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Is Dogara A Coward? “He Left PDP For The Same Reason Akpabio Did”

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Is Dogara A Coward? “He Left PDP For The Same Reason Akpabio Did”

By Ikenna Ellis Ezenekwe [Chem Engr, NYC]

Who does Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara thinks he is fooling?

His decision to exit the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] for the All Progressive Congress [APC] could not have come at a more convenient time. A time when the current Speaker of the House of Representative Rt. Hon. Olufemi Hakeem Gbajabiamila mandated the Federal Minister of Niger Delta Affair to put his mouth where his money is – and produce the names of the supposed federal lawmakers who were recipients of the Niger Delta Development Commission [NDDC] contract bonanza and related fraud.

Just when the Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio responded that the recipients were not the members of the current House of Representatives but the members of the previous House of Representative under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Yabuku Dogara – Dogara woke up and discovered the corrupt nature of PDP in Bauchi State – and the pristineness of the APC. He suddenly came to realization he no longer wants a part of it.

Who does he expect to believe the tale he just discovered after more than one year the Government of Bauchi State is corrupt? After partaking in the unholy communion? Who is fooling who? And, who is gullible enough to believe the fairy tale?

The Cambridge dictionary defines a hypocrite as “someone who says they have particular moral beliefs but behaves in way that shows these are not sincere”. And, defines a coward as “a person who is not brave and is too eager to avoid danger, difficulty, or pain”.

If only the Nigerian public knew the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] was hot on his trail and had pulled his files, it would be clearer to understand the predicament Dogara finds himself.

The EFCC had begun investigating his activities while at the Green Chamber – and had concluded on its findings. To arrest the former Speaker was the next move. Dogara was faced with arrest and prosecution – in the same manner Senator Godswill Akpabio was faced with arrest prior to his shameful exit. Like Akpabio, Dogara flipped the switch and crossed over for the political cleaners where his sins will be forever forgiven – and amnesty granted, at the APC.

In Akpabio’s case, he was rewarded for his crossover, and for the synthetically manufactured battle he waged against the Governor of Akwa Ibom – the PDP Governor who took over the Governor’s seat after his exit. He was awarded a ministerial position in return.

In the case of Dogara, the play cards are the same. Off the bat, following his crossover, he launched his version of a synthetically manufactured battle against the PDP Governor of Bauchi State – detailing what he termed as corruption with the Bala Mohammed administration. An administration that has won accolades beyond the boundaries of Bauchi Stare as worthy of emulation. One that has revamped the educational infrastructure within the span of 12months by adding over 350 classroom blocks across the wards that makeup the State. Has achieved the erection of world standard molecular laboratory for the testing of Covid19 that presently serves four neighboring States at over 300 samples daily. Road construction networks in proportions never witnessed in the history of the State – including water treatment plants to accommodate the increase in population due to migration of IDPs.

The question then becomes what is really Dogara’s agenda? It cannot be Bala Mohammed or his administration.

Apart from freeing himself from the grips of the EFCC. He maybe positioning for the Vice President position against the 2023 presidential elections or a Ministerial position.

As a coward battling out of the fear of possible prosecution, it is evident he has sold his rights and integrity to the drowning APC. A vomit he excreted. With which face will he face his former colleagues whom he lampooned when he defected from the APC to the PDP?

After labelling the APC, the party of corruption, he has returned to the party of corruption. Now, he sees the PDP as the party of corruption. Who is he fooling? And to imagine he was the number four citizen of the country for 4years defines the trouble with governance in Nigeria.

“What happened to the N4.6 billion loan taken from a bank and paid directly into a private company’s account?” – was one of the questions Dogara wanted answered. He claimed it led to his decision to exit the party.

Dogara, himself, knows firsthand the truth behind the non-existent loan. But he is earger to play dirty. He wants to play ostrich. Dogara knows the Bauchi Government never secured any N4.6billion loan.

The supposed N4.6billion concerns a legitimate contract awarded to a contractor for the purchase of vehicles for the government. The Bauchi State government, as most clever state governments do, issued the contractor an Irrevocable Standing Purchase Order [ISPO] – which in layman’s term means the Bauchi State government reached an agreement for the contractor to be paid in monthly installments through automatic deductions from the government’s bank account. Armed with the ISPO, the contractor approached a financial institution and presented the ISPO as a collateral to secure a loan. The contractor was awarded the loan – and the vehicles were delivered.

Dogara puzzlingly called simple transaction a loan in an open letter released to the public.

