We have observed with utter dismay and disappointment, Sahara reporters’ penchant for standing the truth on its head in all its reports on Bayelsa State.
But for the realization that lies, when repeatedly, might to some people seem the truth, we had resolved to completely ignore Sahara reporters.
The decision to ignore this website was reinforced by the knowledge that nothing good can ever come out of Sahara reporters- at least as far as Bayelsa State- under Governor Seriake Dickson is concerned. Since the emergence of democracy, many impartial observers say without equivocation that the aggressive development strides embarked upon by the Governor Dickson administration are unparalleled in the annals of our history.
We want to note with utter dismay that Sahara reporters’ caustic attacks on Governor Dickson started right from the moment he indicated interest in the governorship race, suggesting that this online publishing website had its preferred candidate ambition.
While we conclude that there is nothing wrong with having preferences, Sahara reporters has, however, demonstrated time and again that it is too sore to come to terms with the fact that its candidate is no longer Governor of Bayelsa State.
To be sure criticism, or dissent, is a key ingredient of democracy; Governor Dickson has been state chairman of Alliance for Democracy (AD), a party in opposition. He has been a federal law maker and therefore perfectly understands that dissent is the engine that drives democracy.
May we place on record that Sahara reporter has veered from the pristine principles of fairness, objectivity, balanced reportage and upholding the truth. It is sad commentary that Sahara reporters now engage in guerilla journalism, undeserving of the noble pen profession. When you publish stories without proper investigation and given the parties fair hearing, then you practice the flipside of what robust journalism should be.
That said, must one, however, perpetually be locked in criticism for the sake of it? Of course not! That is the problem with Sahara reporters. From claiming to be a news site that helps to expose the ills of society, Sahara reporters has steadily turned into a tomahawk in the hands of a few powerful, but discredited politicians.
But for Sahara reporter’ fixation on the self-serving agenda of its paymasters, the organization would have long realized that in just about 18 months under Dickson, Bayelsa State witnessed total transformation.
For the records, in less than two years of the Dickson administration, Bayelsa has transformed from one rural state into a tourist haven. This became possible because Governor Dickson moved in Julius Berger Plc., arguably the most competent construction firm in Nigeria, into the state.
Dickson has ensured that the navy blue earthmoving machines of this construction giant are at work, day and night, in the nooks and crannies of Bayelsa State, churning out state-of –the-art roads and bridges.
Perhaps only Sahara reporters does not know that Dickson has almost completer over 400 model secondary schools built with modern boarding facilities across the senatorial districts of the state. This in addition to the 400 teachers’ quarters with other completion such as free school uniforms, shoes, bags, textbooks and other stationery supplied free to other pupils.
Of course, this news organization that is always quick to report each time Dickson as much as sneezes, curiously does not find anything newsworthy in reporting that education in now free and compulsory in Bayelsa State, with government equally paying exam fees and compulsory in JAMB, NECO and various certificate examinations free for students of Bayelsa origin. This is not to mention the over 500 scholarships to post graduate students from Bayelsa around the globe, from the same government. Indeed, the entire gamut of governance architecture has been positively restructures.
Or need mention be of Dickson’s interest in Medicare, which has resulted in the construction of a World Class Diagnostic Centre, which when completed will be the first of its kind by any government in the country and expected to provide top-rate diagnostic services that will aid the treatment of patients suffering from all manner of ailments?

Why isn’t Sahara reporters interested in reporting why Dickson is the only governor who gives a monthly breakdown of his state’s financial status to the whole world?
Isn’t it laughable that Sahara reporters would always seek to twist facts of events in Bayelsa State just to serve some interests?

Reports of this news site over the past 18 months on Bayelsa State have been typically consistent with the self-serving agenda of its paymasters. The fact that only reports in Sahara reporters have consistently maintained the same slant, casts a large shadow of doubt on its integrity.

Governor Dickson has never claimed to have the mathematical genius of Pythagoras, or of our own Professor Chike Obi, both of blessed memory. And given the number of on-going projects in the state, cannot be expected to know the cost of each project by heart.
For anyone howsoever to claim that Govenor Dickson didn’t know the cost of the agricultural project, is the height of mischief by Sahara reporters. We do not intend to join issues but it is obvious that Sahara reporters epitomizes BAD PRESS. This is SAD!

Wellington Okurakpo
Abuja, August 8, 2013



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