If Farook Kperoogi Was A Trader, By Nathaniel C. Adoji

If Farook Kperoogi was a trader, his store would always have one police man and a customer inside, at every point in time. Why? He would have sold fake items, and the unsuspecting customers would have returned with the force of law to demand a refund and call for the shutdown of his store. Worse, if he was a pharmacist, he would have been responsible for the death of a great percentage of those who make the error of patronising him.

Farook Kperoogi is a trader indeed. But his stock in trade is not the sale of household items, pharmaceuticals or general goods. He is a merchant of fake news. Of lies and of stories that have no place in reality.

Farook Kperoogi is notorious for coming up with figments of his imagination and ascribing the status of fact to them, as if they were indeed so. He does not spare his unsuspecting readers in his most recent piece: A VOTE FOR APC ISN`T A VOTE FOR BUHARI.

In this ridiculous piece he points to the existence of cabals who he claims are stealing the common wealth of the nation. In his customary fashion, he shows no evidence, and provides no proofs. This has often made many question that he is a so-called lecturer. Shouldn’t a lecturer know better that you do not make assertions like this without at least any supporting evidence?

I have stumbled on some items of commentaries online on his lecturing by his students in Kennesaw University, and their reviews have helped me understand the absurdity that he is. They have most times noted that the Associate Professor is out of touch with reality and forces his wrong opinions on them.

In this ignorant piece that he attempts to sell, Farook makes an attack on the Vice President. A laughable one. He forgets that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has his credentials of integrity and unquestionable honesty intact. All times Professor Osinbajo has been accused of a wrong, all times it has turned out false. This cannot be said of Farook who at every time he has put his pen to paper and churned out half baked lies, he has been ridiculed and embarrassed with facts to the contrary.

He claims the Vice President is a mere figure-head. A man who teaches comprehension and communication and sees all the activities the Vice President is engaged in, yet calls him a mere figure-head is indeed a trader of fake news.

To start with, compare the Vice President with former Vice Presidents and the roles they played in office. Professor Osinbajo has stood out in terms of his active de facto participation in governance, in the economy and even in politics. It is no news that he is the only Vice President Nigeria has ever had who has acted as President, and exercised those powers as if he were the President with no shortcomings or setbacks – from the President or in the quality of the decisions he made.

As Vice President, Professor Yemi plays the constitutional and critical role of heading Nigeria’s economy. And he has done this fantastically well. He is credited for being the mind behind taking Nigeria out of recession by leading an economic management team that came up with the unconventional policies that has put Nigeria on steady growth.

He is actively leading Nigeria’s journey to diversifying the economy through the route of improving our non-oil sector growth and creating inclusiveness for the poor. The poor today are being given an opportunity to come out of poverty and take advantage of sustainable opportunities that would enable them create wealth.

Vice President Osinbajo is known to manage the Social Investment Programmes: Nigeria’s most ambitious, most credible, and most effective Social Investment attempt. It is recorded that over ten million Nigerians are in one way or the other benefitting from the programmes.

If Farook was an honest man, he would at least have put these in the front burner when he scribbled the insult of an article he penned. A compulsive liar and an evil one too. ??He also puts on the table some events that he claims to have taken place in the villa and says they indeed happened. He is obsessed with the existence of a cabal.

Asides the fact that these events exist only in the imaginations of Farook, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo does not just enjoy the respect, loyalty and honour of the friends of the President, his inner circle and his appointees, Osinbajo also enjoys the support, respect and regard of President Buhari – who has said this and shown this time without number.

The Buhari – Osinbajo relationship is blessed and orchestrated divinely – it is the most proactive, balanced and in fact the best synergy between a President and his Vice we have ever seen.

The likes of Kperoogi, the bitter rotten lemons, who are morose when good things happen may continue to sell their fake goods and fake products to unsuspecting victims. But like all fake items, they do not last, they cause a rumble in the tummy, and they are thrown away. Nigerians are wiser, they do not buy nonsense anymore.

