By Nathaniel C. Adoji
Reading Abraham Ogbodo’s musings on 30 December was one huge disservice to myself, given that I wasted quality time trying to make sense of what an editor of one of Nigeria’s respectable newspapers was trying to concoct.
If he has anything against Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, I think it is better he says it but for him to go about portraying himself like an intern instead of a seasoned journalist is sad, very sad for our profession. For him to have little or no knowledge about TraderMoni shows the kind of person and editor that he is but before I delve into his rant, let’s look at some of biggest misgivings in his piece titled, ‘Another sermon on Professor Yemi Osinbajo’ which was published on the 30th of December, 2018.
He claimed that power was so erratic in his home during the Vice Presidential debate that he missed some of the talking points but while he thought he was having a go at the power situation, he also forgot that he was presenting himself as an unorganized, ill-prepared journalist.
Put simply, Ogbodo would have fallen into the category of the five foolish virgins in the Parable of the Ten Virgins. The oil in his lamp went out while he was waiting for the debate, just like the oil in the lamp of the five foolish virgins went out. We know what happened to them at the end.
For someone who did not capture all the fine moments, one must wonder how a supposedly veteran journalist will agree that Peter Obi won the debate even after the PDP vice presidential candidate was fact checked for all the lies and falsehood he reeled out.
Alas, we know Ogbodo as a PDP journalist. He benefited seriously during the reign of PDP and was a member of then Petroleum Minister, Dr Edmund Dakoru’s delegation to OPEC conferences and other oil summits in Europe, USA, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. Certainly not because he was an oil and gas specialist but because corruption was then rife in Nigeria.
Yet, despite having travelled to these conferences, he is still incapable of understanding the economics of TraderMoni, that is shocking to say the least. A whole ‘Bros’ in journalism does not understand TraderMoni? Where do I start?
Probably from his grievance with Prof Osinbajo visiting markets across Nigeria. The visits by the Vice President is an on-site assessment of the implementation of TraderMoni and one thing we have learnt is that since the Vice President began interacting with beneficiaries, things have become clearer to both the petty traders and the government.
Some of the hiccups experienced have been smoothened out especially how enumerators have gone about their business but how will Ogbodo know these things when power is never available to him despite testimonies of improved power supply across the country.
Nigeria has added almost 4,000 megawatts since the All Progressives Congress began ruling in 2015, almost doubling our power generation and distribution, not to mention that the work in the power sector is continuing.
As a PDP journalist, he tried to drag religion into his poorly thought out and written piece, saying Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) people will come after him as if he is the anti-Christ. I’m sure this twilight journalist will say or do anything to get Nigeria back on the path of corruption again.
Comparing TraderMoni to Ayodele Fayose’s stomach infrastructure shows that Ogbodo needs a refresher course in understanding economics and indeed journalism.
TraderMoni is not FREE money at all, it’s a LOAN. Petty traders who access TraderMoni do so with a Bank Verification Number (BVN) which includes all their personal information. This shows that they can be tracked, and funds can be recovered but this flailing journalist wouldn’t know that.
Characteristic of Ogbodo, he jumps unto the 2023 Presidency issue that has generated so much unnecessary chatter. No one has a monopoly of ambition. That Ogbodo has no ambition and no plans to succeed beyond waiting for ‘Brown Envelope’ from politicians is no ones fault.
VP Osinbajo and indeed Chris Ngige, the Labour Minister all have a right to be ambitious. To say the Presidency will be zoned to one geo-political group does not mean it will happen. The people will always decide who they want to lead them.
I’m sure people like Ogbodo would have laughed to a stupor when Martin Luther King said he had a dream that a black man will be the president of America. People like him set out to achieve nothing, they only seek to criticize those who try, but not anymore.
Idle chatter from failing journalists like himself, is the reason there are very few role models in the media. They have turned a noble profession into a bribing-taking venture. Hopefully, The Guardian can see beyond Ogbodo and sack him before he turns one of the most respected newspapers in Africa into a dumping ground for personal hatred.