By Nwachukwu Egbunike
Late last year, I attended one of those media come and chop programmes in Lagos. After the event, the crowd broke into groups and one of the editors of a national daily made an open confession to the effect that the first thing he does daily is to check out Saharareporters. The fellow was candid enough to acknowledge that no Nigerian editor – print or broadcast – fails to engage in the same daily ritual.
With the opening of the Nigerian democratic space, Saharareporters have emerged as one of the few and credible online media. Although in some occasion they have gaffed, with a propensity to over exaggerate, nonetheless, no one can deny that Saharareporters’ unique place in providing current news. Their stories are usually of the hue that most – if not all – Nigerian based media dares not carry. As such, most governments big-men have made it their singular priority to crash their site.
With the ubiquity of the internet, Nigerians have wider access to information. However, as much as many sources abound, in the midst of confusion that lime the country’s national identity, Saharareporters have remained faithful to their philosophy of providing accurate paintings of the country’s oligocrats. In an environment that idolizes untruth, this medium has peered and continues to expose those who think it’s their birth right to milk the country.
It is therefore no surprise that Al-Jazerra: an international media with an Arab bias, has acknowledged the courage of Sharareporters and it’s founder – Omoyele Sowore. While some may claim that the comfort of New York shields Sowore from the hawks back home. Nonetheless, Sowore could have folded his arms and like most Nigerians (at home and in the diaspora), just complain and do nothing. Congratulations on this honour and may your tribe never cease.