By Ayodele Oluwafemi
A rabid critic of President Muhammadu Buhari and former aide to President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri has said that the embattled Publisher of SaharaReporters, Omoyele Sowore deployed his platform to propagate lies and falsehood against his former boss prior to the 2015 general elections.
Omokri, on Wednesday, claimed that Sowore used his SaharaReporters to bring down and change Nigerians orientation towards former president, Jonathan.
The former aide, in a statement, highlighted what he claimed to be false reports published in SaharaReporters, to denigrate the personality of Jonathan, stressing that the spurious publications aided the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as President.
The statement reads that:
“Here are some of the many lies Sahara Reporters used to deceive Joseph Sunday and other gullible Nigerians and manipulated their minds against then-President Jonathan.
“That Jonathan Looted ₦32b From Bayelsa State and is the ‘Richest President In Africa’ (Published on Feb 2, 2015).
“That Patience Jonathan caused the Dana Air crash because she was wasting time to land in her Presidential Jet (Published on June 4, 2012, and then deleted without apology).
“That Jonathan gave out gold plated iPhones to guests at his daughter’s wedding (Published on April 13, 2014).
“That Jonathan was too drunk to deliver his speech at the AU (Published on May 25, 2013).
“That $49 billion was missing from the Federal Government’s treasury (Published on various dates in February 2014).
“That Jonathan did not care about Chibok Girls and Rejected British Offer To Rescue Kidnapped Chibok Schoolgirls (Published on various dates and officially debunked by the British Government on Mar 8, 2017).
“That Jonathan led a 600 man delegation to the UN (Published on September 22, 2013).
“That Jonathan’s team threatened a blogger with death (Published on Apr 25, 2011).
“That Jonathan was persecuting Rotimi Amaechi (Published on Oct 26, 2014).
“That PDP was behind Boko Haram (published on multiple dates).
“That Jonathan was a habitual drunkard (Published on Nov 22, 2013).
“That Jonathan bribed pastors with ₦7 billion (Published on Feb 19, 2015).
“That Jonathan shared $1.1 billion between himself, Attorney General Bello Adoke, and several cronies and ministers (Published on May 27, 2012).
“That Jonathan and his cronies stole $20 billion in less than 3 years from just sales of crude oil alone (Published on July 12, 2014).
“That Jonathan is Worth $120 Million Dollars! (Published on Oct 14, 2014).
“That Jonathan is the sponsor of Niger Delta militants (Published on multiple dates).
“That Jonathan’s dishonesty shielded the Abacha family from prosecution after reaching a corrupt deal with them (Published on May 15, 2015).
“These are just a few of the many LIES which people like @sonyjojo_lee and others believed and still believe. I have listed each of these stories, with the dates they were published. You can Google them.
“They are all LIES. I am resident in America were Sahara Reporters is incorporated. I challenge them and Sowore to sue me for libel if I have lied against them.
“The problem with Nigerians is that they are too easily swayed by unverified propaganda. That is why they believed all these lies against Jonathan.
‘What Saharareporters and Sowore failed to tell you are the following:
“That under Jonathan, Nigeria was rated the 3rd fastest growing economy in the world, according to CNN Money and the World Bank
“That under Jonathan, in 2014, Nigeria made her best ever improvement on the annual Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, moving from 144 the previous year, to 136, an 8 point improvement.
“Whereas, according to Transparency International, Nigeria is more corrupt today than it was under the previous administration, having moved 12 places backward in the CPI, from 136 in 2014 to 148 in 2018.
“That under Jonathan, Nigeria was the top FDI destination in Africa, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). However, today, we are not even number one in West Africa (Ghana is).
“That under Jonathan, Nigeria was acknowledged by the International Food Policy Research Institute IFPRI, as having reduced hunger levels by 2013. Their annual Global Hunger Index showed that Nigeria’s index dropped from 16.3 in 2005 to 15 in 2013. Today, Nigeria is the world’s headquarters for extreme poverty!
“That Jonathan built 165 almajiri schools and 14 new federal universities, with 10 in the North. As a result, of the 1,543,683 who took the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) in 2013, 1,074,065 obtained five credits and above, representing a 70 percent pass rate.
“The significance of this will not be appreciated until you consider the fact that in the previous year, 2012, only 615,123 representing 39% of those who took the examinations obtained five credits and above.
“Meanwhile, today, Nigeria is the world headquarters for out of school children because not a single new university has been completed since 2015.
“That under Jonathan, the average life expectancy in Nigeria increased from 47 years in the first year of his Presidency to 54 years in 2015, representing the highest ever increment in the history of Nigeria, since records began being kept by the United Nations.
“I do not want to over labour the good things Jonathan did. I just put the few above to provide a contrast of what Sowore and Sahara Reporters REFUSED to publish.
“And to those who say I should forgive Sahara Reporters and Sowore, I make bold to say that they do not know the meaning of forgiveness. Forgiveness means that you refuse to avenge yourself and instead, give room to God to take vengeance for you.
“I have forgiven them. Nigerians are just too emotional. Forgiveness is not Amnesia. Scripture never said forgive and FORGET.
“If your wife commits adultery and in the process gets HIV, you can forgive. But if you forget, you will catch HIV. Nigeria forgot the HIV we got between 1983 and 1985. That is why we are suffering it again in 2019. Those who forget history repeat it. Don’t be EMOTIONAL.”