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Sahara Reporters vs Okonjo-Iweala: What Do We Make of This? (Part 2)

By Emmanuel Arinze
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In an earlier article, I drew attention to my observations about Sahara Reporters' reportage of the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. I had observed that as far as Sahara Reporters is concerned, Madam Iweala has not done much to deserve positive reportage. When I first noticed this trend in the course of my routine media analysis, I embarked on an independent survey so I could speak from an informed perspective.

Sampling the medium's coverage of the Finance Minister over a two-year period, I discovered 41 mentions out of which 32 are negative, 8 indifferent and only 1 positive. I highlighted my findings in a piece which was published in September 2013. Ordinarily, one would think that an empirical report like that would cause the medium to rethink its strategy. It is over six months now since I first made that observation and unfortunately, little or nothing has changed. Sahara Reporters has not ceased to deliberately paint the Minister of Finance in bad light by filling the air waves with negative stories, most of which are usually unfounded or at best, blown out of proportion.

Like I pointed out earlier, I wouldn't voice my opinion on this matter if I had not gathered verifiable data. To this end, I have included an updated record of my findings below so that you can see things for yourself and draw your conclusions:

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Oil Subsidy Is Fiction-Okonjo Iweala Is Here To Seduce People To Accept The Callous "Oil Subsidy" Removal-Tam David West-TheNEWS Oct 28, 2011 Professor Tam David-West alleged that Okonjo-Iweala is "sermonising to seduce people to accept the callous oil subsidy removal." Negative

AUDIO: Nigeria's Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Caught On Phone-Tap, Lying, Playing Dumb Jan 5, 2012 Sahara Reporters alleges that Mrs Okonjo-Iweala played the dumb when she was called to tell Nigerians about the fuel subsidies. Negative

VIDEO: "Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Is Not An Economist, She Is A Demographer"-Occupy Nigeria-Lagos Day 02 Jan 15, 2012 A protester at #OccupyNigeria says that Okonjo-Iweala is not an economist but a demographer. Negative

Ngozi Okonjo-iweala Must Resign – Prof. Tam David West Feb 5, 2012 Prof. Tam David West called on NOI to resign her appointment. Negative

Fuel Subsidy: UAD Calls For Sacking of Okonjo-Iweala, Allison-Madueke; Urges Masses To Be Ready For Further Action Mar 7, 2012 UAD calls for the sack of Dr. Iweala and others over their role in the subsidy row. Negative

World Bank Presidency: Obama Rejects Iweala Nominates South Korean-born Jim Yong Kim Mar 24, 2012 The report maliciously screams that President Obama is not comfortable with NOI's candidacy for the World Bank. Negative

World Bank Presidency: Ghana, Uganda Spurn Okonjo-Iweala's Candidacy Mar 25, 2012 SR alleges that Ghana and Uganda reject Okonjo-Iweala's candidacy for the World Bank. Negative

#OccupyNigeria: Why Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Should Be The Next President Of The World Bank By Ikhide R. Ikheloa April 1, 2012 An opinion writer contends that when NOI departs for the World Bank, she will be leaving Nigeria much worse than she found it. Negative

Go, Ngo, Go: This Battle Is Not Yours By Sonala Olumhense April 1, 2012 The writer opines that there are two sides to NOI; "The first is the one who, when she is in Washington, DC, longs to come home, where home is Nigeria. The other is the one who, when she is in Nigeria, longs desperately for home, home being Washington, DC". Negative

Fuel Subsidy Fallout: Combat Corruption, Sack Okonjo-Iweala, Allison-Madueke, Civil Society Organizations Tell Jonathan April 20, 2012 The United Action for Democracy (UAD) calls for the sack of NOI and some members of the federal cabinet for their role in the fuel subsidy debacle. Negative

FOI: Okonjo-Iweala May Be Dragged To Court To Explain Lavish Expenditure On Funeral of Father-In-Law April 24, 2012 CPC spokesman wants to know how much was spent on the burial of NOI's Father-In-Law. Negative

