Reports of Prophet T.B. Joshua offering journalist covering the Synagogue collapse 50,000 naira each had gone viral over the weekend.
The journalist, Nicholas Ibekwe who leaked the audio proof has come under harsh criticisms by some, while others have praised him for his integrity.
Many have been wondering why Nicholas kept quiet for day before he finally decided to come out with the audio proof. Well he just revealed why he decided to come out with the proof.
Read his reasons below:
1. The Nigerian media was being too gentle on TB Joshua
According to Nicholas, despite glaring irregularities surrounding the Synagogue collapse, the media was more focused on the ‘strange plane’ theory, how Boko Haram could’ve sabotaged the building and other reports Joshua the world to believe.
He said: “We didn’t come hard on the Synagogue Church goons who attacked first responders. We didn’t highlight the fact that many of those that perished could have been saved if NEMA officials weren’t barred from the site for almost three days! We didn’t make an issue of the fact that our colleagues who had gone to report the collapsed building were molested on Saturday.”
2. Gov Fashola Dodging Reporters
Gov Fashola had gone to condole with T.B. Joshua after the Synagogue collapse. After his private meeting with the prophet on September 14, he was said to have dodged reporters through a back door.
3. President Jonathan Consoles T.B. Joshua
Nicholas anger was fueled further when he woke up Saturday morning saw the picture of Jonathan shaking hands with a grinning TB Joshua with headlines in the dailies such as, “Jonathan consoles TB Joshua.” Jonathan who was in Lagos for a Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) rally had gone to see things for himself at the Synagogue Church of all Nations.
4. Nigerian journalists no longer know where to draw the line
According to Nicholas, like everything in Nigeria, the “brown envelope” thing has been stretched beyond the limit of ridiculousness.
He said: “Nigerian journalists habitually ask for gratification at press conferences and corporate events that it has unfortunately become a norm.
“Journalists shouldn’t be seen or heard telling the prime suspect they would write “just like you said” after he offered to buy their consciences with N50,000.”
He explained that he has been getting calls from some of his colleagues who collected the N50,000 after the audio went viral to complain and some have accused him of breach of trust but he said for him the decision was between covering the ethical shortcomings of his colleagues or doing that which is right to make sure those who died and their families get justice. “The decision was easy,” he said.
He therefore advised his colleagues to explore more legitimate means of making money like researching, writing and editing reports for NGOs, writing and editing of brochures and reports, working as fixers to foreign journalists, blogging and others.
He also called on the Nigerian Union of Journalist to look into the salary of Nigerian journalists who are perhaps among the worst paid in the world.
He added: “TB Joshua is perhaps the most powerful preacher in Africa and politicians all over the continent fawn at him. But as watchdogs, journalists must hold entrenched powers to account. If Nigerian politicians didn’t realise that more than 90 lives had just perished underneath a building without requisite permit and that those responsible should be held accountable, then the responsibility falls on journalists to force them to do the right thing.”
He also urged corporate organisations and individuals to stop offering these bribes in the name of ‘brown envelope.’
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