Move On Nigeria, a political action group, has chided the Sunday Sun over what it termed rumours to discredit immediate past Petroleum Resources Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke. In a release signed by the group’s National Coordinator, Mr. Clem Aguiyi, the group called for a stop on the relentless attack on Ministers that served Nigeria under the Goodluck Jonathan administration. The group frowned at the use of unsubstantiated and unverified rumours as a headline on Sunday Sun of May 31, 2015 .
The story purports that Mrs. Alison- Madueke, had made several attempts to seek the face of the EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, in the bid to stave off charges of corruption against her. “Ordinarily, there would have been no need to respond to such a report. But we are worried that Sunday Sun, a newspaper owned by a patriot, brother and leader of Njiko Igbo, is now being used to fight proxy war against Igbo icons who served Nigeria to the best of their abilities. “Mrs. Alison-Madueke, at one of her recent outings, had said that as Petroleum Resources Minister, she had stepped on toes, in the bid to transform the industry.
“By that admission, we do expect that those whose toes she stepped on, would try to fight back using unsuspecting media houses to publish conjectures that aim only at tarnishing her image and hard earned reputation which had catapulted her to the apex of OPEC Presidency. “The story would have attracted no reaction from us had it been that Mrs. Alison-Madueke had been charged before a court of competent jurisdiction for any action taken while she operated the office of Petroleum Resources Minister, especially if such action were taken to enrich herself. “She has not been indicted by any court in Nigeria neither are we aware of any invitation to her to appear before the EFCC for any supposed crime. “The entire story as published ran on the course of “sources” till the sixth paragraph. The rest is a rehash of previous conjectures and innuendos that had circulated on social media for several weeks against the person of Mrs. Alison-Madueke.
“We recall that part of the conjectures included those which quoted “sources” saying her application for asylum in six countries had been rejected. “That ‘story’ was followed with one to the effect that some $700m had been found, by the SSS, under her bed, including the one that claimed former Head of State Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar escorted her to mend fences with her immediate boss. “We would like to state clearly, that the elections are over. President Goodluck Jonathan has successfully handed power over to President Muhammadu Buhari, who now leads Nigeria. “Those desperate to stampede President Buhari to circumvent the rule of law should better watch it because he who rides on the back of the tiger ends in the jaws and bellies of the tiger.
Nigeria belongs to all of us and no law abiding citizen should be victimized on account of political affiliations”, MoveOn Nigeria said. According to the group, “Sunday Sun and other media practitioners should re-embrace the tenets of journalism by observing the ethical demands on them to hear out the other side or refrain from publishing doubtful stories capable of damaging the reputation of serious minded professionals. “Recall the hoax last weekend where some media houses, relying on “sources” forced the President to clarify that he had not barred any official of the last administration from travelling abroad.
“The Sun risks its credibility with such sensational lies. But it is best for The Sun to understand that those who live in glass houses need not throw stones. These unwarranted attacks of calumny need to come to an end “We call on President Buhari to look at the PWC report and implement its recommendations including a general overhaul of NNPC. Fast tracking the PIB will help resolve the challenges of NNPC and the nation”, the group noted.