Blackmail: Integrity verses moral bankruptcy

Issue Opinion

 

 By SHARIF AMINU AHLAN

It is no longer news that the journalist Jaafar Jaafar has triggered an issue that has become a topic of discussion in not just Kano state but across the nation and beyond.

It started with the allegation that he has in his possession a so-called valuable evidence that will nail the governor of the state, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje as a corrupt individual who collects bribe from contractors and other favour-seeking personalities by using his office as conduit where he normally siphons great fortunes at the expense of the state.

These are indeed, grievous allegations that call for concern and as expected this allegation has caused an unprecedented uproar that heated the polity.

Jaafar Jaafar is a publisher of an online media called Daily Nigeria. He is a man known for controversy and has mastered the act of spreading lies and programmed deception targeted at high profile personalities especially the ruling class. He shamelessly and recklessly informed the world that Governor Ganduje is a corrupted leader who has been enriching himself with several profile corrupt manipulated tendencies including collecting kickbacks from contractors who are alleged to be given him between 15 to 25 per cent kickback on over-inflated contracts.

He claimed that he has in his possession an indisputable and uncontested evidence to back his claim which can never be challenged or contested due its authenticity. Raise fear that his life and that of his family is in grave danger for his brave action and therefore found it risky to release them. He claimed that there were several overtures by government officials compelling him to trade the evidence for a huge financial inducement.

But his patriotism coupled with the desire to reveal the truth at all cost would not allow him to descend so low to grant their request. Therefore he is willing to sacrifice even his own life to safeguard his integrity and professional conduct. He claimed that his discovery was a result of a clandestine operation that span over 10 months through intensive professional investigative journalism.

The claim goes viral on online media and his interview with foreign radio stations where he made his claimed and voice his fear about the fear of in pending danger that may befall him and his family if he release the volatile video to the viewing public. But promised to release it the moment he found a safe place for himself and his family, then the video will hit airwaves once his safety nest is secured.

The opposition suddenly regained their voice over the allegation yet to be authenticated. The opposition and enemies of the government went all out in a war, believing in the said statement and even started calling the governor to resign over these baseless allegations. What a shame!

In the said video, the assumed image of the governor was shown collecting bundles of dollars from a hidden face where all that is visible is the hand of the giver. An assumed authentic video has two different dates on it which signified a recording period. The funny video is displaying the presumed governor collecting the bundles of the hard currency and slotting them into his pockets and envelope.

A sound was played in the background which muted the sound and voice in the video. As expected, people dwelled on it, and within a blink of an eye it has become the most downloaded and talks about video ever. A kind of box office hit no doubt that topped the chart. Many that watched it were divided in their opinion and interpretation whether the video is fake or real. Then comes the second video supposed to be an improved version of the second.

The two videos and recent third one exposed them to be nothing but fake and an amateur work that exposed the perpetrators of the deadly blackmail. It is quite easy for any discerning mind to dictate the abnormalities of the fake video. Several blunders were quite visible in the whole clip.

As a movie practitioner for over two decades, I have for long been familiar with all technicalities that have to do with camera and recording of any kind. Several defects were quite visible. Two different days appear that one is bearing February and the other bearing October. Also, the setting of the place keeps changing with items on the desk beside the governor keep changing in all their entirely. Not only that, even the colour of the dress keeps changing. Funny and ridiculous!

Now let us observe and critically examine the video from rational and moral angles. This is a state governor we are referring to as number one citizen of the largest and most populous state in the country and most politically enlightened for that matter. Assuming the governor decided to collect the kickback or whatever they call it, does he have to keep putting the money in his pockets? Who is he hiding from? With envelopes, drawers and many locations scattered, what does he need pockets for? What a hoax!

Then all the bubble burst in the second video. This one has an audio, and thank God for coming with it, for they struck themselves with sharp knife. Who on earth will just order the governor to stand up as if he is snapping him a picture simply because you are giving him a kickback or bribe?. Then who is favouring who in the whole stage-managed scenario? Is it the governor who is giving the contracts or the contractor paying the so-called kickback?

The giver is ordering the governor to stand up and even asking him to pocket the money. Haba! What do these people really take us for? Then the five million dollars which take 500 bundles of 100-dollar notes to complete. Serious! Is the governor going to pocket all these as if he has a vaults in his pockets? Or is he afraid someone may just enter and discover the transaction?

What do some semi-educated literate take us for? This is a governor’s office we are made to believe. What and who is he really afraid of to descend so low and behave that way. Video like that can easily be programmed by even learners in IT specialization not to talk of professionalism. By using animation programme or advanced ICG software, one can easily come up with better and much improved consorted video not even an amateur work of this nature.

Blackmail with fictitious allegations has become an order of the day in Nigerian politics since the advent of Second Republic and it has since taken precedence in Nigerian politics especially in our state which is globally acknowledged as a centre of Nigerian politics.

During the Second Republic, late Abubakar Rimi was darling of the electorate due to his sterling performances. The agent of doom descended on him to tarnish his image. Recall a poster a fictitious and image-tarnishing poster that spread overnight all over town then displaying the governor hugging a hooker and captioned: “I HAVE GOT MINE AND WHAT ABOUT U?. It became an issue in the city and some narrow-minded believed in it hook, line and sinker. But as a blessed state full of rationale, enlightened and educated people dismissed it as a farce.

Soon it was discovered to be a mere trash consorted by the enemies of the governor. Then during the tenure of Malam Ibrahim Shekarau he too had experienced a bitter pill from the enemies who wanted to bring him down due to his sterling performances. They descended on him by portraying him as an adulterer who impregnated his newly wedded wife prior to their wedding proper. He is a man regarded as pious with fear of God as his guiding principle; the blackmailers deliberately used that as the most appropriate weapon to attack such a personality. As usual, it didn’t hold water and slowly-slowly it fizzled out.

The plot is to use greedy and self-seeking journalist who has worked with the previous tyrannical Kwankwaso during his secpond tenure as state governor. A wounded lion who swore to uproot the governor from his sit because he refused to play ball to the detriment of the state populace… But their evil plot won’t work and very soon the chicken will come home to roost and their evil and devilish plot will finally be exposed.

Ahlan wrote in from Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education, Kano.

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