THISDAY Newspaper Managing Director, Eniola Bello has replied Azuka Jebose who accused him of conniving with Nduka Obaigbena for not paying workers their salaries.
He said; “Azuka, someone brought to my attention your scurrilous personal attack on me in your FB post on issues you obviously know nothing about, while I was still mourning my wife and preparing for her funeral. Strangely you titled your post, The Wages of Sin. The implication is not lost on me as it appears an attempt to mock me in my moment of grief.”
“I do not ordinarily fight my battles on social media, and especially so now that I’m in mourning. I’m not sure I know you in person but I would have expected a man in search of truth to have carried out a little check on his subject. I will point out two or three falsehoods you peddled as it concerns me and leave you to your conscience.”
“That I have many landed properties in Abuja is total falsehood. In fact, technically I have none. Yes, I applied for a plot of land when Nasir El-Rufai was FCT minister. I applied as a Nigerian, not as a journalist. I didn’t have to see El-Rufai to get an allocation. In any case, El-Rufai has a reputation for treating influence peddlers with contempt.”
“In his book, The Accidental Public Servant, El-Rufai described me as one of the most credible Nigerian columnists. Had I been an influence peddler in his office, I doubt if he would not have had a different opinion of me. It is not my problem if people like you fail to take advantage of their citizenship. The Guzape allocation was not free; the fee was slightly over N3m and it took me almost three years to finish paying in installments. I have since sold the plot.”
“I applied for another plot when Bala Mohammed was minister. I have no relationship in any shape or form with Mohammed and have never met him. I’m not even sure he knows who I am. The idea of seeking favors from him is therefore preposterous. The allocation I got, a plot not near a hectare as you claimed, has a N10m fee. More than five years after, I have not made any payment. So I cannot claim ownership of the property.”
“As to being on the payroll of some governors and blue-chip companies, I leave that to your sick imagination. Obviously, you judge others by your standard. Were I on the payroll of those you claimed, I doubt if I would have any problem raising N10m in five years to pay for a plot of land in Abuja.”
“Since you picked my period of grief, while I’m still preparing for my wife’s funeral to so needlessly savage my reputation, I pray God to forgive you, that you do not lose a wife or any loved one at the peak of their lives. You deserve pity.”