The Jailing Of James Ibori April 25, 2012 The opinion writer describes NOI's World Bank presidency run as "excessive ambition and naivety". Negative

Power Outage Mars South-South Economic Summit As President Jonathan, Paul Kagame, Okonjo-Iweala, Shun Event April 27, 2012 NOI was reported absent on the first day of the South-South economic summit. Indifferent

Ngozi Okonjo Iweala: Rejected Abroad, Resented At Home May 1, 2012 The writer criticises the economic policies of NOI in strong terms. Negative

Is Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Stupidly Intelligent? May 15, 2012 This opinion article questions NOI's actions and inactions on the oil subsidy saga. Negative

Okonjo-Iweala Insists On 'Transparency And Careful Management' Of Nigeria's Resources, Spokesman Says July 30, 2012 NOI reassured that the 2012 budget is being managed in a way that protects and enhances the best interests of the country. Indifferent

Okonjo-Iweala And The Budget Of Abracadabra By Simbo Olorunfemi July 24, 2012 The article questions the rationale behind the preparation of 2013 budget when the one for 2012 has not been fully implemented. Negative

Budget Implementation Is Failing To Achieve Citizens' Human Rights, SERAP Tells Finance Minister July 31, 2012 A civil society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) challenged NOI's statement about 2012 budget. Negative

PHOTONEWS: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala At The Olympics Sport Of Lying About Budget Implementation Aug 2, 2012 SR maliciously captioned the minister's picture in the National Assembly. SR claimed that her eyes were popping as she claimed that she was "misquoted" by the media when she stated that the 2012 budget has recorded 56% implementation. Negative

Ngozi Iweala: Nigeria's Weakest Link Oct 21, 2012 Sonala Olumhense described the minister, whom he called "Double duty" minister, as the weakest link in President Goodluck Jonathan's cabinet. Negative

Anti-Corruption Group Storms Ministry Finance To Demand Removal Of Ngozi Okonjo Iweala Over Oil Subsidy Payment Scams Nov 8, 2012 Executive Secretary of the Anti-Corruption Network, Dino Melaye led hundreds of protesters to demand for the sack of the minister. Negative

Jonathan: Combating Corruption By Conversation Dec 12, 2012 A reaction to the clamour for the sack of Minister of Labour and Productivity, Mr. Emeka Wogu, and the Minister responsible for the Niger Delta, Mr. Godspower Orubebe. Indifferent

Okonjo-Iweala Pledges Action Against Pension Racketeers Dec 12, 2012 NOI stressed that it is a crime to defraud helpless, old people. Positive

Sucker Punch: Ten Provocative Demands from Dr. Okonjo-Iweala to President Jonathan Dec 12, 2012 The writer presents what he termed "ten provocative demands from Mrs Okonjo-Iweala to President Jonathan" Negative

Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala's Statement Regarding Release Of Her Kidnapped Mother Dec 14, 2012 The minister issued a press statement where she confirmed that her mother, Professor Mrs Kamene Okonjo, has been freed by her abductors. Indifferent

Still On Okonjo-Iweala Over Controversial Appointments By Yushau A. Shuaib Mar 5, 2013 The piece laments what it terms the 'biafranization' of top public offices by Okonjo-Iweala. Negative

Assault On Free Speech Continues, As Okonjo-Iweala Masterminds Sacking of NEMA Image Maker April 17, 2013 The report alleges that NOI has engineered the sacking of Yushaib Shuaib, the spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). Negative

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala's World- All Things Being Equal, Okonjo-Iwealla Continues To Bungle Facts April 23, 2013 The commentary picks hole in the minister's assertion that all things being equal Nigeria's economy is on the right path. The commentary further accuses her of lying over the figures she quoted. Negative

