The Yobe State Government has denied the allegations that it has spent N18 million for a front page advert on Daily Trust to congratulate President Buhari on his first one year in office. A spokesman of Governor Geidam, Abdullah Bego, reacting to Jaafar Jaafar’s post on the issue, said the N18 million figure quoted by Jaafar Jaafar is “false” and “mischievous.”
My problem with Bego’s rejoinder, however, is that it is weakened by vagueness and equivocation. It is not enough to declare a particular figure as “false” and then dodge the responsibility of telling us the “correct” figure. Abdullahi Bego insists the figure is not N18 million, but didn’t tell us the officially accurate figure to prove Jaafar Jaafar wrong. Why should a government spokesman keep going round in circles instead of directly telling us the accurate figure in order to discredit the “false” and “mischievous”‘figure quoted by Jaafar Jaafar? Why should telling the truth directly become so difficult for a government spokesman?
HERE IS AN ABRIDGED TEXT OF BEGO’S REJOINDER TO JAAFAR JAAFAR.
“What Jaafar Jaafar wrote is clearly mischievous because he showed only the Daily Trust front page and said it was worth N18 milion. He refused to show the three other pages. But even if he did, the entire publication – the front page and the remaining three coloured pages – is nowhere near the figure he quoted.
Of course we paid for the advertorial. But so did all the State Governments, corporate organisations and individuals who advertised in the paper today. Advertisement is a newspaper’s major source of revenue. So, Daily Trust will not devote pages 1, 2, 3 and 4 of its edition for free.
But we also have a choice to state what we know to be the truth: That the four pages of advertisement in Daily Trust today were paid for. But we didn’t pay N18 milion. Since the entire argument is about the figure of N18 million, that figure is false, period!”
Okay! If you didn’t pay N18 million, how much did you pay exactly?