Nathaniel C. Adoji

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The Guardian Newspaper And The Burden Of The Fourth Estate Of The Realm, By Nathaniel Adoji

The Guardian is without any doubt one of the leading newspaper in Nigeria but when such a brand is put in the hands of an incompetent and biased editor, then one must fear for the future of the tabloid. Abraham Ogbodo and his ilk Terhemba Daka are managing the newspaper like a propaganda medium, something that is typical of ‘Brown Envelope’ journalists.

A simple search on Google and you will see articles written by Ogbodo to tarnish the image, personality and career of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and that of the VP’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, but I believe his latest attempt will be his undoing.

A look at Mr Akande’s Resume and you will see that this is a heavyweight versus lightweight match up.

In their last attempt published on 12 April and titled ‘The fumblings of a presidential spokesman’ the duo rightly acknowledged that Mr Akande served as the North America Bureau chief of The Guardian newspaper, a job he carried out with pride, respect and honours to show for it.

While Mr Akande was pushing his weight in the US and carving a niche for himself, Ogbodo and Daka were chasing press statements, something they do till now.

Any journalist in Nigeria and abroad who looks at the career path of Mr Akande and his trajectory will know that his present position was earned through hard work, dedication and diligence. Not one that was earned through blackmail and cheap op-eds.

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have included Mr Akande’s achievements in this piece but as a young aspiring journalist aspiring to greater things, Mr Akande was one of the shining light in Nigerian journalism. For starters, Mr Akande is the only Nigerian journalist so far to have interviewed a sitting American president in the White House when he interviewed former President George W. Bush.

Hold your breath and wait for it. He has also exclusively interviewed American folk hero, General Colin Powell, billionaires like Microsoft founder Bill Gates and the real estate billionaire Donald Trump, now President of the United States.

If you say Mr Akande has a thing for Presidents and Presidency in Nigeria and abroad then you’re totally right, not to mention interviews with several African leaders and presidents.

Aside from working for TheNews Magazine, Tribune Newspaper and The Guardian in Nigeria, he worked withPhiladelphia Inquirer and New York Newsday in the United States. He also worked briefly with the United Nations as a Press Officer and later as an Advocacy and Communication Consultant between 2002-2004.

In the US where he was also an adjunct college professor, Akande founded “The Empowered Newswire”, a publication that has continuously reported about Nigerians and Nigerian issues especially in the US and Canada in the last 13 years.

Let’s not go any further into his staggering career as a journalist, editor and founder because his Resume almost never ends.

When he joined the Nigerian Tribune and became editor of the weekend paper in 1997, he became one of the youngest newspaper editors in Nigeria. That however brought him in direct confrontation with the military and he had to leave Nigeria about 14 months later alerted that he may have become a target after publishing a cover story with a screaming headline “WHO WANTS DIYA DEAD?” not knowing that on the day of the publication the Abacha junta will declare Diya a coup plotter.

Fast-forward to 2015, President, Muhammadu Buhari officially appointed him to be the Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity) to the vice president, Yemi.

What The Guardian Wrote

The Guardian editor, Abraham Ogbodo, displayed his lack of editorial judgment and bias in his piece titled,Understanding Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. He broke every journalism ethics and brought his political one-sidedness to bare. Here’s an excerpt from the piece. “But today, Osinbajo is sounding like Adams Oshiomhole, a union leader, who by the grace of God, became governor of Edo State for eight years. The revelations about big thefts in the economy had come more from Adams than even Ibrahim Magu, chairman of the EFCC. It was Adams who said former petroleum minister; Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke alone stole 13 billion British pounds from the national treasury. That is like saying she stole in raw cash almost twice as much as the entire fortune of Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man and whose worth in 2017 was put at a paltry $12.2 billion by Forbes Magazine. What exactly is driving Prof Osinbajo into talking like a not-so-educated union leader? This is most worrisome. As an acting President while Buhari was away on medical vacation, he was acclaimed to have done very well.”

