Saturday, 26 January 2008


The immediate past Governor of Abia State, Mr. Orji Uzoh Kalu, his Enugu State counterpart, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani and that of Lagos State, Mr. Bola Tinubu in what is interpreted by sources as one of their last minute strategies to remain politically relevant in Nigeria, have respectively, at the twilight of their Administrations, invested substantially,with public funds in two online news outfits, with editorial focus on Nigeria and in a print medium that circulates in NIgeria.

Intelligence sources informed us that Mr. Orji Uzor Kalu invested in, Mr. Bola Tinubu in and Dr. Chimaraoke Nnamani in Thesource magazine.These news outfits,sources continued, are regarded by Political and Business personalities in Nigeria as "stubborn",meaning that they can publish damaging materials about any Political or Business personalities at any time. A good number of Political and Business personalities in Nigeria are corrupt.

"The only way to effectively bribe these stubborn news outfits is to invest substantially in them whether it makes economic sense or not" sources insisted.

Messrs Kalu,Tinubu and Dr. Nnamani were first elected Governors in 1999 and were re-elected in 2003 for a second term,which terminated in May,2007.

Nnamani, Tinubu, Kalu and some other former Governors were accused of corruption while in office by the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC),but the constitutional immunity they enjoyed while in office prevented them from being prosecuted.

Kalu and Nnamani on leaving office were however,arrested and charged to court for corrupt enrichment of self while in office, both are now on bail.The story in intelligence circles now is that Tinubu will be arraigned in court soon for same charges,unless his secret meetings with Mr. Umar Yar'Adua, the President of Nigeria,which aims at finding political solution to the problem succeeds.

When contacted for comments on this, the publishers of and respectively avoided the issue but instead,launched personal attacks on our publisher.The publisher of Thesource magazine however, angrily denied the allegation through an article she posted on


(This article was written by Comfort Obi and posted on on
Thursday, 24 January 2008.)

When I read the e-mail sent to me by one Chidi Anthony Opara, who runs an apparently new on-line publication, I burst out laughing. But as I thought about it later, my anger boiled over.
Opara’s e-mail dated January 23, 2008 reads: "We are investigating an information alleging that the former Governor of Abia State, Mr Orji Uzor Kalu and his Enugu State counterpart, Dr. Chimaoke Nnamani, and the former Governor of Lagos State, Mr Bola Tinubu, at the twilight of their administrations, invested substantially with Public Funds (emphasis mine) in, The Source Magazine and respectively. We will appreciate a timely reply to this enquiry so as to enable us to include your comments in our report to be published as usual on…"

Let me thank Opara for asking for our comments. In this age when any Tom, Dick, and Harry picks up their pen to write anything, no matter how unimaginable, and gets it published, thanks to global technology, he could have published without referring to us. Meaning: His On-line publication could become a huge success like and if he goes into serious reporting, and gives a red card to beer parlour gossips. For, if he had done that in the case at hand, he would have known, without asking us, that whoever gave him the information which he says his medium is investigating, did so for one reason: Discredit two successful medium owned by his fellow Igbo, and in the case of Saharareports, put its credibility on the line. Indeed, if Publisher Opara had made a little investigation, he would have known that the allegation is beneath contempt. The three gentlemen he mentioned do not have the same vision. Indeed, Nnamani is clearly an outsider there. He, Kalu, and Tinubu may have been colleagues, but he was not "chummy, chummy" with those two, and would never invest in the same outfit with them.

In the case of Tinubu, he appreciates the power of the media. He has already invested heavily in a couple of publications owned by his people. What our people, the Igbo, who were his colleagues, could not do for their people, he happily did for his people. He invested in his people and their political survival. Why would he then invest in The Source, in and/or

I don’t know when Opara ventured into journalism. But every journalist in Nigeria knows that between Tinubu and The Source, as a corporate body, there is no love lost. All through his eight years in office, he held The Source in disdain because it dared publish what others did not publish. That disdain ensured that we never got any advert from his government, nor were we invited to anything they were doing. So, how could he have used Public Funds to invest in The Source?

Kalu, of course, is a friend of mine. But that did not translate to much while he was in office. In terms of adverts and patronage, our counterparts received from him more than we did. Until he left office, his government owed us for about five pages of adverts. Meaning that Abia State government still owes us. Again in specific terms, he already owns a soar-away newspaper. A second one will soon hit the market. Why would he then use public funds to invest in The Source in the "twilight" of his administration?

Nnamani’s case is much the same. My brother and friend? Yes. But what did that translate into for The Source? Like other media houses, we got advertorials from his government. Even less than some others. As I write this, his government is indebted to The Source to the tune of hundreds of thousands of Naira! If he didn’t invest in us when he was in a position to do that, why would he take the risk to do that in the "twilight of his administration" when he was under the searchlight of the EFCC?

I am very angry about this allegation. And this is why. We have had no help from the Igbo except from two gentlemen who once in a while ask us how we are doing, and follow up with appreciative gestures. The Igbo are like that. They rarely help, or build their own. In the history of The Source, no Igbo man has ever invested in us. We do not even receive adverts from them. Only about three or so give us once in a long while. Others would rather invest in other media houses, give them adverts, and come to us to publish things free for them when they are in trouble and/or are looking for something. That is when we hear: "The Source is our own. It is our sister’s own:" That is our lot here, especially, with a couple of them who were in power. Indeed, when, in order to help, I introduced a couple of my colleagues from other media houses to one of them, he preferred, thereafter, to patronise those media houses to patronising us. You will think we are running a charity organistion here at The Source. Often, they talk sweet, they make promises, they raise your hopes. But they amount to nothing. If we had been relying on them, we would have been off the streets since. This business is a death zone. It gives power and influence, not money.

Incidentally, this is not the first time either The Source, or I, will be connected to these stupid allegations. The first time, it was that Nnamani bought me a marble house in Lekki worth N70 million, and paid in N20million (only?) into my account. In March 2007, a former neighbour of mine came to me asking for a loan of six million naira. I thought he was joking. So, I burst out laughing. But he was serious. And you know why he came to me? He was told that Dr. Peter Odili, then governor of Rivers State, gave me the sum of N200 million! I was in shock. And now this!!

Each time I hear these allegations, I ask God why they are not true. Why nobody would give me even half of those millions and watch if I won't fly with The Source. But it has not worked. Now, I am very angry. Any of such beneath-contempt allegations made against The Source again will be responded to. We will fight back. And mercilessly too!

(Comfort Obi is the publisher of The Source Magazine.)