Jonathan, Okonjo-Iweala Tip Aig-Imoukhuede As Next CBN Governor April 23, 2013 The report states that Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede, the Group Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, enjoys the support of NOI and President Jonathan to become the new CBN Governor after the expiration of the tenure of Mallam Sanusi. Indifferent

Press Freedom, Yushau Shuaib And Okonjo-Iweala April 26, 2013 Abdullahi Yunusa, a friend of Yushau Shuaib eulogises Shuaib and expresses worry over NOI's alleged attempt to use her office to maltreat a patriotic Nigerians of Shuaib's standing. Negative

Stable Electricity Still a Decade Away for Nigeria By Toyin Dawodu May 4, 2012 The writer quotes Okonjo-Iweala as saying that Nigeria's power is heavily subsidized and investors want tariffs to match the cost of producing power. Indifferent

The Frustrations of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala et al By Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo May 9, 2013 Rudolf Okonkwo, a columnist on Sahareporters, comments on NOI's keynote speech at the 5th Annual African Business Conference at Harvard Business School in February of 2013. Negative

Clarifying Nigeria's Debt Position By Dr. Okonjo-Iweala June 7, 2013 NOI's release in response to misinformation and misconception in the public debate on Nigeria's debt. Indifferent

Full Transcript Of My Presentation At The Ministerial Platform By Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Jun 16, 2013 Transcript of NOI's speech at the Ministerial Platform on Monday, June 11, 2013. Indifferent

Minister Ngozi Iweala And The Turtle By Prince Charles Dickson Jun 24, 2013 The writer takes a swipe at NOI's figure over economic growth. He holds that those numbers are nothing but a publicity stunt. Negative

EXCLUSIVE: Okonjo-Iweala opens up, says Nigeria economy in danger Jun 14, 2013 The story claims that NOI painted a gloomy picture of the economy contrary to what she said in her speech at the Ministerial Platform. Negative

SR Speaks: Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala's Economy of Lies July 1, 2013 SaharaReporters responds to NOI's spokesman's rejoinder in an unsavoury manner. Negative

Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala storms Dr. Damages show with a piece of the National Cake July 7, 2013 A parody of NOI's presentation at the Ministerial Platform sandwiched with some unsavoury comments. Negative

Don't Be Deceived By Okonjo-Iweala; Economic Growth Stopped In 1970s – Dr. Muttaka July 7, 2013 In an interview, Dr. Muhammad Usman Muttaka, the Head of Economics Department of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria described the reported growth of Nigeria's economy as a “paper growth”. Negative

Nigeria Rated 8th Most Corrupt Nation- PM NEWS, Lagos July 11, 2013 In a story that has nothing to do with the person of NOI, SR prominently features her picture in this report that Nigeria is now rated the 8th most corrupt nation in the world. Negative

Nigeria's Finance Minister Okonjo-Iweala Forced THISDAY Publisher To Sack Editor Sept 10, 2013 SaharaReporters alleges that NOI masterminded the sack of the Thisday's Saturday editor, Lawrence Ani. Negative

10 Reasons Why Mr. President Should Sack The Minister Of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke By Comrade Timi Frank Sept 3, 2014 Comrade Timi Frank itemised ten reasons why the Minister of Petroleum must be shown the exit door by President Jonathan. The article alludes to a statement credited to the Minister of Finance. Indifferent

LECTURE: Privatization Is A Looting Agenda; Obasanjo, Okonjo-Iweala Are Liars-Prof. Omotoye Olorode Sept 7, 2013 In a long public lecture, one Professor Omotoye Olorode paints a dismal picture of the Nigerian economy, making mockery of The Finance Minister's efforts. Negative

Concerned Federation Accounts Members Lambast Federal Government, Okonjo-Iweala Over Mismanagement Sept 17, 2013 A Forum of Concerned Members of Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) has slammed the federal government for misinformation and mismanagement concerning the federation accounts, including the failure of the NNPC to remit a whopping N2.983 Trillion into it in the past two years. Negative

