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What is Ayodele Samuel Looking For In Taraba State? Power Drunk Governor Ishaku's Aide Writes in Open Letter To Taraba Truth And Fact Newspaper

Re: Lamentations Of Taraba Civil Servants

My attention has been drawn to a report being circulated on the social media by Taraba Truth and Fact Newspaper that Taraba state governor, Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku has directed his supporters on social media to attack the newspaper over its story that the state government civil service has collapsed. 

Ordinarily, I would have neglected this piece of thrash like other fabricated stories that have become the hallmark of this infantile publication. But,my response has become inevitable because Taraba Truth and Fact appears to have gained traction in its chosen field of destructive journalism that is poised to cause unprecedented havoc among the peace loving people of our dear state.

It is indeed on record that this newspaper took advantage of the absence of any local publication in the state to gain acceptance among unsuspecting Tarabans,who had thought, wrongly though, that there comes a news source that would fill in the gap in local news reportage.

Tarabans,both in public and private spheres of live gave this publication undeserved welcome and patronage, believing it would provide a platform for them to ventilate their views. However,it was only a question of time that they would be proven wrong. This has been demonstrated time without number. 

However, I am constrained to reply to this outburst in order to keep the record straight and put the issue in its proper perspective.

That Taraba Truth and Fact has over the years proven itself to be an outlet that survives and thrives on falsehood, "gorilla journalism" and outright blackmail. This, it has perfected through false and malicious publications with a predetermined outcome, primarily designed to intimidate,coarse and forcefully attract patronage to oil its already stained reputation. 

This takes us to the crux of the matter: In the said story, the newspaper claimed that the governor, through my office, gave the directive for it to be attacked by social media supporters. That is completely false and out of context. 
Taraba Truth and Fact in the report titled "Lamentations Of Taraba Civil Servants" created the impression that the state civil service had collapsed with workers'  morale at its lowest ebb ever, in the absence of running costs. 

The report went ahead to quote unnamed sources without recourse to any competent authority either from the so called complaining workers or the government, to give credence to the report. This is absolutely unethical and an aberration in journalism. 
What happened to the principle of balanced reporting? The question to also ask is:Are all civil servants entitled to running cost? The simple answer is a capital NO. 
Running costs are meant for heads of MDAs and not just every civil servant. So also,is the issue of pension and gratuity. The problems associated with these twin issues predated this administration.

However,at the inception of the administration, an arrangement was agreed upon between government and labour and payments were streamlined on monthly basis. But, again the country found itself in recessions that unfortunately, put heavy spanners in the works. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic saw the global economy going on its knees,thus Nigeria was not an isolation. Therefore, the national economy was also shaken to its roots, while revenues to states took a nose dive.Taraba is not an exception either.

Now, my directive was explicit, straight to the point that "reply to all negative comments as much as possible". How does this amount to an order to attack? Simply mischievous. Or Does Taraba Truth and Fact expect us to keep quiet, while they go about town peddling fake stories?

From all indications, Taraba Truth and Fact is now being jittery because we have decided to take the game to its own door steps. It has now gone to the village square to appeal for some undeserving public sympathy by deliberately distorting a clearly unambiguous message aimed at checkmating its antics. 

By and large, what is Samuel Ayodele looking for in Taraba? It is saddening that l'm being forced to go personal. Ayo, as he is popularly called came to Taraba as a youth corp member. He was received in the state with  open arms, he enjoyed Taraba hospitality unhindered and got his footing from the generosity of the people of the state. But, how is he paying back to this people's benevolence? 

Through his brand of destructive journalism - by promoting all manners and shades of reportage that tend to divide and disunite. He has chosen the part of infamy by constantly putting the state on the edge of destruction. It is either he is pitching two opposing political groups against each other or he is inciting the people against the government. This is no longer journalism, but an outright invitation to anarchy. It has therefore become imperative for all right thinking Tarabans to resist this agent of destruction.On this, he will surely not succeed. 

Although comments can be said to be free, they must also be seen to be absolutely fair. While journalism gives practitioners ample room to beam searchlights on society,it equally behoves on them the same measure of responsibility to promote the stability of the state. For without peace and tranquility in the nation state, the fourth estate of the realm will not find operational space,talk less of thriving. 

The fact that Ayodele has found Taraba state and her people a fertile ground and market to practice his trade also bestowed on him the responsibility to tread with caution. At least, he should respect the sensibilities of the people by being factual and accurate in reporting events in the state. 

No one is threatening Taraba Truth and Fact, the least would be the state government or the governor. Ayodele and his instrument of blackmail are rather being hunted by their conscience, if at all there is any. 

The contents of my instruction, which the newspaper mischievously screenshot and edited to accompany the contentious story, are in complete variance as can be seen by any discerning mind. There are limits to gorilla journalism which Ayodele has chosen to practice, because the law is very clear on public incitement, sedition and treason as the case may be. 

A.S. Osborne Adi Jnr.
Special Advicer, New Media
 To the Executive Governor of Taraba state

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