By Kate Musa
Let me quickly start by hailing the medium called Premium Times for all it has achieved but, like with everything, some level of diminishing returns has set in. So their reporting tends to flip-flop and their reporters struggle with the core values of the profession: truth, objectivity and consistency. Take this ranging drama of the NBC and attempts to remove its DG, Mallam Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, for instance. Premium Times has clearly shown that it lacked objectivity and that it is already pitched with a side in the imbroglio. One is forced to even think Premium Times is on the retainership of the forces fighting the NBC’s DG. And here is why:
Take, for instance, their report on the matter today. Premium Times that once sounded as if Pinnacle communications didn’t do a good job of the DSO’s, worked back its earlier position today to speak of “fraudulent payments”! The language has been modified abit from their earlier reading of the story. This could either mean they didn’t grasp the entire story at the start or there has been an editorial shift in position on the matter.
But if Premium Times, that has constituted itself into the mouthpiece of the DG’s traducers, wants to be fair, they should asked themselves the following questions
- What exactly is fraudulent about the payments made to Pinnacle communications by the NBC as authorised by the minister of Information, Lai Mohammed? Is that the minister do not have powers to make such payments?
- Is it that Pinnacle did not carry out the job they set out to do?
- Was it wrong for them to be paid monies they justified from funds approved and meant for the projects?
- What exactly is the crime of Pinnacle communications?
- Has Premium Times visited the sites of the projects that were commisioned by the Vice President, His Excellency Prof Yemi Osinbajo and His Excellency, Mr Nasiru El Rufai, Governor of Kaduna state respectively? Can the two national leaders commission a fraud? I have visited the projects and can testify it is one of the best of the Buhari’s administration. In fact, Pinnacle communications deserve a national award.
- In what manner was the minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, misled into payments as the story in Premium Times suggested?
- Has Premium Times bothered to look at the various dimension of this issues: the political, the personal and the pre-planned angles? A simple exercise of investigative Journalism will come in handy.
- How come Premium Times didn’t know Mr. Emeka Mba is standing trial for diversion of funds?
- Why is Premium Times quoting a sum of N10b when the total sum is N35b? Emeka is on trial because of the remaining N25b that he hasn’t accounted for.
- Why did one of the most powerful person in the current government happily grace the birthday bash of Premium Times founder recently? Is it because a certain Lagos based godfather, allegedly, wants to add the NBC to his coterie of national acquisitions?