Controversial House Video: PREMIUM TIMES replies Okonjo-Iweala

Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

“Our attention has been drawn to a statement by the Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, through her spokesperson, Paul Nwabuikwu, accusing us of uploading a ‘doctored video’ of what transpired during her appearance before the House of Representatives Committee on Finance.

“In the statement, the minister used an earlier published two-minute video by Channels Television as a yardstick of what the ideal reporting should be concerning that controversial session, describing the Channels publication as “the authentic video account of the encounter.”

“We find it unfortunate that Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala would seek to create an impression that her session with the lawmakers lasted about two minutes only.

“It is even shocking that the minister and her aides do not understand that two media organizations will not necessarily see the same issue or event the same way?

“In any case, why is one reporting of the session okay by the minister because it suits her agenda and the other is doctored because it doesn’t?

“For the avoidance of doubt, we stand 100 per cent by our published video.

“We challenge Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala to mention any scene, any at all, in our video that did not happen or was doctored.

“Our video was not to question or dismiss what Channels Television published. In fact, we agree completely that Channels reserve the right to determine how to report an event based on the best judgment of its reporters and editors. We had also referenced the Channels clip in our earlier stories of the incident.

“Unlike Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala, however, we believe the footage published by the station was definitely just a part of what transpired at the session.

“It was in order to ensure that Nigerians get a fuller picture of what transpired that PREMIUM TIMES sourced the full video.

“Our aim was not to repeat what Channels had published (all what Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala accused us of omitting were contained in the Channel’s clip), but to show that a lot more happened than was shown in the Channels video.

“Perhaps Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala would love to explain to Nigerians why she preferred limiting all her encounter with the lawmakers on that day to just a two-minute video, when ours, over four-minute long, is clearly more comprehensive, showing what transpired before the episode shown by Channels.

“Just like Channels Television and other responsible media houses, we are at liberty, using our best editorial judgment, to ensure that true and complete information on actions of public officials are brought to our readers.

“We therefore assure all our readers and viewers that we would continue to abide by basic journalism principles and continue to reveal that which public officials want to keep hidden.”

The two videos are presented below for you to watch and make independent judgements.

Video by Premium Times

Video by Channels TV

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  • Thank you Premium times!

  • Tunde

    APC Premium Times. You will all fail.

    • Usen Akpan

      This is a Muslim Brotherhood propagandist, t

      • Shaibu

        You are as dumb and clueless as you look in your profile photo. Get you self educated about the facts…

        • Usen Akpan

          you are just back from Egypt

  • Lwal

    The official mouthpiece of APC is Premium Times. You guys will not succeed in bringing down this great woman. The intention of Premium Times Video is to portray the finance minister as the aggressor and all the scene from Channels TV where the committee chair display rascality were edited out. We know the intention of Premium Times. The truth is out!

    • Nafi’u Muhammad Gidangona

      Channel TV official mouth piece of saint PDP?

  • fat

    I have seen the two videos and I can’t stop being amazed by the ill-intentioned publications of Premium Times. Yes, the Channels video is short but it’s not edited. Premium Times on the other hand removed aggressive and provocative remarks by the lawmakers. Premium Times has failed now and forever!

    • Usen Akpan

      Don’t mind the idiots

      • Amos

        Perhaps you will help Nigerians if you engage the issue. can you please rather abuse? Or should Nigerians assume that abuse is the way to run a country and the economy?

        • Usen Akpan

          When you guys make something sinister, all you do is drag Nigerians into it.
          What Nigerians need is Federal Legislators cutting down their salaries not these holier than thou lopsided commities with no sight

          • Amos

            Usen, I have appealed to basic intelligence in my posts. Please challenge this. I said by Mrs Iweala making a shorter video clip more comprehensive than a longer video clip, she has joined the legions of questionable modu operandi in President Jonathan administration where (i) 16 governors are made to be begger than 19 governors in the Nigerian Governors’ Forum election and (ii) where 5 law makers claim they can impeach the speaker of a 27 member house in Rivers state. I said this is ridiculing NIgeria as if we did not go to school. You and Mrs Iweala are turning Nigeria to a lughing stock in the comity of nations by just failing to pay attention to common sense. That is what I said. can you respond to that please?

