Open letter to the MacArthur Foundation – Reno Omokri
Dear John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Office of Grants Management mailto:[email protected] I write to you in respect of Mr Omoyele and Saharareporters, ostensibly an online news website, which you have given a total sum of $1.3 million. In giving the Sahara Reporters Media Foundation this grant, you indicated that Sahara Reporters were a non-profit media organization that works to advance transparency and accountability in Nigeria. This assertion concerning Saharareporters is not accurate. It is false, and I will now prove so with documentary evidence. Mr. Omoyele Sowore, the founder of Sahara Reporters Media Foundation, uses Sahara Reporters as a medium to settle scores, blackmail political opponents and mislead the general public via the publication of outright lies that he knows to be lies at the time of publication. For instance, on July 11, 2020, Mr Sowore used saharareporters to publish a video interview featuring him, in which he libelled me by alleging that I had been fired by my then boss, President Goodluck Jonathan, as one of his spokesmen, for engaging in “many criminal activities.” On the same day, President Goodluck Jonathan released a statement stating that he never fired me, and that I served as throughout his tenure with distinction and offered ‘meritorious’ service to Nigeria, and continue to enjoy his gratitude and confidence, as well as the good esteem of many Nigerian citizens. My record of service is with the office of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation of Nigeria, and I have my payslips until May of 2015 when my tenure lapsed. I am a number one bestselling writer, received at the highest level of governments in many democratic nations, as well as honoured as the Humanitarian of the Year, 2019, at the Hollywood Weekly Magazine Film Festival. I have never been arrested or charged with a crime in my life. Upon Mr Sowore’s claims, I am now in receipt of police clearance certificates from the Nigerian Police Force Headquarters, Abuja, Nigeria, as well as the UK Police, stating that I have no past arrest or convictions to my name. Mr Sowore is presently in Abuja, where the office of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation of Nigeria is located. He made no efforts to investigate or to contact me. He gave that interview purely out of spite because I had exposed him to the Nigerian public as a blackmailer. This is because on February 14, 2015, two weeks to the Nigerian election, Mr Omoyele Sowore had caused Sahara Reporters Media Foundation to knowingly publish lies against me to the extent that I was an armed robber, who robbed a house and stole the sum of ₦25 million. He refused every legal and humanitarian overture to him to retract the story, even though he received irrefutable evidence, provided by me to him, that showed that his story was a lie. He maintained this stance until my New York-based lawyer wrote a letter to the Ford Foundation, which had also paid Mr Sowore’s Sahara Reporters Media Foundation, vast sums of money. He caused that story to be published to affect the outcome of the 2015 Nigerian Presidential election, in which his surrogate candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, was running. His actions caused me great embarrassment and financial plus emotional loss. Affected the building of an orphanage that I was building, and deprived orphans of the care and accommodation that they desperately needed. Mr Sowore is now using Sahara Reporters Media Foundation to assassinate the characters of people of integrity that he dislikes such as Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, a current candidate for the esteemed position of Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, amongst many others. He has had a long history of publishing outright falsehoods against her. Below are 15 verifiable lies Mr Omoyele Sowore caused Saharareporters to publish, and the dates at which these lies were published. I urge the MacArthur Foundation to ask an independent media audit body to investigate these stories to determine if they were ever true and if Messrs Omoyele Sowore ever published a retraction after discovering that they were not true. * That former President Goodluck Jonathan Looted ₦32b From Bayelsa State, and is the ‘Richest President In Africa’ (Published on Feb 2, 2015) * That the then First Lady of Nigeria, Dame Patience Jonathan caused the Dana Air crash, which killed 153 people, because she was wasting time landing in her Presidential Jet (Published on June 4, 2012 and then deleted without apology). * That former President Goodluck Jonathan gave out gold plated iPhones to guests at his daughter’s wedding (Published on April 13, 2014). * That former President Goodluck Jonathan was too drunk to deliver his speech at the AU (Published on May 25, 2013). * That $49 billion was missing from the Federal Government’s treasury (Published on various dates in February, 2014). * That former President Goodluck Jonathan did not care about Chibok Girls and Rejected British Offer To Rescue Kidnapped Chibok Schoolgirls (Published on various dates and officially debunked by the British Government on Mar 8, 2017). * That former President Goodluck Jonathan led a 600 man delegation to the UN (Published on September 22, 2013). * That former President Goodluck Jonathan team threatened a blogger with death (Published on Apr 25, 2011). * That former President Goodluck Jonathan was persecuting Rotimi Amaechi (Published on Oct 26, 2014). * That PDP and former President Goodluck Jonathan were behind Boko Haram, a radical Islamic Terrorism group (published on multiple dates). * That former President Goodluck Jonathan was a habitual drunkard (Published on Nov 22, 2013). * That former President Goodluck Jonathan bribed pastors with ₦7 billion (Published on Feb 19, 2015). * That former President Goodluck Jonathan shared $1.1 billion between himself, Attorney General Bello Adoke, and several cronies and ministers (Published on May 27, 2012). * That former President Goodluck Jonathan and his cronies stole $20 billion in less than 3 years from just sales of crude oil alone (Published on July 12, 2014). * That former President Goodluck Jonathan is Worth $120 Million Dollars! (Published on Oct 14, 2014). * That former President Goodluck Jonathan is the sponsor of Niger Delta militants (Published on multiple dates). * That former President Goodluck Jonathan dishonesty shielded the Abacha family from prosecution after reaching a corrupt deal with them (Published on May 15, 2015). Mr Sowore never retracted these stories or offered an apology. That he knowingly used them for political blackmail can be proved from an interview he granted on April 7, 2018, where in a fit of anger, he told the then Nigerian Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu, as follows “I am the head of a media movement that brought the government that is sitting into power”. From the above, many Nigerians are asking if it is the MacArthur Foundation’s agenda to sponsor an undemocratic regime change in African nations using intense and sustained political propaganda and blackmail. Please use your good offices to look into these issues. Reno Omokri Gospeller. Deep Thinker. #1 Bestselling author of Facts Versus Fiction: The True Story of the Jonathan Years. Avid traveller. Hollywood Magazine Film Festival Humanitarian of the Year, 2019.