And to know that Dogara was among the recipients of the vehicles is disheartening and exposes his hypocrisy. He collected a Toyota Land Cruiser. Yes, he even wrote a thank you letter to the State government acknowledging the receipt of the vehicle.

Dogara’s defection back to the APC may not be his last defection. It should be understood Dogara left the PDP for his personal gains and not for the benefit of good governance. The fear of EFCC prosecution and/or persecution propelled his exit [cowardice] – but to author a letter depicting the government of Bauchi as corrupt is weak and unnecessary.

Ikenna Ellis Ezenekwe is a Chemical/Environmental Engineer resides in New York

Opinion

CNN And The Soul Of Nigeria – By David Onmeje

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The recent video released by the Cable News Network (CNN) got me thinking about what we are up against in Nigeria. As I patiently listened to the narrative in the video and the accompanying pictures I was speechless for two reasons; one is the fact that the videos used by the CNN were not any different from what has been in circulation in Nigeria for over a month. Secondly, the CNN relied upon the testimonies of a segment that were part of the protest that had failed integrity test on numerous occasions with regards to what transpired at the Lekki Tollgate and the number of casualties that were recorded.

It was just a charade intended to serve a purpose that is not in the interest of Nigeria as a country and the Nigerian Army as an institution. The plot was exposed the moment the CNN went as far as identifying where the Nigerian Military sources its arms and ammunitions. That was indeed a red flag for me and an indication that some vested interests do not have the interest of the country at heart.

The CNN angle to the EndSARS protest is the beginning of an international dimension to the disintegration plot against Nigeria, which is anchored on spreading fake news. If this is not the case, I wonder what else to call it when a news medium such as the CNN would throw caution into the wind in its reportage of issues.

I am consequently constrained to ask this question: who is the CNN running errands for? Could it be crisis merchants that benefit from crises? Could it be some terrorist network? Could it also be some international arms dealers? All of these questions are begging for answers in my mind because of the desperation to undermine the Nigerian Military through the propagation of fake news.

We must admit that this is indeed the era of fake news, and we all know how fake news has destroyed countries and institutions across the globe. And the recent focus on the Nigerian Military indeed portends grave danger, and this threat must not be treated with kids gloves by the Nigerian authorities.

There is also a danger on our democratic institution which by and large has been protected by the Nigerian Military. I believe that these agents of destabilisation must have at the back of their minds that if the Nigerian Military can be demeaned, our democracy would be vulnerable, which is their ultimate agenda.

I won’t say I am disappointed in the CNN video because I indeed saw it coming when the various social media space became awash with fairy tales on a supposed massacre committed by the Nigerian Army at the Lekki Tollgate during the EndSARS protests.

That the numbers of deaths recorded kept increasing and decreasing at intervals is indicative of how everything centres on fake news. I stand to be corrected if indeed there was a massacre at the Lekki Tollgate, why then hasn’t there been a static figure on the number of deaths recorded and the families of the victims still in absolute silence? I am really amused and as well afraid of what would befall Nigeria if the proponents of fake news indeed have their way. I am also scared that the consequences would not be pleasant for us as a people and as a country.

The CNN angle might be the beginning of what to expect, given the revelations coming out of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution. Especially, with the various accounts of stakeholders tilting towards the fact that indeed the bulk of the news that made the rounds with regards to what transpired at the Lekki Tollgate cannot be substantiated with facts.

The testimony of the Nigerian Army at the panel didn’t also go down well with some vested interest hence the renewed onslaught against it. I am consequently forced to believe that the emphasis of the CNN with regards to the use of live bullets by soldiers during the protest is meant to counter the testimony of the Nigerian Army which indeed explicitly differentiated between live bullets and blank bullets.

This indeed ruffled some feathers. Understandably, a tough fight would be put up given the enormous resources that were devoted to the EndSARS campaign that ultimately failed in achieving its objective of causing a conflict of phenomenal proportion.

I also want to believe that the crime the Nigerian Army committed was intervening to save our democracy which was the overarching objective as it became unfathomable why the protest continued despite the government meeting the five demands of the protesters. From demanding for an end to police brutality and introducing reforms in the Nigerian Police Force to Buhari must go and other despicable demands.

I dare say the EndSARS protests upon hijack were a coup against democracy in Nigeria, and we must be thankful to the Nigerian Army for its intervention that indeed saved the day. Most Nigerians might not know this fact because it was well-conceived and funded that even the protesters themselves didn’t realise they were being used to stage a coup that would have effected a change of government through the back door. This was how precarious the situation was, and I am glad that we didn’t get to that stage because Nigeria would have been destroyed beyond redemption.