Governors Demand Okonjo-Iweala's Resignation Sept 17, 2013 Nigerian governors have demanded the immediate resignation of the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, accusing her of failing to implement the country's appropriations law. Negative

An Outbreak of Political Worshippers By Sonala Olumhense Sept 29, 2013 Sonala Olumhense disparages the manner in which Federal Ministers and close associates of the President adulate him. He cites an instance of a recent lunch with Nigerian “professionals” at which various persons including the Coordinating Minister of the Economy spoke glowingly about the President. Indifferent

Resign Now, CNPP Urges Okonjo-Iweala Sept 30, 2013 The Conference of National Political Parties (CNPP) has called on the Coordinating Minister of the Economy to resign forthwith for deceiving President Goodluck Jonathan. Negative

ASUU Strike: Government Blinks, Agrees To Spend N200b Each For Four Years To Bring Nigerian Universities Up To World Standard Oct 16, 2013 Sahara Reporters alleges that the Vice-President appealed to ASUU to call off the strike, apologised for the “take-it-or-leave-it”; comments credited to the Coordinating Minister of the Economy (CME) at the onset of the strike. Negative

Press Statement - Federal Ministry Of Finance - The Truth's About Government's Position On ASUU Strike October 21 Press Release from NOI's special assistant, Mr Paul Nwabuikwu, on the ongoing ASUU strike. Indifferent

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: The Story Of A Vindictive Minister By Abdullahi Yunusa Oct 23, 2013 The writer accuses NOI of being vindictive and overbearing. He likens her to other Nigerian public office holders who want to be "praised even where they should be literarily taken to the market square for some strokes of cane." Negative

President Jonathan Working Hard To Shield Aviation Minister, As Both Share Same Hotel In Jerusalem Oct 25, 2013 Taking a look at the controversies surrounding the aviation minister vis-a-vis her trip to Jerusalem, the piece reports that NOI is expected to later join other ministers in President Goodluck Jonathan's entourage in Israel. Indifferent

Okonjo-Iweala Denies Issuing Coscharis Import Waiver For Oduah's N255m Armored Cars-PREMIUM TIMES Nov 1, 2013 The piece reports that NOI distanced herself and her office from the raging controversy concerning the two armoured BMW cars recently imported into the country for the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah. Indifferent

BMW Scam: EFCC Interrogates Coscharis MD; First Bank Officials In Abuja Nov 5, 2013 Writing on the armoured car saga, the piece reports that the Lagos State government and NOIwho issued the waiver, have vehemently denied that the waivers covered bullet-proof cars. Indifferent

Madam Iweala, Can I Please Have A Sliver Of The Cake? By Biodun Shaiban Nov 7, 2013 The piece makes mockery of NOI's presentation at the Ministerial Briefing in which she illustrated GDP growth with a sponge cake. The writer goes on to criticise NOI, accusing her of performing below expectation. Negative

House Of Reps Aviation Committee Dismisses All Claims By Stella Oduah Nov 7, 2013 Reporting House Committee's investigations into Mrs Stella Oduah's armoured cars saga, the piece mentions that NOI clearly stated in her presentation that her Ministry did not approve any waiver for the two vehicles. Indifferent

Nigeria Is Broke! Trillions In Oil Revenue Looted By Dr. Peregrino Brimah Nov 15, 2013 Citing instances to lend credence to the allegation that Nigeria is broke, the piece argues that despite NOI's assurance, Nigeria is indeed broke as evidence as shown that the country can't pay some of its bills. Negative

Rivers State Government Challenges Okonjo-Iweala To Tell Nigerians How Finances Are Being Managed Nov 23, 2013 The Rivers State Government wants NOI to tell Nigerians how much oil Nigeria produces daily; clarification that the benchmark price for oil in the 2013 budget is $79; and whether crude oil was sold at prices that hovered around $110 per day throughout the year. Negative

