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Sam Nda-Isaiah And His Open Partisan Subjectivity Towards Petroleum Minister

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Having carefully considered the open personal war which Sam Nda-Isaiah, the publisher of Leadership Newspaper, has declared against the Honorable Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, we are worried that the dedication of his entire newspaper to this agenda is replete with massive diabolical intent and energy capable of destructive results no matter how strong or how weak the target of his crusade of personal vendetta is.

2.      In the last three months alone, the Leadership has featured seven different objectively bankrupt articles from Sam against the Honorable Minister. What is worrying, to be clear, is not even the unbelievable frequency of the articles, but the bile, thoughtlessness and unabashed hatred dripping from every line of these articles. From the title of the articles to their content, the whole intent reeks of indecorous bias and rage. Sam is clearly determined to take Mrs. Alison-Madueke to the cleaners; and that, not for laundry but for flushing down the toilet. What a shame! Clearly, all respect that one once had for Sam as a Newspaper publisher is undeserved. These articles visibly portray Sam as a disgruntled diminutive pharmacist turned journalist but remains unschooled in proper journalistic ethics and codes.

3.      Little wonder, the Leadership, these days, is littered with countless impassioned stories written to satisfy the blood-lust of the publisher against Mrs. Alison-Madueke. Sometimes, it really seems that the journalists writing the stories are competing on how best to infest their volumes with satanic venom for the pleasure of Mr. Publisher. Who can blame these gentlemen of the press? Your employer is your profit and you nemesis as the occasion demands.

4.      Afflicted by his highly-weaponized anti-Diezani vitriol and propelled by his brazen partisan interest, Sam went on the overdrive on Monday, 17th February 2014 in the article dubbed: Between Diezani’s Directives and Presidential Directives. From the title of the write-up to the content, bias and prejudice was not only manifest but appeared to be the thematic pre-occupation of the writer. The writer appropriated to himself the job of spokesman to the Governor of the Central Bank and the interpreter-in-chief of the Nigerian Constitution. While accusing the Minister of flagrant refusal to implement a presidential directive in 2009, the author forgot the fact that as at the time the Presidential directive was issued, precisely on June 10, 2009, the Minister of Petroleum Resources then was the highly respected Dr. Rilwanu Lukman and it was him and not Mrs. Alison-Madueke who in his wisdom stayed action on the directive. Secondly, a careful perusal of the provisions of Section 6 sub-section (1) of the Petroleum Act of 1969 states Inter-alia: Price control: The Minister may by order published in the Federal Gazette fix the prices at which petroleum products or any particular class or classes thereof may be sold in Nigeria or in any particular part or parts thereof.

5.      A legal appraisal of the above paragraph would indicate that for the 2009 Presidential directive to come into effect, it must be published in a Federal Gazette, and because Dr. Lukman in his own wisdom failed to follow through the process, the said directive cannot be activated.  Simply put, the power to increase or fix the price of petroleum product under the Petroleum Act of 1969 is vested on the Minister of Petroleum Resources who can only execute such power via the publication of an official gazette; and since Dr. Lukman did not do that, the said directive was null and void.

6.      The author’s attempts to wrongly conjugate a simple and innocuous statement made by the Honorable Minister albeit unsuccessfully, smacks of a desperate attempt to pigeon-hole public perception. It equally seeks to lower the Minister’s public gradient in the estimation of right thinking members of the society. Before now, Sam Nda- Isaiah had hidden under the cover of journalistic license to unleash a torrent of attacks on the present administration with special focus on the Petroleum Minister, but with his recent open declaration of partisan affiliation to the opposition group, Sam Nda-Isaiah has lost all claim to neutrality, professionalism and objectivity attached to the noble profession of journalism. Sam Nda-Isaiah has entered the public market place and has shown himself in a mindless display of partisan subjectivity.

7.      Quite unfortunately for Mr. Publisher, the Nigeria public is not as gullible and undiscerning as he obviously thinks. We can only respectfully call on the Nigerian Guild of Editors, the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria and the World Editors Forum to promptly call Mr. Nda-Isaiah to order in view of the negative opprobrious feedback of his anti-Government and anti-Diezani activities are bringing to the noble profession.

Timothy Ademola
National Coordinato
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