As I mentioned earlier, I do not know whom the CNN is running errands for. However, I am convinced that CNN is on an errand mission by spinning falsehood to discredit the Nigerian Military and the federal government. If this wasn’t the case, we should have been availed with exclusive videos and testimonies and not recycling of videos already in circulation, but this time around with foreign accent in its interpretation. This probably is intended to lend credence to the campaign of calumny against the Nigerian Military.

Interesting times indeed lie ahead, and Nigerians must at this point choose between standing in defence of the country or allow fake news merchants destroy all that we have and represent as a people and as a country. CNN should do better next time.

Onmeje is a public affairs analyst and wrote from the United Kingdom.

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Opinion

Who Is CNN Running Dirty Errands In Nigeria For ? – By Thomas Uzah

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The Cable Network News (CNN) is still existing in the past in today’s globalized satellite and digital Television world. Some 20 years back, CNN monopolized the awful digital news dissemination and it was the cynosure of every eye anywhere in the world, its signals perched.

An unfazed and comfortable, CNN fed the world with fake news, recycling same news items hourly up to 24 hours or beyond, but still flagging its screens, suspiciously as “CNN Live” broadcast of the news. Its gingered eagerness in listeners and viewers, who profusely eulogized the medium of reeling out news events on-the-spot.

Then, the world was at its dawn of digital broadcasting technology and CNN capitalized on it to spread its corporate falsehood to the world excited with odd news. But the world has transcended such insularity in digital broadcasting and the media generally.

There are too many competitors in the digital broadcasting industry today. I can conveniently guess; CNN now pleads to catch up the pace in the digital broadcasting industry and reportage globally.

In America, its place of domiciliary, I am told President Donald Trump hates CNN with a passion, including their reporters or correspondents covering the White House. Most times, Mr. President goes naught in near fisticuffs with its reporters for their mastery of churning out fake news.

President Trump is fatally a blunt person who does not conceal his feelings on anything he opposes. It doesn’t mean, I cherish the personage in Trump. He has his foibles as a leader. But at least, lets concede his brutal frankness on CNN as commercialized vendors of global fake news. They are like Nigeria’s Glo, one of the telecoms which has an attractive product advertising slogan, “Pay As You Go!” It’s fantastic, but that’s okay!

CNN’s dubious reportage and barefaced abuse of professional ethics in the past has caused tragic outcomes to the world. It has also diminished public believability in its news contents. Whilst there is a plethora of examples, let me dwell on the invasion of Iraq by American and allied forces in 2003, which CNN provided resourcefully concocted news on fictious existence of weapons of mass destruction that almost pushed the world into an unexpected third World War.

A report on CNN’s website dated September 4, 2002, showcased a lethal deceit of the then American President George W. Bush that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein secretly stockpiled chemical and biological weapons, he plans to use in the event the U.S unleashes a surprise military attack on the country.

Quoting various sources, the CNN campaigned that “Iraq has tons of chemical weapons.” The presumptive report triggered U.S pre-emptive military strike on Iraq in March 2003 with allied forces. The intent was to destroy the concealed weapons of Mass Destruction by Iraqi’s Saddam Hussein to terminate his brutal and dictatorial leadership.

Nicely sad, after America’s destruction of Iraq and ruination of the obnoxious regime of Saddam Hussein, CNN’s claims turned out to be a ruse, much after the deed had been regretfully committed. It was the height of media treachery and abuse of professional public obligation as exhibited by CNN

The America’s Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) would later publish an official report which read in part; “The Bush administration concedes its pre-war arguments about extensive stockpiles of chemical, biological, and even nuclear weaponry in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq appear to have been mistaken. In January 2004, David Kay, the former top U.S. weapons inspector, tells Congress: ‘We were almost wrong.”

History has a way of repeating itself. The CNN has officially shifted the battleground to Nigeria’s Lekki Toll Gate incident. In my estimation, the foreign cable network has replaced a weakened Amnesty International’s (AI) on promotion of odious lies and fabricated stories on Nigeria.

Therefore, on November 17, 2020, the CNN screamed that “…Soldiers killed youths in Lekki…, ” in reference to the #EndSARS alleged shooting of defenceless protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate by soldiers of the Nigerian Army. Had CNN any trace of reputation or credibility, one would have been tempted to endorse what they have branded as “investigative report.”

