The Niger State government has stated that they kidnapped an activist journalist so as to unmask him and go after all pseudo journalists on the internet. Fejiro Oliver, is missing after travelling from his Asaba base to Abuja on the invitation of the Secretary to the Niger State Government, SSG, Saidu Ndako, on Friday.
In a badly scripted editorial published on one of their websites yesterday, the state spokesman said “This editorial only intends to introduce the “factor’ called Fejiro Oliver” adding that “The real face behind the mask will soon be revealed for all media practitioners to see, feel and discern.”
The State government said “When that is done, Nigeria would have managed to take off a couple of fake media practitioners off the street and those warming up to take up such disgraceful trade will be deterred”
The investigative online journalist, public affairs commentator and activist Mr Fejiro Oliver is an investigative reporter with online news medium, Elombah.com. Two weeks ago he told the management of Elombah.com that he has been hired by the emerging online news medium- Daily Voice NG as a Managing Editor, but will start work from October 1.
Speaking to elombah.com yesterday, Mr. Ejiro’s wife said she last spoke with her husband on Friday while he was in Abuja to honour an appointment at the instance of Mr. Ndako. She also stated that Ndako had wanted her husband to meet in Minna, but her husband insisted on meeting in Abuja,somewhere in Maitama District.
Another friend of Fejiro confirmed to elombah.com that Mr Fejiro was last heard of Saturday while he was in Abuja to honour an appointment at the instance of the Secretary to the Niger State Government, Alhaji Saidu Idris Ndako.
Fejiro’s friend who had been waiting to pick the missing journalist at Abuja told elombah.com that Mr Fejiro had carried-out extensive investigation into the activities of the Niger State Government under the Governor Babangida Aliyu dispensation. After his investigation, he formally sought the response of the Niger State Government by contacting the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Saidu Idris Ndako Kpaki and the Chief Press Secretary to the Niger State Governor, Mr Israel A. Ebije.
Instead of responding to the issues pertaining to the allege corrupt practices of governor Babangida Aliyu, the CPS, Mr Ebije in an electronic mail he sent to Fejiro Oliver threatened and warned him to desist from going public with the report (the outcome of his investigations).
In an editorial by Daily Voice NG few days ago, the security agencies and the general public were alerted of the threat to the life of Mr Fejiro Oliver by the Niger State Government through the Chief Press Secretary to the Niger State Governor.
Sequel to this state of affairs, the SSG of Niger State had scheduled an appointment with Mr Fejiro in Abuja. As at the last time contacts were made with him, he was in Abuja for the sole purpose of meeting with the SSG. Subsequently calls to all his known GSM lines last night proved abortive. His lines were either not reachable, switched off or busy. Up to this time, efforts to get in contact with Mr Oliver have not yielded fruitful results.
Contacted the Secretary to the Niger State Government confirmed to elombah.com that he had spoken to Mr Fejiro last week regarding his report on the Niger State Government that was carried another online medium. He accused Fejiro of trying to blackmail and embarrass the state government and expressed unhappiness at Fejiro’s approach to his profession.
He however denied knowing of Fejiro’s whereabouts but promised to enquire from the Chief Press Secretary as he himself was just “coming into town.
In an editorial sponsored by the Niger State government on Servant Media yesterday, and titled: “Editorial: Fejiro Oliver “stomach journalism’ the bane of online media practice”, the Niger State government accused Fejiro of practicing quack journalism and then stated inter alia:
“The case of Fejiro Oliver (pen name) peddling fountains of fallacies against the Niger state Governor Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu for pecuniary gains should serve as a clarion call on the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigerian Press Council and the revered Nigerian Guild of Editors to screen practitioners and also regulate online media organizations.
“For clarity sake, Fejiro Oliver, a self-acclaimed journalist/activist falls into the class of those earlier referred to as quack journalists trying hard to reduce the journalism profession to nothing.
“His activities and antecedents clearly portray him as a harbinger of falsehood, promoter of junk journalism, serial liar, cheap blackmailer and attention-seeker whose stock in trade is to frame up dirty stories about people with the sole aim of extorting money.
“He has limited understanding of what freedom of the press, freedom of Information Act is especially as he claims he has government documents to indict the Niger State Governor, in his “Chronicles of Corruption” epistle. He never bordered to take into cognizance the source of document, whether or not there was cash backing, whether or not the project was executed, whether or not the project was consistent with specification.
“Keen observers of the Nigerian media woke up recently to read barrage of poorly scripted articles and badly conjured PR stunts on the social media where elements believed to b sponsored by one Fejiro Oliver tied his dramatic disappearance to top ranking members of the Niger State Government, with the Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Idris Ndako and Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Israel Ayegba Ebije as his ‘abductors’
“This editorial only intends to introduce the “factor’ called Fejiro Oliver. The real face behind the mask will soon be revealed for all media practitioners to see, feel and discern. When that is done, Nigeria would have managed to take off a couple of fake media practitioners off the street and those warming up to take up such disgraceful trade will be deterred.
“He calls himself a journalist but in the real sense he is as a desperate mercantile writer or hireling commissioned to malign others mainly for pecuniary reasons. He does this unholy business just to pay his bills, not minding the pains his actions inflict on the practice and on Nigerians.
“Mr Oliver prides himself both as a journalist and rights activist. It is therefore instructive to say that Mr Oliver has no clear understanding of what he claims he is. Are journalists trained to become activist? A simple definition of the English Language defines a journalist as a professional who report events.
“Journalism and activism are two different activities. A journalist cannot and shouldn’t present himself as an activist. An activist pursues a narrow objective as against a journalist’s task of furthering the interest of everyone from a broad and objective perspective. An activist judges, as against a journalist’s unbiased, objective and non-aligned role.
“Mercantile journalists are no doubt in the minority. They remain shadowy and unknown. They live and operate quietly in their cocoons daily strategizing or targeting individuals to prey on. They fabricate stories, dress them in borrowed robes and parcel them to government offices just to attract attention. Pristine journalism practice places more than enough emphasis on openness and objectivity. The profession frowns at dishing out lies and falsehood for pecuniary reasons.
“As you read through these lines, Mr Fejiro Oliver and his platoon of media scavengers have concluded plans on how to make ‘fortunes’ from the Niger State Government through cheap blackmail. Having been sacked and humiliated from Secret Reporters where he worked as its Editor for serial unprofessional conducts, Mr Oliver has moved to one obscure, mushroom and relatively unknown online media platform, Daily Voice NG as its Managing Editor. His restriction to the social media is a clear proof of his inability to fit into the highly competitive and professionally driven mainstream media circle. I dare him to challenge this incontrovertible fact.
“He is bent on extracting money from the Niger state government either by hook or crook, hence his resolve to gather spurious materials as evidence for his evil machinations. As stated earlier, Journalists and indeed Nigerians will know who he truly is very soon.
“It is therefore important for stakeholders in the media practice to adopt stiffer ethical measures to stem the ugly trend of quackery in the noble profession of journalism.
“For too long the regulatory bodies in the practice of journalism have turned a blind eye an attitude largely responsible for every Dick, Tom and Harry who can manageably pen line of thoughts to be all over the cyber space dishing falsehood on the platter of ignominy.
“The earlier drastic actions are urgently taken to spot, name, discourage and exposé these elements who perennially parade themselves as trained journalists from doing further damage to this cherished profession, the better for the profession and its practitioners.”