SaharaReporters accuses Nigerian military, presidency of smear campaign

The administrators and staff of SaharaReporters woke up to a spurious lavish claim by Brigadier Olaleye Lajide of the Nigerian Army that, because our website leaked a petition accusing top military officers of corruption and incompetence, we are now supporters of the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram.

Among other nebulous claims, the military officer stated that SaharaReporters is a “faceless” organization.

This is one in a series of smear campaigns launched against SaharaReporters and its operators in recent times. We had been told a while ago that various arms of the Nigerian state were preparing a coordinated attack on our website and its chief operators, and we had reported to that effect.

Last month, in the service of an agenda to discredit our website, the same set of people had claimed that the founder and administrator of SaharaReporters was bribed with a $5 million mansion in California. The designers of this infantile propaganda had hoped to fool the unwary with that tall tale. Lacking intelligence and bereft of respect for their audience, those who concocted the allegation claimed that the mansion existed in a town in California, but could provide no address. It took little time for the allegation to fizzle as the accusers failed to provide something as basic as an address to enable curious readers make further inquiries.

Shortly after, the same group of hirelings claimed that a former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, the subject of several investigative reports by SaharaReporters, asserted that he had arrested the publisher of SaharaReporters for rape during the latter’s time as a student at the University of Lagos. Again, the allegation fizzled away, being a figment of the imagination of the smear artists. As in the case of the fake mansion without an address, the accusers could also not produce the date of the arrest, the charge sheet, the identity of the alleged victim, the location of the “rape” incident, or the date of prosecution.

Over the last week, the Nigerian Presidency has mobilized a significant amount of funds to their hired hands engaged in a new round of these smear campaigns. The purpose is to tarnish the reputation of SaharaReporters, a website that has remained steadfast in documenting the ineptitude and incompetence of the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

The Nigerian military hierarchy has led the latest smear campaign after SaharaReporters exposed the existence of a petition by an army officer who detailed the reasons the Nigerian army has not been able to defeat Boko Haram. That a military that has proved incapable of dislodging a ragtag group of sectarian terrorists would devote resources to discredit a website speaks volumes about the rut and degradation of various sectors of the Nigerian state—and exposes the confused, petty nature of the Nigerian regime.

SaharaReporters decided to publish the leaked petition in order to help Nigerians understand why countless numbers of their fellows are sent to their ultimately deaths at the hands of Boko Haram insurgents. It is an open secret that Nigerian troops are inadequately equipped and ill motivated. That explains why Nigerian troops have not been able to stop Boko Haram’s murderous campaigns against defenseless civilians, especially in the northeast of Nigeria.

Till date, the army has not denied the factual content of the petition written by Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Wende. Instead, the army has engaged in subterfuge aimed at diverting attention form the substance of the petition, which stated clearly how the army could defeat Boko Haram militants within a matter of weeks.

By accusing SaharaReporters of supporting Boko Haram, the top commanders of the army accused in the petition of sabotaging the war against Boko Haram hope to turn attention away from their corruption and incompetence.

Discerning members of the public have not forgotten that, in a 2012 video released by Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, the terrorist group named SaharaReporters as one of the media houses it intended to attack.

Far from giving comfort to Boko Haram, our website has been in the forefront of drawing attention to the group’s gruesome attacks on innocent, defenseless Nigerians and others. Although the army has done a shoddy job of combating Boko Haram, SaharaReporters continues to accept and publish the press releases of the Nigerian army unedited. Recently, our website saved the army a great deal of embarrassment by alerting them to a false statement claiming that abducted Chibok girls had been released.

SaharaReporters has also done several live interviews with Nigeria’s top military spokesperson directly from our New York studios. How could the army’s spokesman have appeared in a televised program of an organization the military now claims is “faceless”? It is an absurd claim.

Nigerian military generals ought to focus on the challenge of returning the army to a respectable force capable of defending Nigeria’s territorial integrity and protecting the lives and property of all law-abiding citizens.

It is nothing less than shameful that army generals would rather spend their time and other resources to mobilize “troops” on twitter and other kinds of social media in an elaborate smear campaign. In sending soldiers on missions to discredit critics and chase down newspaper vans, Nigerian military commanders only ensure that their troops cannot earn public respect or win the battle that matters—the one against an Islamist group bent on maiming, killing, and sowing destruction.