CNN correspondents were nowhere near the scene of the incident at Lekki on October 20, 2020. Fortunately, BBC’s Lagos correspondent Damilola Banjo and her editor witnessed the encounter of the #EndSARS protester with soldiers at the Lekki Toll Gate live. And a previous verdict delivered by the BBC reporters have plainly contradicted and obliterated whatever lies, CNN, the obviously contracted news merchants have repackaged and peddled to the world.

BBC’s Lagos correspondent, Banjo, who covered the protests at that point, narrated the contentious aspect of the encounter between the protesters and soldiers in these words; “The sight of the Army got the protesters angry and agitated…I was there with my editor and we saw the Army open fire; of course, not on the protesters, but in the air.”

So, the rejigged CNN’s report on the Lekki Toll Gate shootings is weakened by its own facts. It is infused with a heavy dosage of local partisan contents, from same narrators who previously screamed, but could not advance any modicum of evidence. CNN claimed soldiers massacred people at Lekki, but the report, only identified one Victor Sunday Ibanga, 24, Wisdom Okon, 18, and probably, a third very vague person, in spite of the enormous energy invested in it, with a deluge of correspondents.

At different points in CNN’s narrations, it is difficult to ascertain whether the allegations of shooting and killings at Lekki were done by soldiers or the police. And despite the evident violence, killings, destructions and reports of rape of women by the protesters, CNN’s imaginations betrayed its evil motive;

“There were peaceful marches, candlelight vigils, multi-faith prayer sessions and DJ performances that attracted backing and solidarity from celebrities, the Nigerian diaspora and supporters around the world. The movement quickly widened beyond police brutality to other grievances — capturing the frustrations of a young population demanding an end to bad governance in the oil-rich country.”

And I sensed the desperation of CNN and their paymasters to implicate the Army at all cost. The cable network, claimed an eyewitness, named Sarah, whose second name they withheld, informed CNN that “They pointed their guns at us and they started shooting…They were shooting in the air, they were shooting at us, they were shooting everywhere.” Who else did the random shootings kill? Which account of the narrations is now authentic and believable?

CNN also propagated that “In several of the videos, reviewed and verified by CNN, some of the protesters can be seen carrying bodies… It is not known whether these were dead or injured protesters.” So, the dead bodied conveyed by the protesters too cannot be located in any mortuary or the protesters dumped them in the Lagoon?

Is that what CNN wants the whole world to believe? I am wondering what motivations could push a foreign news medium to deliberately contradict itself in such barbaric manner. CNN has reduced itself into an odious errand boy for whose interest in Nigeria?

Nigerians should patiently wait for truth on this too! CNN has sold its integrity and conscience decades back. It is now incontrovertible that the true motive of this medium is to trigger the kind of war its false report generated in Iraq and has continued to inflict pains on Iraqis till date. I am convinced, it is about western influence on Nigeria through foreign agents of destabilization. It is CNN’s revival of its historic missteps in Iraq, which is re-dramatized in Nigeria’s Lekki Toll Gate shootings.

Nigerians must be wise! CNN is suspiciously running destructive errands with the intention of assisting those who intends to destroy Nigeria by spinning falsehood to discredit the Military and the Federal Government. The plot is to cause large scale crises to destabilize the country. By my reckoning, CNN’s likely clients to benefit from the planned mess of Nigeria would probably be, the arms sellers, crisis-entrepreneurs and terrorists sponsors. But we shall defeat them.

Uzah PhD is head of mass communication department, Kwararafa University Wukari.

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Opinion

Re: How A Bloody Night Of Bullets Quashed A Young Protest Movement – By Richard Murphy

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Cable Network News, CNN’s caption for a five minutes flick it produced on the Tuesday October 20, 2020 incident at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, Nigeria read like the title of a fiction and that is exactly what it is. The title is thus more amenable to being forgiven than the actual content of the video, which is a mishmash of footages that is intended to play on the emotion and milk a reaction of condemnation from unsuspecting audiences.

Lekki Toll Gate became symbolic for the still contentious incident in which people protesting against police brutality under the #EndSARS brand were thrown into panic as a result of gunshots, which resulted in pandemonium. Lagos State Government set up a judicial panel of inquiry that is still hard at work trying to unravel what transpired in Lekki. It could be that the CNN video is an attempt to sway the findings of this panel, but it did a bad job of it.
To appreciate the deviousness of this international broadcaster one needs to get some background information that gives an idea of the extent to which it can be trusted. CNN’s only claim to relevance is that the President of its home country, Donald Trump, regularly throws shade at it. The logic by which the TV obtains relevance is thus that “if Donald Trump hates it then it should be liked even when it is grossly unprofessional”.

