July 10, 2014
Kwarans, I received a phone call in the wee hours of today. The caller said, “Idris, what is your response to the rejoinder”. Of course, I was amazed. The caller is a sister in-law and journalist by profession. She had called to know my opinion about the rejoinder of an Ilorin based online news medium, e-kwara to an article titled “Oba Abdulraheem’s Sponsored Falsehood And Kwarans” written by myself recently. I honestly replied, “I have not read it and I don’t wish to join issues with those guys”. She was uncomfortable with my comment and the call ended abruptly.
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Reading the rejoinder evoked memories of Shameless. Shameless is an American television comedy-drama produced by John Marcum Wells – an american writer. In shameless, Frank Gallagher, due to his unrepentant methomania nature, shamelessly brought unimaginable shame upon his family. This short account has become the narrative of E-Kwara, The Shameless E-Liar. If the identity of the news medium had being e-abdulraheem, I would have ignored the rejoinder and permit e-kwara to publicly dance naked with its web of lies but its identity has ‘kwara’ which is our collective property. Whether Kwarans agree with me or not, the name ‘kwara’ is an identity for all of us and I will resist attempts by e-kwara to drag our identity into the mud.
The hurriedly put up editorial/rejoinder is unnecessarily emotional, naive, full of worthless rhetorics, senseless accusations and lies as usual. I didn’t write to malign or praise anyone, if my article truly deserve an editorial from e-kwara, the crew should have taken time to address the issues raised in the piece instead of expressing bitterness and calling me unsuitable names. An editorial that read like a chain of beer parlour arguments and logic doesn’t interest me.
E-kwara suggested I have affiliation with a political party, that is untrue. I am not a member of any political party in Nigeria. My interest in politics is restricted to the academia and it is traceable to my undergraduate days at University of Ilorin, Ilorin. I did some political science courses, since I passed those interesting courses, my ache for knowing happenings in the political environment has never been cured. If e-kwara had accused me of possessing disdain for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), that would have been correct with precision. I do not like the PDP and my close friends, including PDP members, are aware. I do not see anything likable about a party that has consistently wasted our collective patrimony even without solving any of our major challenges. Not education, not power, not water, not security, not transportation, et al. The situation has worsened to a level where the president of the nation who doubles as PDP leader was intimidated to negotiate a ransom with kidnappers before he could secure the release of his uncle from kidnappers’ den. What is the fate of a common man! As Kwarans, the last time we felt the impact of the PDP government was time immemorial. The PDP is not an option for Nigerians again, all other political parties are better than the PDP – my sincere opinion.
I have been briefed the same e-kwara has published about six stories that tend favourably to the Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed led administration and Senator Bukola Saraki since I wrote the article. It doesn’t change anything. The claim that the paymaster has ordered e-kwara to bring down the government and disparage the personality of Senator Bukola Saraki remain potent.
I said I know the people behind e-kwara and their undercovers but e-kwara couldn’t summon the courage to challenge me to expose them, instead it claimed, “we have since discovered that the said ‘Idris Abdullahi’ is fake”. This is a futile attempt to discredit the messenger because the message is too sophisticated to be wished away. How can I be fake! Solace is found in a fact that it takes originality to appreciate original products. E-kwara is a liability to the paymaster and the crew should know they are vulnerable, the paymaster will be nowhere to save them when the chips are down.
E-kwara should not get it twisted, I have no issue with the fact that they take instructions from their paymaster and it is within the rights of the paymaster to be the chairman of e-kwara.com. Infact, I am aware some of the online news platforms have political prejudices and sponsors.
E-kwara said, “Obviously, the so-called ‘Idris Abdullahi’ has succeeded in exposing his political bias and resorted to defending Senator Bukola Saraki”, this assertion can not be more incorrect. E-kwara has generated and published many libelous news stories against Senator Saraki and I have never deemed it necessary to write a rejoinder, so I can’t be suddenly tagged a sponsored writer. I reacted to those stories on alleged poisonous ramadan food because I could not understand why gifts during the reverend ramadan month should be accompanied with such false rumour. I could not also comprehend why a man who has never hidden his desire to govern our state will seek to bring down our state even in this holy month.
E-kwara accused me of building vituperation on Professor Oba Abdulraheem, this accusation is false. My criticism was issue-based. I have huge respect for the personality of Professor Oba Abdulraheem, though, the respect has nothing to do with frequently published stories by e-kwara that he gave out jobs to people because in a working country a qualified individual do not need to double as a friend or family or supporter or relative of the equivalent of Chairman, Federal Character Commission (FCC) before he/she would secure a government job. I respect him due to his huge contribution to the academic reservoir. I have read some of his books and I am glad I did.
And e-kwara went on self-glorification by claiming it stands out from the respected online news platforms like Ilorin.info, goongnews.com and kwaraonline because it does more than mere ‘copying and pasting’. This is untrue. I maintain that the most distinguishable factor is that unlike others, e-kwara has the mandate to bring into disrepute the personality of Senator Bukola Saraki and bring down the Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed led administration through distortion of facts and peddling of barefaced lies.
