Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore has said Senator Dino Melaye’s anti-corruption book sold for N50,000 is cut and paste of newspaper articles.
Sowore said this at the launch of Sahara Reporters’ civic media lab in Lagos on Thursday.
“What prof briefly mentioned about the launching in Abuja was the book launch of Dino Melaye, that has been very gut-wrenching for a lot of us,” Sowore said.
“We have been looking for that book in bookstores in Abuja, it has not been made available because we can’t afford it. It is N50,000 — just to buy cut and paste of newspaper articles.”
Sowore said he started Sahara Reporters because of the decadence in the media.
He added, “When I got to the US, we were using dial-up on AOL; you will dial into a telephone number and if you are lucky, you will hook onto the internet after several attempts.
“I had no idea that you can get to a point where you can actually put a device in your pocket and use it to reach the whole of the world; communicate and also receive communication.
“The way my head always works was that I was that I will think about Nigeria, even though I was in the US, I was living Nigeria. Even though I was living in the US, I will wake up Nigerian time, I was upset the Nigerian way, I was unhappy the Nigerian way, I was also happy sometimes, the Nigerian way.
“As most people know, I was also an agitator the Nigerian way.I was inspired also by the decadence coming from the Nigerian media. I wanted to read Nigerian news all the time, and I discovered that Nigerian newspapers that I used to love were just not reporting issues as they were happening.
“Of course the reason was that the money bags, the politicians, had bought over the newspaper. As you know there was a time James Ibori owned and he still does own a newspaper today.
“One of the most popular newspapers in Lagos is owned by a politician known as Jagaban. You know what that means. The most powerful TV station in Lagos is also owned by him. So they have hijacked the media space.
“So I was seeing media, but I was not seeing mass in it. It was the reason why I kept pushing like the man of the legend that became the man who invented tyre. He was boiling rubber, he slept, overslept and when he woke up, rubber had become tyre.
“That was what I was doing. I was just trying my luck, I wanted to be reaching maybe 200 people in a day, and then one day I started and we were reaching 5,000 and then the next month, on and on. To the extent that by the 2015 election, we reached four million people in one day.”