CNN is that station that created the stereotype of Africa as the continent of horror, persistently depicting the continent as a place of squalor, malnutrition, dictatorships and everything negative. The only exceptions, of course, are the few countries that are able to bribe CNN by way of tourism advertisement that keeps such patronizing countries in the network’s good books for as long as their subscription to that service subsists. Once the payment lapses then CNN begins to see the “ugly side” of that nation. The exception of course is when the war machine or war entrepreneurs have decided that it is time to sell weapons and arms in a particular country – CNN always go for the highest bidder and the war machine pays big. So, it is well known that CNN has unilaterally, with a little support from its aping associates, plunge entire regions into crisis.

We are talking here about an international network that has fallen on hard times and it knows it. In the days when its identity as a warmonger was little known, it had misled its viewers with the hype of breaking news. It was revered as a credible source. But now? The only thing that is broken is CNN itself. It is broken to the extent that it can run three minutes of content consisting mainly of panning over one still picture with other transition effects while its automatons called anchors drone on while relaying information that they barely comprehend not to talk of being able to substantiate.

The active content on its services consists mostly of interest addled talking heads whose only role in life is to defend the interests of blocs that thrive only by making life bitter and unbearable for the 99% of the earth’s population. These are the “experts” CNN bring to its horror show to reel in the already gullible people who are yet to realize that they are being fed a diet of propaganda on steroid.
It is to CNN’s credit however that it somehow realized to the detriment of its audience that by adding a generous dose of curated social media posts to its offering, it is able to create that misleading sense of making its media space democratic. What it does in reality is to create a spiral of silence whereby those aligned with its curated posts – the ones that tallies with the CNN agenda – are emboldened to make more of such vile posts while those who hold contrary views are forced to retreat into silence.

This is precisely what this Criminal Nuisance Network did with the Lekki Toll Gate incident. It created a collage of barely cohesive elements, including embellishment with graphics, to tell a story that is a lie. It miraculously found footages of soldiers leaving their base in Bonny Camp, did a Hollywood cut to their convoy arriving at Lekki Toll Gate, used those graphics to show the soldiers were firing into the air and suddenly realized it preferred them to be shooting into the crowd, and the story goes on.

It is interesting to note how CNN likes to insult African countries. It showed close up of corpses, something it will not try in the western countries where it has operations. The close up of the corpses was not meant to only shock, it is also meant to mislead. By using close-up shots, the picture loses context, what is there to prove that the casualty was in Lekki? The interviews and angry utterances were professionally transitioned to deliver the special effect that the television network wanted. That is good for blockbusters but hardly the stuff that any decent organization should include in its broadcast. CNN gets away with it.

DJ Switch, hardly the right subject to give soundbite in a serious news item had plenty talk time on the CNN flick. This raises question of how much editorial due diligence went into that work. The right checks would have revealed that DJ Switch was representative of the LGBTQ pressure, which implies CNN was deliberately out to question Nigeria’s Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act through the backdoor.

It should have also been obvious that she doubled as an operative of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a group that has been outlawed as a terrorist organization, one whose leader, Nnmadi Kanu actively coordinated the looting, arson and murder of policemen in the days after the Lekki incident. Again, that is another group to which CNN is beholden simply to rile Nigeria.

It is willing to lie to achieve this purpose and lying is not alien to CNN. History recorded how in September of 2002 it discovered Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein had a cached of Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD). Nations went to war, killed Saddam, ruined Iraq and destabilized the entire Middle East and North Africa only to discover there was never one gram of truth in the claim about CNN’s celebrated WMD. It got away because no one was watching, no one tracked back to demand why they were lied to.

That leaves CNN in the business of telling lies and passing them off as special reports. So, in October 2020, it found Lekki massacre, which it is still searching for corpses to prove. This is against Nigeria and Nigerians must exact something to remind CNN that it cannot trample here.

If CNN does not desire peace in Nigeria, as it has demonstrated, then it should not earn revenue from this country. Citizens can begin sending this message by notifying the businesses that run adverts on CNN of their intent to boycott the offending products and services. Banks, Telecom companies and other Nigerian businesses that patronize CNN should be made to take the brunt of this affront so that they can stop funding an entity that is resolute on plunging our nation into crisis.

Murphy is a security expert and columnist writing from Calabar, Nigeria.

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