Obasanjo And Jonathan: Righting The Wrongs By Maxwell Adegbenro Dec 13, 2013 In response to former President Obasanjo's letter to President Jonathan, the writer cites one of Nasir el-Rufai's mentions of NOI in his book, “Accidental Public Servant.” Indifferent

House of Reps Demands 'Comprehensive Presentation' On Economy From Okonjo-Iweala Dec 19, 2013 The Committee on Finance of the House of Representatives has sent 50 questions on the economy to NOI which they want her to show up and answer. Indifferent

Okonjo-Iweala Suffers Twitter Backlash - PM News, Lagos Dec 21, 2013 The report culled from PM News alleges that NOI suffered a public attack on Twitter after she responded to harsh remarks made at her. Negative

Fresh BMW Scandal : Patience Jonathan Got Import Waivers For Coscharis Motors To import 200 BMWs In 2012 Dec 22, 2013 The news report alleges that NOI granted waivers to the NGO of Mrs Patience Jonathan to import 200 BMW cars into the country in an underhanded manner that is meant to profit the First Lady. Negative

Okonjo-Iweala Releases More Half-Truths About Fraud-Ridden Import Waiver Scheme Dec 24, 2013 Sahara Reporters releases a follow-up statement to its earlier statement alleging that NOI is not being truthful on the issue of waivers granted. Negative

Police To Spend N125.6m On Dogs In 2014 Dec 29, 2013 A news commentary on the 2014 budget proposal. Indifferent

Jonathan, Minister's Cronies To Buy” Port Harcourt Refineries Dec 29, 2013 The piece alludes to the NNPC's unaccounted funds which NOI puts at $10.8 billion as against $12 billion put forward by the CBN governor. Indifferent

Why More Governors Will Leave PDP – Gov. Amaechi Dec 29, 2013 Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, expressed his disappointment and displeasure at the unwillingness by the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to sign off on a World Bank water project loan for the state. Negative

Nigeria Stinking, Sinking Under Corruption- Ugly Situation Surely Out of Okonjo–Iweala's Management Capability-Olapadade Agoro Dec 30, 2013 One Dr. Olapade Agoro (Aladura Patriarch), National Chairman/ former Presidential Candidate, National Action Council (NAC) raises allegations of failure against NOI. Negative

Aso Rock Staff, Civil Servants Celebrate Xmas, New Year Without December Pay - PREMIUM TIMES January 2, 2014 Responding to allegations of non-payment of salaries, NOI said through her Special Adviser on media, Mr Paul Nwabuikwu, that prompt payment of salary has remained one of the top priorities of government. Indifferent

President Jonathan Seeks N1.8billion To Fund Ghost Project-PREMIUM TIMES January 4, 2014 The piece alludes to the budget presented by NOI. Indifferent

Doctor Damages Episode 119 (Dr. Damages' Predictions for 2014) January 5, 2014 In the spirit of predictions being made by various prophets, gurus and juju men on what will happen in 2014, Sahara Reporters' "Dr Damages" makes a satire out of the encounter between NOI and the Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, warning the house not to mess with a Harvard-trained former World Bank executive, else, President Jonathan will have no option but to send in the undertaker. Negative

Massive Corruption Under President Jonathan: UK-Based Nigerian Challenges Okonjo-Iweala To Demonstrate Integrity And Speak Out Before It Is Too Late January 6, 2014 Dotun Oloko, a Nigerian based in the United Kingdom, has sent an open letter to NOI, urging her, in the wake of the dispute between former and current Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, to make public certain information she previously expressed privately and indicated she would go public with. Indifferent