E-kwara echoed balanced reportage and objectivity. It boasted, “E-kwara would stand for justice, transparency and objectivity no matter whose ox is gored”. Interesting! I will not diagnose e-kwara based on the content of its usual distorted stories and reports. My analysis will be based on the content of its editorial. Unfortunately, this article is not a suitable means to lecture the media team of e-kwara on Journalism 101. I would have loved to. The editorial of any news medium is an article expressing the opinion of all the media crew; including the drivers, camera men, et al, on a topical issue. The editorial is an evaluation of issues that are important to the readers so that the news medium’s opinion is known. Editorial serves as a balanced community opinion on government activities and other tropical issues. Among other criteria, it must be objective, clear, balance and trustworthy. Since the establishment of e-kwara, it has published four (4) editorial contents. Noteworthy, two of the them were dedicated to malign Senator Bukola Saraki, one of them was committed to discredit the Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed led administration and the last editorial is a rejoinder to my article. A check on e-kwara.com will confirm the genuineness of my claim.
It is important I submit that the four articles lack any semblance of what editorial should be. The last article has been decently addressed. I will move straight to diagnose others.
In one of the two articles dedicated to malign Senator Bukola Saraki, the media crew of e-kwara adopted an article tagged GAME UP FOR BUKOLA SARAKI’s KWARA HEGEMONY, written by Mr Is’haq Modibbo Kawu. It means e-kwara subscribed to all the content and sentiments expressed in the article. In my entire life, that was the first time I read that a news medium adopted an article written by a politician and non-member of its editorial team as its editorial. Modibbo Kawu is a politician and my factual claim should not be strange to fellow Kwarans. The same Modibbo Kawu delivered a speech at a PDP retreat held at Savannah Event Centre, Ilorin on the 5th of July, 2014. How can e-kwara expects a PDP chieftain to be fair or balance to an APC leader in an article he wrote to announce the turnaround of his party? Checks have also shown that the then interim PRO of APC, Mr Sulyman Buhari wrote a rejoinder and about three other Kwarans also wrote different articles as a reaction to Mr Modibbo’s piece. These reactions didn’t matter to e-kwara, its ‘objectivity’ didn’t permit it to reflect on the rejoinder. Where is the balance reportage?
The second editorial was a gutter piece e-kwara wrote to defend its paymaster when it felt there was a cold war between its paymaster and Senator Bukola Saraki. E-kwara used so many unpleasant names to label the Senator in the article. The editorial was headlined “Kwara Hall Of Shame: Bukola Saraki as Kwara’s NO.1 AKOTILETA”. In the editorial, e-kwara hinged its bitterness on the rumour that “some kwara elected representatives in the National Assembly” were opposed to the re-confirmation of Prof. Oba Abdulraheem as FCC’s boss. It was a rumour because even the editorial that was supposed to analyse how the opposition was mounted, failed to tell Kwarans HOW the opposition was mounted. E-kwara said, some representatives”, yet it singled out Senator Saraki for insults. Where is the balance reportage if it dedicated an editorial to a personality on an issue and his opinion on same issue could not be gotten? As far as I can recall, Prof. Oba Abdulraheem was re-confirmed at the Senate on a Thurday, 5th of December, 2013, and Senator Bukola Saraki was not in attendance at the plenary session. So I can’t fathom how the Senator opposed Prof Abdulraheem’s re-confirmation. While I can’t rule it out that the duo might have political disagreements, it was the duty of e-kwara to evaluate what transpired between the duo, not singling out a personality for insults. Infact, I learnt it was Senator Bukola Saraki that nominated Prof Abdulraheem to his late friend and former President, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2008 for the FCC job.
The third editorial was directed to discredit the Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed led administration. It was headlined, “A Responsible Government does not Share TOKUBO Vehicles in 21st Century!”. The editorial was e-kwara’s reaction to the distribution of 100 taxi cabs to commercial cab drivers by Kwara State government. E-kwara left the core to address the trivial, just to impress the paymaster. E-kwara’s confusion bothered on why a government should distribute Mazda 323 in this century. The answer was simple if e-kwara were to be a sincere and balance platform. The empowerment programme was aired live on couple of TV stations. An Alhaji Abdulrasaq Badmus who spoke on behalf of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), said the drivers decided on the choice of vehicle. This revelation didn’t matter to e-kwara, it did the usual. Mr Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed at the programme said, “these vehicles known in local parlance as
Obankio, were chosen by the beneficiaries in view of the affordable costs, the low cost of purchase and the need to extend this intervention to as many of their members as possible”. This is a simple reaction to e-kwara’s confusion, whether e-kwara likes it or not, expectedly – Mr governor’s widely publicised speech should have reflected in the editorial. The speech was ignored because e-kwara detest objectivity and balance reportage.
E-kwara, the Shameless E-Liar has nothing to lose. Its an enemy of the Kwara project. It lacks objectivity and balance reportage as proved by above assertions. I needed to protect the integrity and credibility of my name, that was why I sacrificed about 150minutes of my precious time to put the record straight. E-kwara, your worthless rejoinder achieved nothing – don’t write that kind of rejoinder again. If such rejoinder is directly to me again, I will bring e-kwara.com and its handlers down.