          • Usen Akpan

            Sorry I ve been busy would ve responded to your open letter before now.
            19 Governors or 16, doesn’t make Nigerians look stupid. It was only insane for someone to overturned the modus operendi of what constitute Governors forum. Hastily made a constitution that will allow him second term. Just to be presented as a tool to fight presidency.
            It was the turn of the north, so other aggrived members did not accept him being their leader any longer. so they split the forum into two.
            As for the turmoil in the political atmosphere of Rivers state, the court is in the right position to redress it because it is recognised in the constitution

        • mbukar

          @ Amos. It is better to abuse when necessary than to promote lies. You need to apologise to those provoked by your insensible comment. Hausa people said if the writer is idiot the readers are not.

    • Amos

      Why did Channels TV make the video clip shorter? Why did Mrs Iweala and her handlers want us to believe that something shorter is more comprehensive? Can you answer on behalf of Mrs Iweala?

  • Kunle

    If you have followed Premium Times for any considerable length of time, you will not find it difficult to see that the medium is simply acting out a politically motivated script.

    • Abayomi

      Yes…the defence of democracy script…what is wrong with that? Would you prefer any nobler script?

  • Henry

    This Premium Times doctored video is just one of the several attempts to discredit
    our hardworking Finance Minister; and like others before it, it has
    failed woefully! The arguments in this piece do not hold water!

    • Usen Akpan

      premium time is Muslim Brotherhood party reporters, aka APC. No one should take them serious

      • Nafi’u Muhammad Gidangona

        Then channel TV is Christian reporter than every body should listen to them. Or think every Nigerian as fool as you are? The question is there any part of the video posted by premium times that do not represent wat happened in the encounter. If she answered that question that is all. Or if she is not satisfied with it she can drag them to court.
        Which religion is PDP representing?

    • Amos

      Nigeria has turned to a joke intellectually. This is a country where ministers do not have the certificates they claim to have, the story about it is published and meanings are read into basic deception and fraud. On this other issue of Mrs Iweala’s video clip, I think the handlers of Mrs Iweala should stop disgracing the country-at least intellectually. Why? Let us forget about editorial judgments of each media house which they have a right to and which can also be criticized by the public, and focus on what it means by “to doctor” and what it means by the “length” of the video clips. The meaning of “to doctor” and “length” of the video ought to be more independent things than opinions being canvassed by Mrs Iweala and Premiumtimes.
      So What do you do when you “doctor”? What is the outcome of “to doctor”? When you have two video clips-one is longer (Premiumtimes Video clip) and the other is shorter (Channels TV Video clip which is approved by Mrs Iweala)? What does that mean? When a video clip lasts for a particular length of time and suddenly the same video clip becomes SHORTER, what does that mean? What has happened? Readers should forget both Mrs Iweala and Premiumtimes and focus on these and reach their judgments based on these two things I am referring to. Then of course you can go to the content.
      Finally, Mrs Iweala and her handlers betrayed themselves by leaving the subject of economics and economy for which she and her handlers were employed to deal with to pass judgment on an area she/they which either they show that they know nothing about- or they know but are insisting that their reading of it is correct-that area is news. As Nigerians, they have a right to that, but they need to let us know the criteria they are using, and not just “eh someone said it… and it is correct..” That is unfortunate. Yes, Mrs Iweala has a right to pass such judgment, however, I think it makes more sense to specify the criteria. Without doing that she is only speaking her mind which she has a right to but which we are not bound by as readers. If length is a criterion with which to assess what is comprehensive, my question is : why will Mrs Iweala think that a shorter video clip is more comprehensive that a longer video clip? What is the basis of Mrs Iweala saying that a shorter video clip is more comprehensive than a longer video clip? I am just perplexed about this country and the people who claim they are ruling us. I think Mrs. Iweala will better serve Nigerians by doing the job she is employed to do-manage the economy and plug heavy financial leakages going on right before her face in the economy. I am surprised that a honorable minister will look at two video clips of the same event, one is longer and the other is shorter, and she will conclude that a shorter video clip is more comprehensive. I think we all are supposed to have had some kind of schooling , so how can a shorter video clip be more comprehensive than a longer video clip for God’s sake? Mrs. Iweala’s sanctioning of a shorter video clip published by Channels TV betrayed a lot going on in this administration, in terms of quality of judgment of officials of this administration, their understanding of freedom, democracy and governance and their relationship with the media and NIgerian people. To be honest, I used to think that Mrs Iweala may just be different. With her outing on this issue where she will say that a shorter video clip is more comprehensive that a longer video clip, I think I am reviewing my assessment of her service delivery in her ministry and to the country. And the media that are in cahoot with the government need to know that their ultimate responsibility is to Nigerian people and not a government.

