Posted by Emeka Ugwuonye | 12 January 2014 | 3,707 times
If you want to understand why I stepped out to defend truth and decency in the recent controversies involving Stella Oduah, you got to read the story “I stepped on powerful toes – Oduah” in yesterday’s Vanguard (www.vanguardngr.com) and the full interview that came out today.
I know how delicate propaganda operation works. I have known this all my life. I shall tell you this story and stop. I was a member of the students union in UNIBEN in 1988. We needed to force the university to postpone the exam date due in two days time because some of our members were not ready for the exam. So, we began to organise speeches and to post anti-university authority leaflets. The same day, the university made the mistake of inviting some student union members to a meeting scheduled by 8pm. That was a perfect weapon handed over to us. The next morning, we declared that the students who were invited had been kidnapped by the university authority. That made sense because they were invited to a meeting at night. That led to a protest and the university had to shut down, just as we planned. I was a young man at that time. But I learned the lesson from the events of that era.
I know when there is a propaganda and when there is something serious. The modern instrument for leaflets and campaign of propaganda, as we did in the ’80s, is the like of Sahara Reporters (SR) and Premium Times (PT). These are not journalists at all. They are there to be hired by anyone who wants to spread rumours and disaffection and propaganda. And, interestingly, they all had their background in Nigerian student unionism. I can smell their modus operandi one mile away. They are all hypocrites.
When in October of last year, SR was deployed against Oduah, I smelt a rat. I knew it was a bogus rat operation. Two bulletproof vehicles were purchased. There were three key players in that transaction: (a) the Minister that approved it, (b) the dealership that imported and priced the value of the vehicles and (c) the bank that financed the transaction. You cannot discuss the truncation honestly without looking at the three players. When SR zeroed in on only the Minister, I recognised the game. I might have chuckled and let it all play out. But, having been a victim of such game by SR lately, I knew I had to expose their shenanigan.
Also, when SR came up with the MBA resume allegations, I understood the game. It was the continuation of the game plan to destroy the Minister. Again, within minutes of the publication of SR story, I posted my rebuttal and called it what it was – a bloody lie and mountain of make-beliefs. Within 24 hours SR and PT were forced to admit they lied on the MBA from Virginia College claims. That was brilliant. I took a glass of beer for catching those bastards in their little games. Of course, PT continued in a desperation to suggest the Minister’s resume was false anyway.
But there is a bigger game plan. Some powerful interests in the Nigerian aviation industry decided to pull this revolutionary Minister of Aviation down. They had insiders working with them. Some of the insiders are in the Ministry of Aviation and working closely to the Minister. It was this group that sent selected documents on the vehicles to SR to nail the Minister.
They planned it in three stages. First stage was to drum up a huge scandal in the transactions for the bulletproof vehicles. If that failed to work, there was the second stage which was the manufactured resume scandal. And the third stage to really force the President to fire the Minister was to start a story that the President is having an affair with the Minister. They didn’t get to that stage before we moved to expose them.
With all I knew about these people and their game, I had to come forward to frustrate their plan. Otherwise, I don’t know this Minister. I have no plan to meet her. I just wanted the truth to come out.
•Emeka Ugwuonye, Esquire, lawyer and activist, writes from Maryland, USA. Photo shows Aviation Minister Stella Oduah.
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