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  • Gbenku

    Editor Premium Times,

    If it’s the case that Nigerian Army fears a spectre of Islamic State of Nigeria, so do i.
    Islamism is the greatest threat to Nigerians today; both in terms of life and freedoms.
    But unlike the Nigerian Army i don’t see Sahara Reporters as playing any part in that.
    The danger is, instead, the slew of corruptly naive Christian Pastors infesting Yorubaland.

    These useless Christian Pastors; who’re more or less thieves, pocket tithes from Jihadists.
    They bless Islamic Jihad in Nigeria; and, sedate Christians as servile servants of Muslim overlords.
    Worse than that, these addle-headed Pastors mis-preach 2nd class status to Christians as divine.
    That’s why Christians nowadays feel normal whenever their Pastors are beheaded by Boko Haram.
    On that score of Christian stupidity, i predict that Nigeria will very shortly become a full Islamic State.

    • Deacon

      “Don’t look at Boko Haram as something that is isolated to North-east; no, no,
      it is meant to spread and cover the entire nation until Christianity is eradicated
      in all its forms and ramifications. There is an Islamic Agenda for Nigeria.
      80% of their (APC) governors are Muslims. Now there must be a restructuring.
      In 2015 Christians, must stand and insist Lagos State governor must be a Christian.
      This Islamic agenda unleashed against Nigeria shall fail.

      In September last year, God spoke particularly to Dr. Vincent Aigbogun,
      Director General, National Institute of Transformation, that if care is not taken,
      in 30 to 40 years Nigeria will be like Turkey. And God told him. ‘Go and learn
      what happened to Turkey’. Turkey used to be 100 percent Christian. Today,
      Turkey is 96.04 percent Muslim. Christianity in Turkey is now 0.24 percent.
      Christianity was in Turkey for 1,123 years. Islam uprooted it.
      Christianity in Nigeria is 172 years old. If Islam could uproot the
      Christianity planted for 1,123 years in Constantinople, Turkey,
      tell me if it can’t uproot one that’s just 172- years-old in Nigeria?”

      …..Pastor Bosun Emmanuel

      [September, 2014)

      • King Jafe

        Sorry Bro, its impossible. Not at this era. Ttimes have changed.

        • Alegbe Kenneth

          i pity you all…My prayer for you all is to be alive to see whether it is true or not!!!! I dont know why xtians dont believe issue not until they are defenseless then regrets sets in.

          • Ade

            Are you a Christian? If the answer is yes, go and read Romans chapter 12.

      • Igwee!!!

        Well, if it is that serious, the right response is to elect a government that will seriously, honestly and competently stand up against the threat in order to eliminate it.

        It doesn’t make sense that people would constantly flag up all the fears and sentiments you’ve written above and yet continue to support a government that is clearly absent-minded, inane and utterly incompetent in the face of a serious threat.

        Jonathan will not want to question the corruption that has destroyed our army; he would not even do as little as visiting the victims of boko haram or meeting them, without being begged to do so by a foreign teenager named Malala. But he would have enough time to visit IBB. He would also have the shamelessness to call IBB his father, despite the fact that IBB is at the echelon of defence contracts which cost Nigeria billions of dollars and yet leave us with an army that is utterly under-equipped.

        Conclusion: All these religious rants won’t be as effective as doing the needful in the next election – vote against PDP and send its incompetent Jonathan out of office. The incompetence and corruption are the reason why Boko haram is succeeding, not because they are too powerful.

        Buhari ended the Maitatsine riots in the 80s. Obasanjo finished the Nigerian Talibans within the first few weeks of their formation. Yaradua rendered Boko haram powerless by kiliing more than 300 of their fighters in 2008 without losing any soldier or policeman. They only started again when they broke the jails as soon as they saw that Jonathan is a an easy meat for them. When Buhari ended the Maitatsine riots, he did not borrow a kobo from anybody, neither did he call in foreigners to help us, let alone vituperating against the foreigners for not helping as much as he wants. Enough is really enough. The 16 years of mediocrity and empty excuses should be brought to an end.

        Unless we are willing to do exactly that, we should not be peddling all these religious fears of what boko haram wants to do to Nigeria. Boko haram will not be able to islamise Nigeria if Nigeria has an effective, competent and honest leadership.