  • Teju Brave

    The unfortunate discovery by the Premium Times that Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala would seek to create an impression that her session with the lawmakers lasted about two minutes only is rather a relative case tantamount to an impetuous induction because she categorically did not state that her session with the lawmakers was not more than “two minutes”.

    • Amos

      But what then are you saying if not that, when you insist that a shorter video clip reflects what went on more comprehensively than a longer video clip? I mean cant you just see what you and Mrs Iweala are saying? Why do you continue to ridicule yourself and this woman? So because Dr. Iweala said something, we should clap, click glass of wine and say Amen even when what she said is questionable? What are you saying teju brave? This is getting one kind.

  • Awar Tukur

    It is not a necessity for me to believe in your lies, Premium Times.

    • Amos

      that is fine so long as you believe that 16 is greater than 19 and “to be short” is longer than “to be long”. just keep on ridiculing Nigeria among other countries of the world.

  • Poju

    That you claim it is not a doctored report does not make it true.

    • Amos

      Which means that when it is shorter (that is when something that is a dozen-12- is reduced to 8 then 8 is still 12-right?), it then makes it true-right-? Nigeria the world is watching you. Mrs Iweala’s argument and the argument of her handlers is no different from the unfortunate Nigerian governors election which this administration has destroyed by making a smaller vote bigger than a bigger vote or Rivers state where about five lawmakers in a house of 27 members claim they have the majority to impeach the speaker. In nigeria “small” is ‘bigger than “big” , “short” is longer than “long”. Again, Nigeria, the world is watcing you-stop insulting basic intelligence. It is bad enough that our ministers and officials and governors steal, why must they leave their stealing and looting and come insult basic intelligence again? too bad

  • Tompson

    I disagree with the way the Minister of Finance was handled by the Premium Times reporters; it leaves nothing short of despotic oppression.

    • Amos

      can you explain why? and do so with reasons?

      • Lwal

        Compare the two videos and you will come to the conclusion that Premium Times intentionally edited the video for it to look like the finance minister is the aggressor. Whereas, it was the committee chair that was so chauvinist and aggressive!

  • Vikky

    I need someone to tell me what is happening here, the Minister of Finance is neither a suspect nor a convict for any crime, then why should these reporters talk on loose tongues like that. Perhaps they lost their bridles.

    • Lincon

      How old are u? Or is it that u don’t understand english?

  • chizoba achike

    This is what I call media dressing for entertainment, now it is Premium Dressing’s unprofessional and objective reportage.

    • Lincon

      Objective my brother! I support premiumtimes on this one!

  • Ette

    How can this woman accuse the press over what we all watched during the encounter. She feigned sickness and when she was asked to go home and rest and send in a written answer to those patriotic questions, she lied that she would answer them there and then. There is no room for madam corruption a d agent of western interest who is impoverishing Nigerians along with GEJ, for bamboozling. Let her provide satisfactory answers to those questions.

    • Oluseyi

      She need not provide answers to elementary questions hurriedly put together by some attention seeking politicians who are desperate to take over government even if it means destroying everything.

  • JP Jackson, Lag Weekly Record

    Are you a news organization or a political party?

