Press Statement: Another failed attempt to blackmail Ifeanyi Ubah

Ifeanyi Ubah

Ifeanyi Ubah

By Ilounoh Afam.

It is now becoming clear that some filthy columnists are using the current political climate in the country and the anti-corruption war embarked upon by the Federal Government to blackmail their or imaginary enemies in order to score cheap political gains. This invidious after dinner war of attrition is inadvertently being promoted by idle pimps and jobless sycophants, who see blackmail as their only means to retaining political and economic relevance.

For example, in the cover story of Monday, October 5, 2015, the Abuja based Nigerian Pilot newspaper published that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is hunting for Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, the Chairman of Capital Oil and Gas Limited as a fallout of the recent arrest of the immediate past Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Dieziani Alison-Madueke, for alleged financial crimes.

With headline, “Fallout of Dieziani’s Arrest: EFCC Hunts for Anyim, Ifeanyi Ubah and Others,” the story is a showcase of the height sensationalism and speculative journalism is being ostensibly sponsored by political enemies who are afraid of the looming political structure of Dr. Ubah.

The Ubah and TAN connection to the travail of Mrs. Alison-Madueke could be easily seen as the figment of the imagination of the author and his sponsors, and exposes their arcane, banality and fallowness.

If their intentions were not heinous, base and hilarious, why didn’t the author call any of Dr. Ubah’s aides to get his own side of the story in order to balance the report, a normal hallmark of responsible journalism? And it is clear that the noble profession of journalism fails society when it carries out its important watchdog role unprofessionally, as displayed by the Nigerian Pilot.

For the benefit of Nigerians who have developed admiration for the entrepreneurial savvy and wide-ranging socio-economic interventions of Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, the following clarifications will suffice:

1. There is no skeleton in the cupboard of Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah. The idea of a media house fabricating allegations against a law abiding citizen without facts and substance, just to sell its newspaper, will erode the confidence repose on the Fourth Estate of the realm.

2. We regretfully note that of late, it has become pastime for some media houses burdened by the challenges of survival in an environment experiencing change to use Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah’s name to shore up their flagging readership and financial base.

3. TAN is a Non-Governmental Organization that had a transparent outing which elevated political discourse and activities in Nigeria to another level. Dr. Ubah has had to make it loud and clear at different fora that no money from government was used in running TAN activities. But those who in one way or another are intimidated by the achievement of the public advocacy group have been trying to drag it into an unnecessary controversy. Dr. Ubah does not need to secure the order of a court to enforce his fundamental rights, unless it is under threat as provided in our constitution.

4. The recent puzzling attacks can only be from forces scared of Dr. Ubah’s towering achievements in business and other sectors, and a fear factor of his political relevance and sagacity to galvanise a national movement; hence, the crude fabrication to pull him down.

5. Finally, a basic pre-requisite is for the media to submit itself to a robust self-regulation in order to serve as a credible arbiter and veritable conscience of the society. The Nigerian journalism, which has been a force to be reckoned with, must robustly resist the temptation to diminish the society. It must always elevate it for the good of all Nigerians.

The allegation that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was used to siphon crude oil totalling N1.2 trillion through Capital Oil and Gas Limited account to fund President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign, is a spurious and fallacious ploy to rope Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah and TAN into a phantom issue in order to canvass for his prosecution. TAN is a duly registered Non-Governmental Organization with a strategic drive to raise the tempo of political awareness among Nigerians.

For the avoidance of doubt, Dr. Ubah who started TAN from cradle, is a man of means with sturdy bulwark who funded the organization from his personal money, from start to finish. TAN’s programmatic emblem was to galvanize political opinion in support of what it believed to be the laudable developmental strides of government. For anyone to now insinuate that TAN was an agency of the government is the height of deliberate falsehood and propaganda.

We are putting the records straight in order for Nigerians not to swallow hook, line and sinker stories written by questionable characters who parade themselves as investigative journalists but are actually pursuing political vendetta and professional blackmail.

––Ilounoh, Special Adviser on Media to Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, wrote from Abuja

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