When a faceless, jaundiced writer who parades fake name such as Fejiro Oliver clashed with the Niger State Government a couple of months ago, many journalists, especially the upright publishers of the emerging vibrant online media, did not jump into conclusion on the myopic line that ‘Fejiro is their own’ and therefore they must join him in blind fight against his traducer. They treaded cautiously when a dark cloud loomed, bordering on a charge of blackmail and attempt to swindle of a whopping N50 million in order to shield his blackmail sword.
Like a leopard that can never change its colour, before the dust settled on the Niger State-Fejiro saga, the busy finger of this overzealous blackmailing journalist, whose real name is Tega Oghenedoro, and his real place of work is the Nigerian Television Authority, Asaba, Delta State, went again into what he knows how to do best: blackmail, telling obvious lies, mudslinging, combative journalism, showing of sadism and, above all, displaying arrant and shameless ignorance, all of which portrayed him as a street urchin that is not qualified to be called journalist. As is usual with him, he took up his pen and blackmailed responsible publishers, all of who have been editors in various national media establishments before they began to try their hands on the new emerging brand of journalism.
Fejiro disparaged this group of budding publishers in another online called ELOMBAH on November 3 by saying the Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has bought over all the online media, some soft sell magazines and journalists working in Delta State. He gave the details of what he understood to constitute “buy over”. He found it difficult to hide the FACT that publishers of the online media were just beneficiaries of advertisement placement by the governor, which has been on their sites running, except if Fejiro does not see it. This is another form of Fejiro playing out his arrant ignorance on the fact that the online and even media establishments all over the world are run on both social and business platforms and that the two platforms complement each other for the survival of the media and flourishing of modern journalism.
Of course, no one can deny the fact that Governor Uduaghan gave some media outfits advertisement, which has been running in them and that the efforts of the governor in the development of the state are being positively reflected in most of the online media. But the fact that cannot be denied and which the Fejiro of this world wickedly skipped or left out due to myopia is that the same media outfits have been giving the same coverage, positively, to many other state governors who did not place any such advert and who, of course, might not even be aware of the positive publicity. In other words, modern media practice, for those who updated their knowledge from the medieval period, teaches that you create conducive atmosphere under which the government and the people understand the development that has been going on, not precluding in some instances where constructive criticisms are needed to keep the government on its toe.
As a matter of fact, it is on record that the publishers of nearly 80 per cent of the online in Nigeria have made it both in the journalism profession and, to some extent, in terms of resources and have decided to engage in what has now been termed “developmental journalism” and not the archaic system of pull-them-down syndrome or to destroy whoever you imagine in your narrow perception to have underrated or underrating you.
This form of combative, shoot-down journalism, which has long been overtaken by events, presupposes a dangerous inferiority complex. It makes a person, like Fejiro, who is still clinging to it to look like a fish-out-of-water, archaic, stupid and irrelevant. If Fejiro is so lazy that he could not convince Governor Uduaghan to advertise in ELOMBA, he should not rub it on those who are into publishing and stand up to source for means of sustaining the platforms and to remain in business. In any case, so far the only source through which the online media are making money to remain in business is advert.
So, what Fejiro is saying is that if he is selling akara in Ojuelegba Market in Lagos State and someone comes over to buy some balls, he is being bribed? What manner of a man is Fejiro anyway?
With his attack on the publishers who are doing an honest job and earning legitimate, approved form of income to survive and who are working to bring a new vista into the journalism profession, the Niger State Government doesn’t need to talk too much for people who reason beyond ordinary to understand and confirm that Fejiro is a nuisance who happens to have the opportunity of creating “mushroom online platform to blackmail innocent Nigerians”. Such people include the innocent online publishers that are, like any other business people, doing business.