General Buratai: Of Sahara Reporters’ Deal With The ‘Evil Spirit’

By: James Bwala

With the headline “Gen. Buratai: The Sahara Reporters And Yellow Journalism,” I concluded an article a few days ago. I put that Sahara Reporters is not a sufficient weapon for anyone to smear the reputation General Buratai’ built for himself through committed service to Nigeria.

Perhaps I should continue here having lay my hands on more information, which explained the position taken by Sahara Reporters having been possessed by the man they referred to as the ‘Evil Spirit’, who is currently facing a court martial for his deed contrary to the conduct of an officer in the military. Major General Umar Mohammed was the subject of a 2017 article by Sahara Reporters titled “CSNAC Asks EFCC To Investigate Army General Over Alleged Multi-Billion Naira Fraud.”

The EFCC is currently handling the matter. The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), a coalition of more than 150 anti-corruption groups, filed a petition that was the basis for a report that THIS DAY Newspapers published on November 12, 2016, which The Sahara Reporters has referenced. Maybe they forgot, but allow me to refresh their memory. The article further stated that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, ordered a thorough examination of the claims while the EFCC investigation was underway and reaffirmed the army’s commitment to prosecuting the accused soldier. It was shocking “how he (Major General Umar Mohammed) survived for several years despite several petitions from high ranking Nigerians, State governments, serving and retired officials in the Army until the arrival of General Buratai as the Army Chief and Ibrahim Magu as EFCC Boss,” according to a report from a petition by the CSNAC coalition’s national chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju. According to that story from 2017, “the Nigerian Army and EFCC are currently investigating a serving senior officer and Managing Director of Nigerian Army Properties Limited (NAPL), Brig-Gen. Umaru Mohammed, over allegations of fraud totaling billions of Naira.” I’ve had the privilege of speaking with a lot of individuals about the Sahara Reporters’ ongoing assault on General Buratai, and many of their opinions supported what I’ve been thinking is the cause of such audacious attacks. One of these is the directive given by the former Army Chief to look into the actions of Major General Umar Mohammed, who is presently the subject of a court martial. It appears that Sahara Reporters may have either had a grudge to settle with the former Army Chief, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, or that they are working on behalf of someone who may have inspired them to act against him. With the ongoing court martial where retired Major General Umar Mohammed is being questioned for alleged fraud totaling billions of naira while he served as Chairman of the Army Holdings, the activities of Sahara Reporters are becoming more and more obvious with such attacks against General Buratai in the media.

According to Sahara Reporters, his ( General Umar Mohammed) problems began when he petitioned the EFCC to look into several NAHCO Aviance management staff members who objected to his self-serving takeover attempt of the business. However, in a move to unearth the truth, the anti-graft organization started to investigate his past, which led to the discovery of some claimed damaging criminal dealings and improper behavior. Perhaps he had lost the godfatherism that always protects him or to say well that his cup is full this time as the Army Chief launched a thorough inquiry and promised to clean up the circle of corruption. Those who worked closely with Major General Umar Mohammed referred to him as the “Evil Spirit” because of his penchant for frightening people with his position, according to sources in that article. Shroud in his transactions, he will stop at nothing to destroy anybody who stands in his way.

Therefore, the recent columnist campaign by Sahara Reporters against the former Army Chief is quite in sense for deep lookers. The Sahara Reporters have long been regarded as a source of information. We can thank the media revolution for exposing the type of information some media outlets are feeding Nigerians who are easily duped.

The Sahara Reporters thrive on the false news trend, which has been exposed thanks in large part to facts checking. One of their trademarks is misinformation, which many Nigerians are already familiar with, especially in light of the online newspaper’s use of the ‘yellow journalism’ approach to reporting on events around the nation.

I have no doubt that the Sahara Reporters in the case of General Buratai may have been controlled by this “Evil Spirit” who is being prosecuted for his crimes. The same Sahara Reporters were the ones who revealed that General Tukur Yusuf Buratai had directed a thorough probe of Major General Umar Mohammed’s actions.

How certain are they that they have not struck a deal with this “Evil Spirit,” as General Umar Mohammed is being referred to, since the same Sahara Reporters are attempting to damage Buratai’s reputation over the impending court martial against General Umar Mohammed?

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