Okada Drivers' Analysis of 2014 Budget By Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo January 7, 2014 A satire of the 2014 budget. Indifferent
72. Okonjo-Iweala's Made False Claims On House Of Representatives Video-PREMIUM TIMES January 9, 2014 Sahara Reporters' republishes Premium Times' press release to counter NOI's claim that the video recording of her appearance in the house was doctored. Negative
73. Nigeria's Finance Minister Okonjo-Iweala, Who Confessed She Is Afraid Of A Corrupt Minister, Advised To Resign January 11, 2014 With many unfounded statements, the writer alleges that NOI is afraid of carrying out her statutory responsibilities. The piece also insinuates that NOI attempted to indict the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Petroleum Resources so as to deflect attention from herself. Negative
74. Okonjo-Iweala's Responses To The 50 Questions On Nigeria's Economy Posed By The House Of Representatives' Committee On Finance January 15, 2014 NOI's response to the 50 questions on Nigeria's economy posed by the House of Representatives' committee on Finance. Indifferent
75. Okonjo-Iweala 50 Answers: House Committee Promises Searing Review January 16, 2014 The House of Representatives Committee on Finance says it will conduct a thorough evaluation of the 102-page response from NOI to its 50 questions on the state of the economy, and then make its own presentation to the nation. Indifferent
76. Angry Ezekwesili Challenges Okonjo-Iweala to Account for 'Missing' U.S.$10.8 Billion' Oil Money - PREMIUM TIMES January 17, 2014 On Twitter, former Minister Ezekwesili took up NOI and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over the sloppy manner the government has handled the issue of the 'missing' $49.8billion oil money. Negative
77. Evidence Finance Minister Okonjo-Iweala Lied: Nigeria Lost $9 billion To Fraudulent Import Waivers She Granted Between 2011-2013 January 16, 2014 Sahara Reporters alleges that documents obtained by it from a source in the Nigeria Customs Service show categorically that Nigeria has lost well over one trillion Naira in revenue in the last three years alone, the direct result of import concessions or waivers issued by the Ministry of Finance. Negative
78. VIDEO : Okonjo Iweala Was Trained At The World Bank To "Arrest" Africa's Development- ASUU President Nasir Fagge January 19, 2014 At the 3rd Congress of the Joint Action Front, chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Nasir Fagge said training given by Breton Wood (World Bank) to Africans who went under their tutorship is tailored at ensuring that those they tutored help nip development of their various countries and continents in the bud. He emphasized that the World Bank's policy in Africa is solely in their own economic interest. Negative
79. Import Waivers Fraud : Nigeria Customs Service Reveals How Okonjo-Iweala Massively Abused Import Waivers-PREMIUM TIMES January 21, 2014 The Customs says under the waiver regime supervised by NOI, more than 65 per cent of incentives on export were for questionable goods. Negative
80. Okonjo-Iweala "Threatens" DFID Over Unfavourable 2014 Medium Term Expenditure Framework Report January 21, 2014 The report alleges that NOI has threatened the members of staff of the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID) if the 2014 Medium Term Expenditure Framework report prepared by the development institution is published. The report further alleges that NOI masterminded the sack of Mallam Yushau Shuaib and the suspension of a Channels TV reporter. Negative
81. Civil Society Group Makes FOIA Request From Finance Minister Over Car Duties And Levies January 22, 2014 The Chairman of Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) has written to NOI making a Freedom of Information request over the purpose of an automotive levy. Indifferent
82. Aso Rock Clinic's VIP Section Gets More Funds Than Two Federal Teaching Hospitals-PREMIUM TIMES January 23, 2014 The Rule of Law Collective described the 2014 budget before the National Assembly as the worst ever proposed in the nation's history, and laid the responsibility on the Finance Minister. Negative
83. Presidency, Finance Ministry Pressure Nigeria Customs To Disown Waiver Abuse Report Indicting Okonjo-Iweala - PREMIUM TIMES January 23, 2014 The report alleges that top hierarchy of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, have come under intense pressure from the Presidency and NOI to denounce reports in the media alleging serial abuses in the N1.4trillion import tariff waivers granted by government between 2011 and 2013. Negative
