Are Politicians Getting Hell From Premium Times And Sahara Reporters?

share on:
Are Politicians Getting Hell From PREMIUM TIMES And Sahara Reporters?

Are Politicians Getting Hell From Premium Times And Sahara Reporters?, By Ahmed Oluwasanjo

After giving what is God’s to Him every morning, the next thing I usually do is to pick up my smart phone to read what PREMIUM TIMES and Sahara Reporters have on their websites. I am addicted to their stories. Without doubt, however, thousands, if not millions, of Nigerian netizens visit these news platforms with great enthusiasm daily, just like I do.

This piece was written by Ahmed Oluwasanjo. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

This is not a eulogy in honour of PT or SR. They do not need one from anybody, because their works have earned them credibility as reputable online news platforms in a clime where newsrooms are proliferated with pseudo-journalists, who are slaving for politicians.

Of course, I mean no disregard to other news platforms and I am not saying that PT and SR are the only credible platforms in Nigeria. But, over the years, they have stood out in journalism beyond the conventional reporting that many newspapers do.

They do not only educate, inform and enlighten the public, they also do thorough investigations, exposing the unwholesome schemes of politicians and public officers. In other words, they are serving as the smartest watchdogs in our polity.

PT and SR have raised the level of political awareness among young Nigerians through their dexterous use of social media to reach this stratum of the Nigerian population with their stories.

It might be hyperbolic to say that, with PT and SR in our polity, the days of killing stories in newsrooms are over in the Nigerian journalism space. However, their presence is prodding other media platforms to step up their game in investigative journalism or become irrelevant. More importantly, their role in democracy, and specifically in the fight against corruption, cannot be overemphasised.

Without being told, PT and SR are nightmares to corrupt public officers and politicians. But to sane Nigerians, they are credible online news platforms, doing a good job that ought to be commended and not intimated either by state actors or megalomaniacs. This brings me to the trend of harassment and attacks these platforms are facing presently.

Last week, the Nigerian Army threatened legal action against PREMIUM TIMES for publications about the army and its chief, Tukur Buratai; while one Lekan Fatodu physically assaulted Sahara Reporters’s publisher, Omoyele Sowore, over allegations of defamation by SR.

Again, only yesterday, Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi, a self-effacing journalist and publisher of PT was arrested, alongside PT’s judiciary correspondent, Evelyn Okakwu, at around 5:00 p.m, according to reports.

To observers who have followed several explosive exposés done by PT and SR, these incidences did not come as a surprise. That the duo of PT and SR exist as fearless watchdogs is the greatest worry of corrupt and unscrupulous public officers and politicians in our polity. So, such intimidation is expected.

Good enough, earlier on PT had responded to the Nigerian Army’s legal threat to it in a profound manner, telling the Nigerian Army that it cannot be cowed by repressive antics.

I am really surprised that state actors are obsessed with muzzling the press and gagging journalists who are exposing their malfeasance, while herdsmen and terrorists are writing news headlines in blood.

Besides, if the aggrieved snake farmer behind the shameless harassment of PT’s staff could patiently save his salaries and proceeds from the sales of snakes’ fat, eggs and venom to buy mansions in Dubai, why is it hard for him to wait for the court to decide if PT has erred or not?

He should be told that he cannot cow PT. Perhaps, the day he finds himself on the queue begging for his retirement entitlement or the day he is thrown out of the service like some of his colleagues were recently thrown out, he would realise how his life could depend on PT’s professional investigations and exposés on injustice.

Likewise, the shameless police officers who collaborated with Fatodu to harass Sowore, according to reports, would hopefully one day need SR to beam its searchlight on the Nigerian Police Force when they get unlawfully kicked out of the system and denied their retirement benefits, like we have seen in the past.

Nigerians who are aware of how irresponsible some public officers and politicians could be, and how these platforms are holding them to higher standards, in line with best practices, would see any form of attack on these platforms as a direct attack on the press and ordinary citizens.

Of course, the wailers, who are still grieving over the 2015 electoral loss, mostly hate these platforms, seeing them as key players in the electoral defeat of their party; while the hailers, who deify the present government to unthinking and ridiculous extents, hate and see these platforms as being too critical of the government. That’s fine.

However, the fact that these confused supporters of PDP/Goodluck Jonathan and APC/Muhammadu Buhari are always accusing these platforms tellingly reveals that they exist in the public interest. To put it in words that would resonate well with many of us, PT and SR are neither partisan nor belong to any political party or persons – whether Jonathan or Buhari.

Professional journalists are not among the enemies of Nigeria. Sane Nigerians will agree that PT and SR are revolutionising and redefining journalism as the real public interest engagement and the moral conscience of our society.

Ahmed Oluwasanjo writes from Abuja.

This piece was written by Ahmed Oluwasanjo. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

Datboyjerry

Datboyjerry

I am but your herald boy in the art of the pen.. An eccentric Environmental Biologist smouldered in the glorious epiphany of online journalism. If you ever find my article unduly insipid, sue me and i’ll refund you...

Leave a Reply