The Advocates of Social Justice for All (ASJA) has raised an alarm over what it described as a plot to blackmail Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, on the proposed Batch-C of the N-Power scheme.
According to the group, there is a frantic attempt, led by online news portal, Sahara Reporters, to discredit the minister’s efforts as it has done against President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration despite obviously providing employment opportunities for Nigerian youths.
The Federal Government officially opened the portal for interested applicants into June 2020 Batch C of the N-Power social investment scheme, on Friday, midnight.
Recall that Batch A started in September 2016 while Batch B kicked off in August 2018.
Just as thousands of young Nigerians kept vigil to commence registration, Sahara Reporters alleged that the exercise had already been hijacked.
Contrary to SR’s claims, however, hundreds testified to seamless enrollment, trooping to social media to shower praises on the honourable minister.
And in a statement signed by its National President, Comrade Timothy Tiza, on Saturday in Abuja, ASJA said this is another plot by Sahara Reporters to dent Hajiya Sadiya’s well-known history of transparency and accountability.
The group revealed that the aim is to ultimately make the minister bow to pressure mounted by some despicable elements that are envious of the strides recorded in her ministry.
The Advocates of Social Justice for All, therefore, rubbished the claim labelling it as blackmail attempt and a coup against democracy in Nigeria.
While calling on Nigerians to ignore Sahara Reporters, it, however, advised the online platform to turn a new leaf and be guided by the journalism creed that emphasizes accuracy and fairness.
Read full statement below:
The Advocates of Social Justice for All is in receipt of a malicious attempt by online publication Sahara Reporters against the Honorable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development on the recently proposed Batch-C of the N-Power scheme of the federal government.
Understandably, Sahara Reporters would elect to spread falsehood all in an attempt to discredit the noble efforts by the minister in ensuring that more Nigerian youths benefit from the scheme as against the interest of a select few that have seen the programme as a birthright.
Sahara Reporters is an online news medium has never been for the good of the country with its editorial policy that lacks every form of objectivity. This much has been stated in numerous forums in the country.
The recent blackmail of the Honorable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development is a part of a bigger plot to make the minister bow to pressure mounted by some despicable elements that are envious of the strides recorded in the management of humanitarian affairs in the country since the appointment of Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq as a minister.
We wish to state that this blackmail attempt by Sahara Reporters is true of poor taste and a puerile attempt at causing disaffection in the polity by spreading half-truths in the attempt to mislead the general public.
It suffices to state that the good intention of the Honorable Minister is by and large against the interest of a group of individuals and organizations that have fed fat from the rot in the system. Since it’s no longer business as usual, these individuals and organizations have elected to undermine the laudable initiative.
It is indeed a sad commentary that Sahara Reporters have availed its platform to these enemies of Nigeria to discredit the good intentions of the minister, in line with the stance of President Muhammadu Buhari for transparency and accountability in the conduct of government business.
We wish to state that the allegations by Sahara Reporters are not only baseless; they are also a despicable and puerile attempt at character assassination.
The Advocates of Social Justice for All is aware that since the coming on board of Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq as the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, there has been effective coordination of humanitarian affairs and disaster management in the country. This undeniable fact the likes of Sahara Reporters and their sponsors have refused to come to terms with as regards the N-Power scheme in the country.
The Advocates of Social Justice for All views this blackmail attempt as a coup against democracy in Nigeria, and as such it should be discountenanced by all well-meaning Nigerians that are desirous of sustainable growth and development in the country.
We wish to state in unequivocal terms that Sahara Reporters is economical with the truth with regards to the placement for new beneficiaries into the N-Power Scheme as under no circumstances would such alleged anomaly would be encouraged in this present dispensation.
It is indeed a statement of the fact that the Honorable Minister has been transparent in running the affairs of the ministry since assumption of office and the N-Power scheme would not be an exception under any guise. This fact has been attested to by many credible civil society organizations and relevant stakeholders.
This attempt to malign the character of the Honorable minster is unacceptable. It must be discontinued immediate effect in the overall interest of the country. It must also be noted that the N-Power scheme is not a money-making venture and it’s not the exclusive preserve of a select few.
The N-Power Scheme is for the teeming youths in Nigeria, and the Honorable Minister cannot be faulted in any way with regards to expanding the scheme to accommodate more qualified Nigerians.
The Advocates of Social Justice for All wishes to advise Sahara Reporters to tow the path of honour and desist from been used by some disgruntled elements in the country to cause disaffection in the polity.
Sahara Reporters must henceforth be guided by the journalism creed that emphasizes accuracy and fairness, public interest and social responsibility. This is expedient at the risk of heating the polity with half-truths and illogical conclusions.
The general public is therefore advised to view with a pinch of salt news items on the Sahara Reporters portal as they always motivated by pecuniary gains.
The Advocates of Social Justice for All wishes to state that the plot by Sahara Reporters is the height of hypocrisy and media charlatanism.