84. N200b Universities Revitalization Fund: Fagge Dismisses Rift Rumor Within ASUU Executive January 26, 2014 National Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Nasir Fagge described NOI as a tool in the hands of the World Bank to inhibit Nigeria and Africa's development as a way to perpetuate their own business interests. Negative
85. Doctor Damages Episode 122 (Pres. Jonathan Tells the Nigerian Story at Davos, Switzerland) January 26, 2014 In its characteristic style, Sahara Reporters' Dr Damages makes a satire of NNPC's unremitted $10.8 billion dollars. Negative
86. Waivers Fraud : Punch Newspaper Rips Okonjo-Iweala's TEDxEuston London Speech January 28, 2014 Culled from the Punch. Punch editorial team responds forcefully to CME's speech at TEDxEuston where she berates Punch for critising the waiver policy of the federal government. Negative
87. House Committee Rejects Okonjo-Iweala's Answers To 50 Questions, Asks Her To Reanswer-PREMIUM TIMES February 3, 2014 The lawmakers said NOI failed to answer many of the questions sent to her by members of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance on the 'true state' of Nigeria's economy. Negative
88. 50 Questions And The Tragedy Of A Nation February 6, 2014 Against the backdrop of the 50 questions directed at NOI by members of the House of Reps, the article argues strongly that rather than NOI, it is actually members of the House of Representative Committee on Finance that have questions to answer. Positive
89. What Do Nigeria's Public “Servants” Think About When Going to Work in the Morning? By Ogaga Ifowodo February 12, 2014 The writer of the piece vouched for the integrity of Senator Ojudu who made a grave allegation that the 2014 budget is fraught with fraud. Among other indictments, he also accused NOI of being keen to absolve herself of blame. Negative
90. Senate Hearing: Sanusi Insists $20b Is Missing, Okonjo-Iweala Unable To Prove How $10.8b Was Spent February 13, 2014 On the NNPC's unaccounted funds, Sahara Reporters alleges that President Jonathan, NOI and the Petroleum Resources minister, Alison-Madueke, have reportedly resolved to prolong the investigations by bringing in forensic expert pending the time the CBN Governor, Lamido Sanusi could be completely sidelined. Negative
91. The 'Missing' $20bn Abomination By Peregrino Brimah February 16, 2014 Presenting a broad overview of the NNPC's unaccounted funds, the writer regards CME's call for forensic auditors as a new abomination. Negative
92. Why A Northern Christian Candidate For President Won't Work By Sheik Ahmad Gumi February 16, 2014 Speaking on the controversy over the $20 billion the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is alleged to have failed to remit to the federation account, Sheik Ahmad Gumi recommended that the Senate and the House of Representatives should select the auditors and not NOI. Indifferent
93. Nigeria's Overhyped And Uncoordinated Minister Of The Economy By Samuel O. Oluyemi February 19, 2014 Samuel O. Oluyemi, a financial and emerging markets consultant based in London, came hard on CME's management of the Nigerian economy. Among other allegations levelled against NOI in the piece is that of being vindictive, overbearing and overambitious. Negative
94. Nigeria's Finance Minister Okonjo-Iweala Endorses CBN Gov. Sanusi's Removal, Says It Will Not Affect "Economic Focus" February 20, 2014 NOI says that today's major developments at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), involving the sudden removal of the governor, will not change the economic policy focus of the government. Indifferent
95. Dear Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala By Sonala Olumhense February 22, 2014 The piece expresses disagreement with the postulation of NOI on election funding in Africa as canvased at TedEx. Indifferent
96. Sincerely, Who Suspended Sanusi Lamido? By Adekoya Boladale February 24, 2014 The writer wonders if there are unseen hand(s) that influenced the suspension of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. The writer mentions that NOI had a cordial relationship with Mallam Sanusi but became uncomfortable when he started making accusation about NNPC. Indifferent
