Re–Open Letter to Senator Emmanuel Bwacha by Oloye Ayodele Samuel, Publisher, Taraba Truth and Facts Newspaper

Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha

The tussle between Mr. Oloye and Sen. Bwacha have gotten a new twist and revelations after Amb. Rikwensi Muri (P.A Media and Strategy to Senator Bwacha) replied the Open Letter  to Sen. Bwacha by Mr. Oloye Ayodele Samuel Publisher Taraba Truth and Facts Newspaper.

The letter reads:

Dear Ayo,

Your open letter to distinguished Senator Emmanuel Bwacha dated on 18th of June 2022 has fortunately brought to public attention what we have been telling you privately and in our rejoinder to your newspaper publications. In your episode, you are sounding like a politician, who is out to protect his political interest, instead of the journalist that you claim to be. The content of the letter shows that you have been unfair to Senator Bwacha, you have been unfair to the established ethics of journalism in Nigeria, you have been unfair to the concept of “truth and facts”, you have been unfair to the members of the Taraba public who look up to your paper for correct information on the politics of Taraba State because of the name “Truth and Facts”.

Ayo, in your letter, we can see anger, slander and mischievous submissions that cannot be proven anywhere outside the narrative of gossip and fictional storytelling. While we have always held you accountable for what you published, your response didn’t address the issues in the public domain. Rather, as I have said, you were just narrating rumors, telling stories and gossip that cannot be substantiated anywhere. You forget that as a publisher of a newspaper, you should give attention to what members of the public say concerning your brand. Your response should defend your brand with factual analysis that will convince anyone who reads through.

What is the meaning of ” open letter to Senator Emmanuel Bwacha: why you should leave me alone and face your many demons”? Isn’t this title alone insulting to the sensibility of your readers and customers? Who told you it is all about you Ayodele Samuel and as such you should be left alone to do as you wish? As a businessman that deals with the socio-political life of the people, you should know that you can’t be left alone. You should be happy that readers respond to the information you publish. You are expected to be courteous, polite and responsible to your readers as a professional journalist. You should be ready to give account of anything published from your brand, you should know that you are also accountable to the Nigerian Press Council and laws guiding media practice and profession in Nigeria. Ayo, from the title of your letter, you showed that you are not ready to be held accountable. This is sad news for your brand that claims to be a publisher of truth and facts.

Ayo, you forget that you are a journalist and a businessman, that you are not a politician my brother. This reality and oath of neutrality as a member of the 4th estate of the state should guide you in your conduct when it comes to publishing political stories. The ethical thing to do is to give everyone fair-hearing without taking side so that your readers should be the judges. But in your letter, you claimed to have informed Senator Bwacha sometimes ago that you have nothing personal against his political career, yet at the same time you were quick to assert that you are “confidently sure Tarabans will not vote for a bully who will take them backward due to his self-pride and arrogance.” Ayo read this again, is that how journalists respond to rejoinders on their publications? What do you gain by this insult on the person of the distinguished Senator? As far as you are concerned, Taraba state is moving forward, but it is Senator Bwacha that wants to take it backward. What an audacity you got to talk to my principal that way!!!

Ayo can’t you see that you have crossed the red line of professional journalism? You can see that you have been very unfair to distinguished Senator Emmanuel Bwacha with this slanderous, insulting and malicious open letter. This is because the Senator has no time to be going about talking about you as you claimed in the letter. How can Senator Bwacha travel to Lagos to see General T.Y Danjuma and waste his time talking about Ayodele? Does such talk make sense to you? What is the Senator’s business with your radio station in Jalingo Ayo? Is he in competition with you in any way? Why did you fill your letter with unsubstantiated and slanderous arguments instead of giving your attention to addressing our concerns on the contents of your newspaper publications as enumerated in our rejoinder?

Ayo, come to think of it, are you INEC or court or the National headquarters of APC? Why will you publish that there was no APC gubernatorial primary election in Taraba State without making efforts to interview party members at ward level, INEC or the party structure in the state? That is inciting, you know, it is provocative and unprofessional for you to claim that there was a consensus meeting in Abuja where Senator Bwacha was asked to return to the senate and so many claims that are outright falsehood and misinformation, all published by you. Are you not worried about the implication of such style journalism?

Inspite of all these evidences on ground, you still have the guts to write trash against Senator Bwacha. This is unfair and very unprofessional Ayo. If you come out clearly as our critic or opponent in the political arena, we would appreciate it more than you hiding under the cover of a journalist, yet you disregard everything your profession stands for because of money. This is very unfair.

On many occasions I have reached out to you with our own side of the story to guide your publication but you insist that we must pay hugely before you include our views to balance your story. You go on to publish one side of the story because of money. We don’t pay you because we believe it is your responsibility to ensure truth, balance and factual contents. We can only pay when we give you advertisements. Your insistence on ‘money for news’ is the reason behind what you think is Senator Bwacha’s media team’s unpatriotic gesture to your brand. If you do it well, who are we not to patronize you? But you have allowed your love for money to blind you from delivering on a qualitative media platform that people can have confidence on. Now you’re blaming Senator Bwacha. It’s very unfortunate, young man.

Ayo, Don’t you know that by mere submission of your publications to Nigeria Press Council for review and filing of complaint against your brand for malicious publications against Senator Bwacha, your business will be banned in the state? Don’t be overzealous and end up becoming the enemy of your own progress. Just as you have put in a legal mechanism to protect your businesses in Taraba state, we also have the right to protect our reputation even if that will involve putting you out of business. Always remember that your right ends where other people’s rights begin. Listen to feedback from the public and avoid personalizing issues when in reality it’s your brand that is on public trial for accountability.

Senator Bwacha has never given you an exclusive audience outside the phone calls you had in the past of which you claimed to be an exclusive interview and published your conversations in your paper. The way you changed the narrative of your conversation gave the senator signal that your paper is not ripe for him to grant you an exclusive audience as you have requested. The Senator is very careful of media houses that are built around selling news to the highest bidder without commitment to the ethics of true journalism. He wants you to grow and become independent and committed to true journalism before he can treat you as you have been expecting. But your recent posture as expressed in your open letter has exposed your thoughts about the distinguished Senator. You have vindicated us for denying you an exclusive audience. You have also drawn the red line that you are not in Taraba State for developmental journalism but you are here just to make your money without being accountable to the public. And anyone who tries to hold you accountable becomes your enemy as you have now tagged Senator Bwacha. Very unfortunate indeed.

We will continue to watch you and your activities but we have a more important project at hand than the business of Ayodele Samuel in Taraba State. However, watch what you are sowing today, you may reap a bountiful harvest tomorrow. We advise you to give attention to sowing good contents with a public posture of fairness, truth and factual. This may not pay much, but it solidifies your business platform with public trust. If you do this, you have nothing to fear. You will be embraced as a partner of progress by whoever becomes a governor in Taraba State.

Senator Bwacha is a lover of peace and progress. He can never descend so low to fight a young man that is in Taraba to legitimately do his business and earn his money. He is also not vindictive as you have tried in vain to convince your readers in your letter. Our rejoinders as his media team to your publications is our fundamental human right to ensure you’re not using your platform against the senator maliciously of which your open letter has confirmed. This we will continue to do by holding you accountable to what you published. Desist from publishing trash and fictions as news. Live up to your brand’s name by insisting on truth and facts. This is our desire for you and all the media platforms in our society. Bwacha alheri ne. Better days ahead.

Amb. Rikwense Muri, mspsp

P.A Media and Strategy to Senator Bwacha

19th June 2022

Amb. Rikwensi Muri is the Personal Assistant Media and Strategy to Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha.

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