Sylva Nze Ifedigbo
I find it fit to write this brief in celebration of three remarkable and most eventful years of the existence of Saharareporters which has taken citizen journalism and internet blogging to a whole new height.
Every internet active Nigerian especially the news bluffs in every part of the world would attest to the popularity this site enjoys not just as “first with the news” but also as the fearless reporter of those issues our other journalist are either not aware of or are too afraid to report about.
On several occasions, SR has reported stories months before they break in the local Nigerian Media and the facts behind these stories makes for a situation where even the oppressors can not help but marvel.
And indeed the oppressors have not only marveled, they have like is normal of them made frantic, rabid and largely unsuccessful attempts to shut down SR or to track down its sources.
What perhaps the Government fails to understand is that shutting down the site does not kill the idea nor would it stop the stories from breaking because the present Saharareporters have given birth to so many other saharareporters and has evolved in the consciousness of Nigerians both home and abroad, the need to speak against bad leadership in high and low places and gradually a silent SR wind of revolution is blowing across the land.
In three years, SR has been able to show that the people in Government are not spirits but human beings whose action or inactions can be followed, investigated and reported on without fear or favour. It has demonstrated that perhaps we might not need to wait for the nit-wits in the National Assembly to pass the FOI-Bill before we begin to employ journalism as a potent weapon against oppression, injustice and bad/illegal leadership.
Many people have had course to question some of the SR reports, describing them-the operators- as being over speculative or extremist, but interestingly, none has been able to disprove any of the reports. Agreed SR might have made mistakes on some occasions (which is consistent with being human) or might have reported issues that required extraterrestrial powers to provide discernable proof to, but the fact remains that in all cases, it’s the readers call to agree or not or sue if really something false has been said about you.
I am proud to be associated with this success story, on which I have published countless number of incisive articles and I wish Sowore and the rest of the (our) team many more years of successful journalistic activism as we all continue to work towards that day when we all shall be proud to identify ourselves as Nigerians anywhere in the world, not because the documents we carry says so but because our country has traced her way out of the woods and was now on course to real greatness.
When we get there, we shall all remember that saharareporters played a huge part in getting us there.
Until then, keep reporting yourself.
Sylva Nze Ifedigbo