “In the last few days, there have been series of reports in Omoyele Sowore’s Sahara Reporters, the number one ‘carrier’ of fake news in the country about the activities of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and other government officials.

He said to discerning minds in the country, it is a known fact that churning out fake news is the stock in trade of Sahara Reporters, an online news organisation notorious for fabricating concoctions as news.

“Ordinarily, we at the EQUITY AND JUSTICE IN POLITICS AND GOVERNANCE MOVEMENT would not have joined issues with Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters, who is known for blackmail or naira and kobo journalism but we felt that, if we don’t, it may be taken by some gullible readers as the whole truth, especially some Nigerians who do not know the modus operandi of Sahara Reporters.

“Sowore’s Sahara Reporters is known for castigating the administration of President Buhari and its officials. So many unfounded allegations have been made against them.

“The latest is the attack against President Muhammadu Buhari,  accusing him of seeking a third term in office with the connivance of the the Attorney- General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN and other “very top government officials”.

“This was the same President Buhari that, as allegedly reported by Sahara Reporters, lost confidence in Malami and purportedly about to sack Malami will still confide in the Chief Law Officer of the country for undemocratic practice. This is highly unthinkable and untainable illogical fabrication.

“The online publication did not stop there, it went further by also alleging that the AGF had exhausted the budget of the Ministry. Sowore also alleged that that the AGF who has performed excellently well in office since President Muhammadu Buhari appointed him minister has been penciled down for sack with 14 others. The article didn’t mention other 14 members even by characterisation as it didn’t also specify any justification for that.

“All these allegations and many more remain outrageously laughable! 

“In the recent past, Sowore and his online publication, notorious for fake news have made several unfounded allegations against Governor Buni, the AGF, the CBN governor, the DSS and many other government officials.

“As a matter of fact, Sowore sees nothing good in the administration of President Buhari and his ministers.

Before now, Sowore, the fake news publisher had accused Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe state of failure to declare his asset. He also accused the CBN governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, of  throwing a lavish party abroad where the ‘who is who’ in the country were present.

“According to Sahara Reporters, the DSS was described as lawless.

“We, at EQUITY AND JUSTICE IN POLITICS AND GOVERNANCE MOVEMENT are bold to say that the laziness of the approach of Sahara Reporters can best be established by their failure to investigate the reports before publishing them. As a matter of fact, our findings revealed that Sahara Reporters depend on gossip and mere beer parlour talks as their major sources of news report.

“We earlier stated that no sane person in the society will take the kind of journalism practiced by Sahara Reporters seriously and we still stand by that statement.

“Rather than engage in campaign of calumny, Sowore should join hands with other well-meaning Nigerians to move Nigeria forward.

“Also, we feel we should remind Sowore that President Buhari is a lover of democracy and has worked tirelessly to ensure that it is rooted in the country and therefore, will not do anything to truncate it by seeking a third term in office through the backdoor.

“Again, Sowore should be reminded that the Honourable Attorney-Gemeral and Minster of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, has been a lawyer for decades with considerable years of experience as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and had also distinguished himself in law practice in the country. It is the sterling qualities the President sees in him that earned him the appointment as AGF in 2015 and therefore, will not give any advise to the President that will be detrimental to the advancement of democracy in Nigeria.

“We think professionalism is thrown to the wind by Sowore’s Sahara Reporters at the expense of mischief and malicious considerations on account of their deliberate failure to deepen their investigation in the direction of factual expositions.

“The question in the circumstances of the wild allegation against the Attorney General of the Federation and others is this: 

Where is the search report? Where is the evidence that proves ownership of all the property allegedly owned by him.

Absence of search report and associated transactional links only established a case of mischief and frivolity against Sahara Reporters and further re-establish their upscaled status in mischief and falsehood journalism engagements.

“For example, a report by the purveyor of fake news failed to tell its readers that salaries are not paid from and/or by the Ministers or ministries but centrally coordinated at the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, through the IPPIS. In what ways are ministers connected with payment of salaries? Are ministers accounting officers or salary payers? We reaffirmed that this is the kind of report that lacked every ingredient of credibility and should be discarded”he said 

Tarka said it  is a clear case of laziness for an investigative journalist or a newspaper to simply make an allegation and fail to substantiate or give any iota of credibility to the report.

“When Sahara Reporters make allegation, then, they should be ready to back it up with document or evidence because that will add a little bit of credibility to their report but unfortunately, that is not always the case with Sowore and Sahara Reporters because they are known for fake and unsubstantiated reports.

“We, at EQUITY AND JUSTICE IN POLITICS AND GOVERNANCE MOVEMENT will advise the AGF and others not to glorify them by making comments on frivolous allegations by a media platform known for frivolity and falsehood. We have verified and we can authoritatively say that the report by Sowore Sahara Reporters against President Buhari, the AGF, the Yobe state governor among others are false and should be disregarded by all Nigerians seeking the good of the country.

“We advise the AGF not to say anything in reaction to a media platform whose stock in trade is frivolity, falsehood and lacking in international journalism standard.

“In conclusion, we advise Sowore and Sahara Reporters to stop disparaging government officials. Their journalism of naira and kobo and blackmail will take them nowhere. There is still room for Omoyele Sowore to join patriotic Nigerians to join hands with the government of President Buhari to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.

“The pull him down syndrome of Omoyele Sowore and his Sahara Reporters has failed and will continued to fail.

“We want the government not be distracted on its stance against separatists, violence instigators and those accused of disrupting the internal peace in the country” he added.


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