This tells a lot about the professionalism of the editor and where is allegiance lies.

What Laolu Akande Replied

Mr Akande only explained what the VP said at the Quarterly Business Forum held on the 19th of March, 2018 to the press release-loving Guardian duo. “His basic premise was that grand corruption constitutes the preeminent problem of Nigeria’s economic development.
He said that, unlike any other country, it would be either ignorant or negligent of any economic planner in Nigeria not to fully appreciate the massive hemorrhaging that comes from corruption.

He went on to point out that despite the fact that the nation earned between $100 to $114 a barrel of oil between 2011 and 2014, investment in capital was abysmal.

He argued that the difference between the current government and the previous one is that the current government has tamed grand corruption and the impunity in the looting of public resources and is thus able to spend more on capital even when it is earning probably 50% less than the previous government.

He gave one example of 2014. Then, oil prices were consistently over $100 dollars a barrel. Actual capital releases to the Ministries of Works, Housing and Power was N99bn. Ministries of Transport and Agriculture got N15B and N14B respectively.

In total these 3 ministries got N139B. He compared that with capital releases to the same ministries in 2017, when oil price was between $50 to $60 a barrel: N415B for Power, Works & Housing, N80B for Transportation and N65B for Agriculture, totaling N560B.

Verdict

I’ll let the readers be the judge but if the management of The Guardian will allow their editor to run the newspaper like a one-man business then I fear for the future of the newspaper. If the mischievous duo think they will destroy The Guardian that was built by heavyweight journalists then they must be called to order. The readers expect balanced journalism which is what the Guardian stands for and I’m sure many will be surprised if these two remain as staff of The Guardian following this piece of mine especially when they don’t send an unreserved apology to Mr Akande.

Nathaniel C. Adoji is a public commentator and an aspiring journalist.

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A New Low Of Akin Osuntokun’s Waning Credibility, By Nathaniel Adoji

Referring to an article published in ThisDay “Jonathan wasn?t that bad afterall” credited to Akin Osuntokun where he quoted Junaid Mohammed: “We now have the least competent, the most isolated, most divisive and arrogant leader in the history of Nigeria. And in a country that is so complex and not so cohesive, this is clearly a disaster, which is where we are heading” – Junaid Mohammed

It is the height of incredibility to quote persons who haven?t earned the finesse and character for addressing issues of state and governance from an unbiased perspective. Mr Junaid Mohammed in an interview with the daily post was quoted thus:
“Imagine, they are blackmailing Buhari, I want to assure that they are not going to succeed. We stupidly handed power through Obasanjo Shenanigan to Goodluck Jonathan, he did very badly”– Junaid Mohammed, Daily Post.

Nothing is more divisive than opinions from high sounding individuals with fickle character.

Jonathan wasn’t that bad afterall is another way of saying we had a bad government at the time and a clear admission of ineptitude by the Jonathan?s administration. The most viable candidate capable of stopping a terribly defocused government which decorated and openly celebrated corruption by granting state pardon to persons convicted for grand theft in the UK was the Muhammadu Buhari led opposition. But for that movement, we would have been in economic abyss today worse than that of Venezuela.

To substantiate President Buhari?s character, while he headed the PTF as executive chairman, he had a mandate to initiate and execute developmental projects in conjuction with “Afri Project Consortium – APC” a management consulting outfit. He not only judiciously applied the funds but delivered on its mandate based on the advice of the professional consulting outfit.

The operations and books are open for public scrutiny. This is in sharp contrast to the SURE-P initiative whose operations were hurried and another avenue for stealing the nation blind. The chairman of SURE-P a respected diplomat, Dr Christopher Kolade resigned after 23months (January 3rd ,2012 – November 24th, 2013) over a 500billion fraud allegation because it contradicted his character and principles. On the contrary, Muhammadu Buhari?s PTF executed health projects, embarked on road construction and boosted education across the 6 geopolitical zones of the country to say the least.