97. NGF Rejects Suspension Of CBN Governor Lamido Sanusi February 25, 2014 The NGF condemns the suspension of Mallam Sanusi and expresses support for the call of NOI and the Senate Committee on Finance, for a forensic audit of the accounts of the NNPC. Indifferent
98. VIDEO: Nigeria's Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Admits She Doesn't Know How Nigeria's Crude Oil Account With JP Morgan Is Managed February 26, 2014 Sahara Reporters posted an old video of July 2, 2012 in which NOI denied having any knowledge of details of operation at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC with JP Morgan. Negative
99. Missing $20 billion: Dr. Okonjo-Iweala Don't Play Pontius Pilate February 26, 2014 Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) says it was outraged with the "defeatist statement of the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and accordingly challenges her to resign forthwith with the scant honour which lingers with her; instead of playing dangerous Pontius Pilate." Negative
100. Re: Dear Mrs Okonjo-Iweala - A Rejoinder To Sonala Olumhense February 26, 2014 NOI's response to Sonala Olumhense's article. Indifferent
101. Dear Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala II By Sonala Olumhense March 2, 2014 Sonala Olumhense writes a sequel to his earlier article and a rejoinder to the Finance Minister's response. Among other indictments, Sonala raises questions of moral authority, citing Audu Ogbeh's allegation that one “top member” of former President Obasanjo's government had walked away with a personal fee of N60 billion following NOI's negotiations of Nigeria's foreign with the Paris Club in 2006. Negative
102. Corruption Has Ballooned Under President Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan. By Dr. Wumi Akintide March 3, 2014 Writing on the level of corruption that has engulfed the nation, the writer argues that he has made a prediction in one of his articles on NOI that he would be pleasantly surprised if her reputation for integrity at the World Bank was not rubbished after a year or two in the Nigerian Public Service as the Finance Minister and Economic Coordinating Minister. He argues further that, "Those predictions have come true. Negative
103. How The US Can Help Us By Sonala Olumhense March 9, 2014 In his syndicated column, Sonala Olumhense once again takes a swipe at NOI while writing on the Abacha loot. Negative
104. Missing $20 Billion Oil Money : Nigeria's Finance Minister Okonjo-Iweala Launches Expensive Media Blitz To Douse International Criticism March 12, 2014 Sahara Reporters alleges that NOI has launched a major public relations campaign to save her reputation from ruin as a result of the ongoing controversy over NNPC's missing fund. Indifferent
105. Things 'Ngozi Won't Understand About Nigeria By Prince Charles Dickson March 16, 2014 One Prince Charles Dickson attempts to shift some of the blame of the Nigerian Immigrations Service recruitment test tragedy to NOI. Negative
106. Immigration Job Screening Scam : The Tragedy Of Gross Unemployment -CNPP March 17, 2014 In the aftermath of the National Immigrations Service's recruitment tragedy, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties {CNPP} disparages the nation's economy and government's efforts to address the unemployment challenge, as expressed in statements credited to NOI. Negative

Out of 106 reports Saharareporters have published about madam minister between October 2011 and March 2014, an alarming 71 of them are negative, while only a grudging 2 are positive. The natural question that comes to mind after assimilating these statistics is that, 'is the woman that bad? Can anyone be that bad?'

How come Sowore and his crew close their eyes to positive developments about NOI and only zoom in on negative stories about her? Even if they choose to argue that some of those features are not their original reports, how come it is only the negative ones they are eager to publish? Why not cull the positive reports about the woman published by other media?

Isn't it abundantly clear that Saharareporters is pursuing a deliberate agenda to malign the finance minister with its biased and ever negatively slanted reportage? From the evidence before us, it is difficult to avoid concluding that Oluyele Sowore and his crew are a vindictive lot and purveyor of falsehood.

Emmanuel Arinze is an Abuja-based Communication Consultant.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Emmanuel Arinze and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."