Lemme begin by sympathizing with this woman. But then, I’m interested in joining to investigate her claims and I promise to make the findings public, every step of the way!

I’d highlight her supposed disappointment in the video presentation thus:

1. There was a rape incident and she supplied the video to Sowore but Sowore failed to publish.

This could be true but I’d love to know if the video she gave Sowore was a “master” tape, tape copy or digital material transmitted by mail or other means - which all of us can share. Who in person did she give it to, as I heard her saying "one of your boys" in the second video.

2. That it was because Sowore did not publish the video that the Police or NAPTIP could not arrest or investigate the perpetrators. Or, as she may be concerned, Sowore's refusal to publish was the reason she could not raise money for her organisation to help the victims.

I have worked with NGO’s that protect and fight for dignity of the girl child. In the course of this, I know Dr. Joe Okei Odumakin of Women Arise; I know Dr. Josephine Effa-Chukwuma; I know Dr. Abiola Akiode of WARDC (Women Advocacy for Research & Documentation); I know Princess Olufemi-Kayode of MEDIACON (Media Concern for Women and Children); I know Ms. Titilope Akosa, I know Mr. Ganzallo Antonio Gbenga and I know some officials of the State prosecution, to name but a few.

I know how they operate. They invite the Police, petition other necessary agencies and also inform the media to put the information out. Although I also know that for privacy protection purpose and to avoid post-trauma effect on victims, some grievous or graphic materials are not uploaded (or uploaded with a blur, if need be). I’d like to see copy of this woman’s petition to the Police or NAPTIP in respect of the alleged incident - to investigate the matter, help rescue the victims or to arrest the perpetrators.

3. That Sowore “sold” the video to politicians to cover the rape incident.

Of everything that everyone knows of Sowore, he has rejected any money coming from or has any links with anything “Government”. The offers are so numerous that they disguise it even as “just an advert” for him to place in (even if it is just a corner of) his website. But Sowore has always shunned all the advances. At a time, Government agencies, including NDDC started to use the Google Adwords third party advert placement strategy to target their ads at Sowore’s Sahara reporters, but moment he traced out that any advert is coming from a Government quarters, through adsense to his site, Sowore blocks them from his site.

I also recall that a big party chieftain once said that in 2015, publishers were given moneys and that the amount specifically allotted for Sowore as a big international news media was so huge that “if Sowore had accepted it, he would be made for life”. This means Sowore rejected it but was still following his conscience. He had rejected any moneys, in whatever amount and under whatever guise from any Government source.

It therefore becomes of interest to me, that the same Sowore would be the one to “carry himself” to go and meet Government to sell a (yet non-existent) video, and for how much?

4. That Sowore covered the video up.

To what end? I recall that Sowore has been reporting against child abuse, rape and sex traffickers without any prompting from anyone. Some of you would remember the popular Lagos Sodomy and “pepper-trator” incident, which involved a 13-year-old being abused with a stick by some men in Ejigbo. While many media were afraid to cover it at first, Sowore’s media followed it up till even the uncovering of the victim’s gravesite in Porto Novo by Dr. Joe Odumakin’s team. Sowore has reported sex trafficking and revealed how they happened from Nigeria to Italy, Oman, etc.

I also remember R Evon Idahosa of the Pathfinder Initiative doing her bit in this regard.

So, what could be Sowore’s interest in this particular “video” and who was involved in it that makes Sowore “kill” the story? This woman has a burden of proof on herself. She should tell the world who the rapists are, such that Sowore is interested in covering them up.

Especially in a Social Media age where, even if Sahara Reporters is not reporting a story, there’s an Instablog, there’s a Linda Ikeji blog and litany of gossip sites that would be latching on to such, if they have it. This woman should please tell the world why she thinks Sowore is “monopolizing” the cover-up of her own alleged incident video.

5. If anyone should be held liable for refusing to investigate or make arrest, it should be Government agencies responsible for carrying out such function. In which case, we’d love to see if this woman truly invited the Police or wrote any petition in respect of it.

6. That she pays traditional chiefs and other persons before she could access Makoko, one of the coastal communities in Lagos.

It's difficult to verify this kind of claim though. More than three times, I have joined teams in two separate times and personally led one team to do a documentary in Makoko. I have never had to pay anyone before I could access the water community. I know Noah, the Principal of the floating school on the water and I say again, I have never had to pay anyone to go to the community. I only needed to inform them I was coming so that they provide me a canoe to go and do my work. I am also aware that some NGO's go there and make presentations and gifts to the students on water.

I also understand that some NGO's exist just to be raising money by claiming that they are feeding some hundreds or thousands of vulnerable children in some villages. Whenever we detect such, we simply ignore them. This might be the case in this woman's claim.

In all, the content so used looks only more of an attempted blackmail, and until she provides the valid responses to these questions I raised above, this is only a laughable spoof.

* MY INTERIM CONCLUSION:

Until she responds to the questions raised above, it is very clear for now that she only wanted to "raise money" for herself or organisation through a claim that she would be feeding "600 children" with it and she needed Sowore's platform to give her requests some level of credence, but Sowore wasn't convinced as to her claims. So she got frustrated.

If Sowore doesn’t win the next election, it would not be because this woman placed any "impotent" curse, it would be because the large populace of Nigerians is not yet ready for their political liberation. At any rate, it would happen, sooner or later!

I give it to this woman that she’s a good dramatist and would be perfect at acting for Nollywood, especially for her “make believe” face; but she’s still a learner in the content segment of the blackmail business.

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