Some even played up religious sentiments in order to discredit President Buhari, but the facts are bare. They promoted falsehood saying Buhari ascended the presidency with an agenda to Islamise Nigeria. If Buhari had the intention of being biased in favour of Islam or Sharia law which is practically impossible given our system of government he woudn?t have granted Mehdi Hassan of Al Jazeera an interview where he was stated: “I haven?t been voted by a majority of Nigerians to change Nigerian constitution [therefore] I can?t change it,” Buhari told Mehdi, explaining that some Sharia punishments such as stoning to death for adultery and extremities? cutting off for stealing contradict Nigerian laws and the constitution” Buhari (Al Jazeera, 2015)

“Nigerians have the right to worship any religion, but no religion advocates hunting the innocent. You cannot kill innocent people and shout “Allahu Akbar” … Boko Haram is anything but Islamic,” Buhari (Al Jazeera, 2015)

As a born Muslim, the only religion President Buhari has ever practised is Islam but given his world-view he is tolerant of all other religion as a number of his personal staff and aides are practising Christians from the south.

Reeling names of presidential appointees and aides to justify sectionalism by persons wishing to sow mischief is laughable. The cry of lopsided appointments by some persons and practitioners of repute without proper verification makes one question their professional qualifications. The list of appointments is in public domain, they are verifiable.

Calling out names may infringe on people?s privacy, but I dare say appointments are anything but sectional. President Muhammadu Buhari by virtue of his character and training is result-oriented, the best person to get him to his goals gets appointed. Fortunately, qualified southern Christians have been invited to share in his passion of navigating Nigeria through the paths of greatness not based on their religion or ethnic orientation but based on their professionalism.

Anyone wishing to set us aback by insinuating or urging appointments based on sectionalism is simply myopic. Southern Christians and Muslims alike did not vote for a president based on ethnicity or religion but based on ideology, character, competences and vision. Muhammadu Buhari reflected these ideals hence got the job as President.

To assume Buhari won elections based on hypocrisy and falsehood is an insult on our collective intelligence. From hinge sight President Buhari?s ascension to power was not based on divisiveness or hypocrisy but a collective agreement by Nigerians home and abroad to preserve our commonwealth from enemies of state, who sabotaged due processes, pilfered the treasury and piloted the ship of state towards disaster.

Our natural instinct for self-preservation against agents of retrogression was the singular unifying factor that propelled our demand for the Buhari Candidacy. On the contrary he ascended the presidency on a unified platform not on a divided fort.

In 2016, David Cameron shared a joke with Queen Elizabeth II in front of the press that “Nigeria was fantastically corrupt”, an impression that resonated globally. At the time, Nigeria and her parliament attacked Cameron for his utterances but President Buhari displayed a leadership quality not common to African leaders. He admitted the state of corruption in Nigeria not minding the shame and sort help even from the same countries that shamed us.

Recently, Transparency International released a “perception index of corruption” which grossly misrepresented Nigeria, but the global organization did not accuse Nigeria of corruption but the tool for assumption is “a perception index” which certainly is a deviation from the real index or indices on ground.

According to economic data available at the Central Bank of Nigeria -CBN, Nigeria earned N77.348 trillion from the oil and gas industry between 1999 and 2016. The economy was further consolidated by the cancellation of our debts by our creditors primarily the Paris club with the efforts of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo led government (1999-2007).

But the succeeding government between 2007 and 2015 which earned over N51trillion undermined these efforts and plunged us into another round of indebtedness to the tune of over N6trillion in a period of excess crude earnings, when oil sold for over $100/barrel.

Since May 2015, international oil price has averaged around $50/barrel leaving very little in earnings to run a government and deliver on campaign promises. However Federal workers salaries have never been delayed, states are getting bail out and infrastructural projects are ongoing. In a matter of time the full truth will speak to consciences of mischief.

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