    • Amos

      by reporting what is going on? what do news organizations do? what has Channels TV done? What has Premiumtimes done?

  • ifeanyi

    I have watched those two Videos and also made my conclusions…

    Both Videos was not doctored…but Channels TV gave us a misleading impression of what transpired on that encounter…I think Premium TIMES gave us a corrective impression as we can now see…that He was accommodating of her sickness and also advised her to go and report back in two weeks…

    If you are Sick Ngozi…go and and come back again…so, you would be both fit and ready for us…Okonjo says, No…I would manage…Please, Madam…don’t manage…this is an Examination that affects Nigerians…We cant afford you to manage…Go back and come in 2 Weeks time when you are fit and ready…by the Way, take 50 questions and answer them in 2 weeks…I answered more than 200 questions in Jamb in One Day !

    • ebbie

      love ur response!

    • mbukar

      In fact you deserve to be there next time. Good analogy

  • Chuks

    In journalism school, the first thing they teach you is that “perspective” is that important to every story, and that every story has multiple perspectives from which it can be retold. Is it possible then that the editing process is what Madam Iweala’s press officers are calling doctoring?
    In that respect this is a sad and scandalous case of capacity deficiency that she needs to address urgently.
    Every organisation offers readers or viewers a different perspective. Doctoring is fabricating, distorting etc…so my question will be: is there anything in that video that Madam Iweala’s office considers untrue or does she just prefers the Channel’s perspective and will will want it as the standard for all the media?

    • Lincon

      I wonder oh!

  • Lincon

    Premiumtime baba! Continue to be a pain on their fathers’ neck! They hacked into ur website but u bounced back and better!

  • Guest007

    The treatment of this news item also reflects the fact that Channels and Premium Times are two different modes of media/communication – it is presented on one as an excerpt on a broadcast news channel with limited time; but presented on the other as an online news (webpage) where readers at liberty to watch as much content as they choose to without limitations of time.

  • esaulogbon

    Premiumtimes has now taken over from Saharareporters… what surprises me is their audacity to report and reveal these kinds of reports from within Nigeria unlike saharareporters. I respect you people.

  • Oluseyi

    Premium Times is definitely playing the tune dictated by Hon. Jubrin. there is no doubt in this.

  • Aminu Mohammed

    Haba Dr. Ngozi Iweala, Coordinating MInister for the Economy, why did you stand reason on its head? Na wa o! Very soon you, your team and supporters will read tribalism into this. You are going to say “it is because I am…” This lack of capacity to see one’s inadequacies and accept them without reading tribe to it is the bane of Nigerian politicians today including you. If as a politician, you are part of those ruling with impunity, this trait of the Nigerian politician which you are is a failure. I have just watched the two videos and for you to make a big thing smaller than a big thing is a stretch. But Like I said, you and your handlers and defenders are going to call those who point this your standing of reason on its head all kinds of names including being tribalists and you will say as usual that pointing this failure in you out is because “I am ….” Too bad minister. Just too bad. It is not good yet you claim to study abroad. Is this how they do abroad? I am just put off by your refusal to see things beyond your self and relate to things objectively. You make some of us who worked for you when you contested for the post of world bank president regret our support for you. This trait of yours is definitley not a leadership trait the world outside Nigerian needs. But you will fall into this pit because of the lens you and your handlers use. You end up saying “because I am …” Too bad minister. Look within yourself and change if you wish. But some of us have learnt our lessons to be more critical of “diaspora” people next time.

  • Draggo

    This is not a headline issue. It’s just a case of badly tempered communication between the minister and the committee chairman. What is important are those questions and the answers to them. That is what I would be interested in. There is nothing here that doesn’t happen daily between the various arms of government. She obviously wasn’t prepared to deal with the session immediately and the committee chairman should have understood her position and left out his comments about her not informing them before hand. They should be able to relate in public with as little drama as possible once she had brought up a health issue. Sick or weak people can also get angry too. In fact there are people who will punch you from a hospital bed with drip on one hand so her later reaction should not indicate that she was not feeling down. They can settle such matters later on the phone.