- Post 10 January 2009
- Last Updated on 11 January 2009
- By Wale Akin
It’s not that I dislike Omoyele Sowore’s Sahara Reporters investigative acumen but I was totally pissed off about his conduct during the now famous Gbenga Obasanjo’s interview when Sowore rode in the latter’s vehicle at the Seme border about two years ago and this is my point: Gbenga Obasanjo as at that time in question did not know who Sowore is but he was known to Sowore and he (Sowore) used that latent knowledge to start a conversation that brought the entire Obasanjo household to the fore as a highly dysfunctional family. The conversation between Sowore and Gbenga Obasanjo was not an interview but a manly talk to “kill time” as they journeyed to Lagos and the latter never had the premonition that the former was going to use the conversation as breaking news in the future. This is my grudge with Mr Omoyele Sowore that he used Gbenga Obasanjo as a bait to get juicy news about the former President and that “conversational interview” also told us that Gbenga Obasanjo is a “faulty domestic tap”
Omoyele Sowore’s Sahara Reporters has become so vibrant in its investigative journalism, first of its kind after the likes of Tell Magazine and The News but the difference is in the fact that Sowore’s indepth analytical approach and methodical evidence provides a good read but readers like us have developed a thick skin after the Gbenga Obasanjo debacle vis a vis the interview and the blatant accusation that his father slept with his Wife, Mojisola Obasanjo. Sahara Reporters threw caution to the wind and went ahead to publish the photographs of the Gbenga-Mojisola’s children who are minors and it behoved Sahara Reporters to have covered their faces! When Sahara Reporters did this, I lost confidence in the morals of the outfit but the recent breaking news on the purchase of landed properties by Mrs Farida Waziri and top Newspaper Editors as revealed by Sahara Reporters has once again brought into limelight the personality called Omoyele Sowore.
Sahara Reporters published this week that the above mentioned Nigerians are involved in the allocation and purchase of landed properties in Abuja and mention was made of the very popular Chairman, Editorial Board of Guardian Newspapers Rutam House, Isolo, Lagos Dr Reuben Abati PhD that he is part of the group involved in the purchase of the allocated landed properties. Suffice to say that less than forty eighty hours after the expose by Sahara Reporters, we read a posted news by another Nigerian that Dr Reuben Abati has been a callous victim of the now very popular scammers AKA Yahoo Yahoo Boys and the news reports detailed that the email address of Dr Reuben Abati was hacked into and used in the dissemination of a scammed email asking for help that his Daughter is lying critically ill in a hospital and the sum of N250,000 is needed immediately to foot the medical bills. The email was allegedly sent by “Mr Reuben Abati” who asked that the money be sent to one Dr Ojolowo with detailed contact number. Well meaning Nigerians including I defended Dr Abati and even “conjured” that maybe a pseudo “lookalike” email address was opened to lure the unsuspecting contacts of the real Dr Reuben Abati into believing that indeed his Daughter was sick and needed instant financial help.
I was then personally awed when Dr Reuben Abati in his weekly Friday article wrote that his real email address was used and that when he did open the box, he met about 5 sent emails in his sent box, it was then that i began to rumble through this conspiracy theory. Dr Reuben Abati did not address the issue raised by Sahara Reporters at all but dedicated the entire article to the scam which he titled “The Scam that failed”. He ran his readers through the entire story and many of us believed him since we were reading from the horse’s mouth! I also wanted to read from the Horse’s mouth concerning the news report by Sahara Reporters. Now, this is not the very first time that Dr Reuben Abati had written a two-subject article, he would write on LASTMA and at the same time write on BRT Bus lanes and finish with the Nuhu Ribadu debacle at the Nigerian Police Force, so should i imply that many readers of his age-long article were embarrassed/annoyed/worried/sad/wondered/askance why he did not address the allocated landed properties saga as brewed by Sahara Reporters but instead he wrote on the failed Yahoo Yahoo scam and even said that he had diarrhoea when he discovered what had happened to his highly esteemed personality.
My conspiracy theory is thus:
1. Which is more important? The failed scammed emails by a fake Reuben Abati or the allocated landed property?
2. When was the scammed email received across the globe?
3. Do we have recipients of the email who can tell us when they did receive the mail as sent by the fake Abati?
4. We read the report as posted by a Nigerian on Thursday 8th of January 2009, 48 hours after Sahara Reporters posted the news report
5. I may then theorise by what i read yesterday in the published article by Dr Reuben Abati that the scammed email story may be a diversionary tactic to douse tension.
6. Is this a damage control exercise or something related to it?
7. I was expecting to read in his article published yesterday that the same “Dr Ojowolo” used his name to buy the allocated landed property. Yes, it is possible. The reason i was expecting him to address this issue is because of his position in society whereby we share the same view on government and corruption which has eaten deep into the very fabric of our society. It behoves Dr Reuben Abati to address this quite damaging report. He needs to address this report because he speaks for the masses and it is embarrassing on his part for an allegation of such nature being tied to him. Dr Reuben Abati finger points at corrupt practises, lack of transparency and accountability by government officials with his editorial and we as Nigerians do not want such fingers dripping with blood, the blood of corruption because “He who approaches equity, must come with clean hand”
8. Much as i appreciate Dr Reuben Abati addressing the issue of the Yahoo Yahoo Boys through his article on the failed scam because this is another issue of importance, however, on the scale of things, the news report by Sahara Reporters is of more significant importance to his integrity, dignity and reputation as a frontline Editor in one of Nigeria’s leading newspaper. A person of his calibre should not be found wanting in this regard. If such a news report had come out linking a personality like Gani Fawehinmi SAN, i can bet a Million Pound that Gani Fawehinmi would come out smoking defending his name, honour and integrity. So Dr Reuben Abati, the ball is in your court.
9. Maybe he has not seen the news report where his name has been mentioned as an “allotee” of a landed property in Abuja?
I am one of the “DNAed” admirers and readers of Dr Reuben Abati and pray that he address this issue once and for all so we can lay it to rest. I do hope that my conspiracy theory is wrong. I pray that i am wrong
Caveat: I have not accused Dr Reuben Abati of any criminal activity neither have i questioned his personality. I have just gone on a wild chase to help get to the roots of this matter. He still has my profound respect.