        • concerned9ja

          Perfect contribution. I am a Pentecostal christian, but I would rather vote GMB a mallam because Jonathan government failed to tick nine of the boxes of what Christianity demands

      • DecodeDaRiddle

        The cross of the average Nigerian is the ability not to think for themselves.
        I will examine the message from the supposed pastor and show you the weaknesses and let you do some cerebral weightlifting yourself.
        The all knowing God will never give you a timeline with a 10 year gap so the 30-40 years is human knowledge.
        The all powerful God did what exactly when Turkey was converted? You have personalized God to be a Christian I suppose?
        Your pastor is so political such that he never got the message himself but quoted someone else…what a shame?
        So the fact that APC govs are Muslims mean they have converted the residents of their states I suppose?
        The PDP has more Muslim gov in their midst generally as all the core north govs are Muslims. The same VP today was the one that endorsed Sharia in Kaduna. He was the beneficiary of public uprising against his former boss.
        I was hoping that the pastor had revelations of his own, he rather became a mouth piece of the same party that has impoverished the citizens with sub human development who in turn go to ther churches to seek breakthrough after the government has thrown them against a brick wall of darkness, poverty, maternal mortality, a low life expectancy etc.
        Before anyone will shout, I am a Christian and a very proud lover of God. My bible tells me clearly that He makes the rain to fall on both the just and the unjust. The moment we begin to fight for our God as the pastor covertly suggested, we are no different than the jihadists. I have visited several Islamic countries to know that the difference between an Islamic country and jihad run nation. Is it not surprising that no pastor has seen any revelation for the end of BH?
        We need to stop living under the canopy of religion and explore God for ourselves. Ask yourself, what does your Imam or pastor know more than you do, if only you could read and understand exactly what the use as leverage over you?

      • New Nigerian

        How much have been shared to you from Jonathan’s $200billion loot? You will soon sing and dance when we hold the truth & reconciliation based on rule of law when we must have massively voted in Buhari’s presidency

  • tundemash

    I wonder how Sahara Reporters had time to respond to the Boys’ Scout of Nigeria. To the idiot1c Nigerian military hierarchy, anyone who criticises them works for Boko Haram ….. what feeble mind runs the army?????

  • Dele (UK)

    In my candid opinion, Saharareporters is fast losing its way and becoming irrelevant in the eyes and minds of most Online news readers. The administrators should take a step back, reassess the mission of their news outfit, and take an about-turn towards where they presumably started. When a news media develops into attacking its country’s military in addition to the government, with misinformation, then such a media outfit becomes discredited and on its way out of relevance. By the way, take a look at the infantile points saharareporters adduces as its claims why we all should disregard the accusations of mansion gift and bribery against it. They want us to believe that if the govt does not produce ‘proofs’ of the mansion gift and other claims of bribery and funding by APC, then the claims must be untrue. Really! How many proofs has saharareporters been able to provide us the reading public to support the numerous bogus claims it has made against both the government and the individuals whom the administrators don’t like. Given the slant of its news items, every reader of Online news understands very clearly who might be sponsoring saharareporters and consequently dictating the slant, direction and tone of its news items. It’s a shame to note that Sowore started off very well but has suddenly become compromised – the same accusation he often times levels against the other petty and equally-compromised journalists and news outfits in Nigeria. Really a shame.

    • Abdulgafar Hussaini Bello

      I wouldnt like to comment on Christianity/Islam because I realize comments below have other agenda than what the eye can see. @Dele (UK), when U said SR should take an about-turn, to where? Pls can U tell me/us one information SR gave which U can say its a fabrication or false. About the ‘mansion gift’ mr. Dele this is not a paper money that can just be inserted into the pocket without any trace, U are talking of a building. Anyone can wake up and say U have a house in Dubai and unable to give any location in Dubai and U expect us to consume the information. Mr. Dele pls lets be objective in our criticism, if U are on the side of the govt there is nothing wrong with that, U are entitle to ur decision, but sincerity matters alot in everything we are doing.

    • Tunde

      Wow, I can’t believe you are so brainless. You are one of the sycophants ruining Nigeria.
      Despite all the numerous irrefutable exposes saharareporterrs and other news media have provided over the years, not just about the GEJ that obviously pays you, but other opposition members when they are found wanting, you can come here and accuse SR of partisanship. Does you befuddled brain know what a land registry is? In every civilised country in the world, they exist, on the internet, for every moron like you to access. If GEJ’s government has proof of Sowore’s bride, let them show the world the address. Then we can see the proof. Even if it was clouded via offshore companies, the truth will prevail. But I guess idiots and enemies of progress like you don’t understand that. People like you make me sick.

      • Okemute1

        He is not brainless, he is just an e-rat

    • @Audu

      Sir, will you stop deciving yourself , how many nigerian solder were condemned to dead because of sabotage.

    • tundemash

      The only person who should be shameful here is you Mr. D@ft. SaharaReporters opinion has not chnaged since the days of Abacha, OBJ, Yaradua so what is different with the Otuoke Cl0wn…….

      Only the d@ft looking for recognition attaches UK to his name hoping that would give some weight to his warped submission ……

    • Dan maikoko

      There are two ways to prove an accusation. The accuser brings forth proof which a competent court of competent and relevant jurisdiction will accept and declare the accusation valid, or the accused accept the accusation and where relevant section(s) of the law are breached, the court or public opinion will come in and deliver judgement.
      You did not site any accusation from SaharReporters that you consider false, so your opinion in this regard must be considered irrelevant.

  • Thepeople

    CHANGE MUST COME TO NIGERIA. This is what Jonathan and PDP has turned our once proud army forces into. Nigerians are in no doubt that the military like other institutions inthe country are in terminal decay. They cannot disguise the facts anymore. Our soldiers despite the billions voted for defence are ill equiped and poorly trained while their superiors steal public funds. The result is our fathers, sons, and relatives are sent to battleld field to killed by rag tag Bokoharam. This must not continue. THERE HAS TO BE A CHANGE. CHANGE MUST COME TO NIGERIA.Jonathan have failed Nigerians woefully and must go.Buhari must win for the good of Nigeria. When he wins, if he does not work for a better Nigeria for your children and my children, he also would be kicked out. The essence of democracy.

  • 100%Black

    Sahara reporters is a disgrace to journalism

    • How?

      How? You’re not making any sense.

    • kammykazee

      And you, a disgrace to humanity. #ẹranko

  • ibrahim

    if any Muslim leader had the intention or capacity to instal an Islamic government – Murtala, Shagari, Buhari, Babangida Abacha who ruled Nigeria for periods ranging from 20 months to 8 years with varying degrees of power would have finished the job by the time Nebuchadnezzer arrived to mess up the country built by blood and sweat of ordinary people and heroes past. people should rise above sentiments and live up to the expectations of their faith and tell the truth. saving Nigeria is with vote4APC 4 All Positive Change

  • Wise Head

    Sahara Reporters must have been bought over by the APC. They know it. When they report cases of Boko Haram’s bloodshed and other savage activities, they seem to celebrate them with that APC-induced mentality that by doing so, they are painting GEJ in bad light. Such shallow thinking. Celebrating the wastage of blood just to earn political mileage? I have also heard complaint that they no longer feature non pro-APC/Buhari or non anti-GEJ contributors. Their stories are no longer balanced, always slanted to favour Buhari and deride Jonathan. They need to look at their stories for the past year and see how far they have degenerated. They are not even able to hide their very primitive bias.

    • Ade

      And yet the same sahara reporters published a news item on certificate forgery against Tinubu?Gej’s supporters are brainless.

  • Dan maikoko

    The petty nature of this administration is indicated by their use of words. They dont know the meaning of the words and because these words are used in expressions frequently the.y just put them in their sentences to appear polished and mainstream. They call Buhari “semi-illiterate” and now SaharaReporters are “faceless”. The cabal of the clueless should know that words have intrinsic meaning. For example illiterate is digital, you can either be literate or not. The fact that Buhari has read several speeches in the last 40 years means that illiteracy cannot appear anywhere in his attack.

  • GrantUK

    SR was given a taste of his medicine. Looking through the spectacles of an egregious wizard as a psychology expert, it won’t be loog before PT will taste her own medicine. SR stop mourning like a baby. What goes around comes around.

  • ADE


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