How Ukpakareports.com plagiarises to deceive its readers
By Saka Raji Audu
I have just come across an article about Pensioners in Kano State, written and posted by a rather berated online website publisher of Ukpakareports.com In the said article, the publisher, knowing full well about his mischievous intention and at the same time, knew that he was committing punishable offence of plagiarism, failed to disclose the name of the author of the plagiarized piece, which he displays in his website as new and original. All the same, luck ran against the publisher of Ukpakareports.com for posting a mobile telephone number in the said article.
Having gone through Ukpakareports.com article on the above subject, I recollected having read the same piece somewhere else sometimes in September 2009 in the notorious Mamu's Weekly Desert Herald. Luckily, I had some hard copies of the paper, which I quickly reached at. As a matter of fact, I was able to get hold of its edition volume 1; No.37 dated 15th – 22nd September 2009, page 4 & 5. I down-loaded the one posted by Ukpakareports.com for easy comparison. It was at this point I discovered the criminal intention of Ukpakareports.com publisher of lifting verbatim from the Desert Herald edition of an article written by another mischievous writer called Bala Muhammad Makosa.
Incidentally, I had written to correct both the insinuations and fictions created by the Desert Herald article under the title "As Desert Herald Battles Kano Pensioners" posted by five international online publishers namely Pointblank news, Huhu Online, Nigeria Village Square, Nigerian articles and esinislam international. The article was also featured in two Nigerian newspapers namely the Daily Triumph in Kano and the New Nigerian Newspapers on Sunday, all between 10th and 13th September 2009. This is why Ukpakareports plagiarized article might deceive unsuspecting readers but certainly cannot deceive the likes of my humble self.
In order to give a long rope for Ukpakareports.com publisher to hang himself, I put a call to the telephone number he provided in his plagiarised article. I was lucky to hear a voice claiming to be the publisher of Ukpakareports.com. I told him that I have read his article on Governor Shekarau. He quickly cut in and proudly boasted that "yes, I am the publisher." The way he answered me indicated that the publisher had been desperately waiting for such call that perhaps, would open discussion for settlement.
Again, I asked him if he had made any investigation before going to the press with his fiction and specifically too, if he had approached any of the government officers in respect of the matter he posted on his website. It is at this point that the so called publisher of Ukpakareports.com came out with his true colour. According to him, he tried to contact one or two agents of the government but he was waved aside. This was why he had to do as a publisher what he thought would make the government come to him. Here, I was dumbfounded and could not say anything in response. However, I assured him that I would let the public know about this.
We all know that as a result of the uncontrolled checks on the excesses of media practitioners all over the world and in particular, Nigeria, people who have no business with journalism are daily turning into being publishers and would publish any nonsense to get away with it. In the first place, the publisher of Ukpakareports.com is not the originator or author of the piece he posted on his website because it has now been discovered that the said piece was authored by one Bala Muhammad Makosa and published in Mamu's Desert Herald based in Kaduna, Nigeria some three months ago. Why then did he claim another man's dubious intellectual work without acknowledgement? Two, If the publisher of Ukpakareports.com wants to update what had already been made public elsewhere, conscience demands that the publisher injects fresh insight//input on the subject to give it a new perspective by ensuring that his readers get an update of the matter.
Unfortunately, the Ukpakareports.com publisher did not consider this as being a honourable way of practicing journalism. Thus, he chose the option of deception claiming ownership of another person's destructive work in order to get close to his victim in anticipation of being settled. Sad for him, his fraudulent way of practicing journalism is no longer tenable in the field of responsible journalism. Going by the publication of Ukpakareports.com on Pensioners of Kano State, the publisher of the fraudulent article has committed two cardinal offences in journalism. One is plagiarism and the other being deceptive. If this is the case, what moral justification the publisher has to stay in journalism profession? This is why people must stop patronising Ukpakareports.com because of its fraudulent manner of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
During my recent telephonic conversation with the so called publisher of Ukpakareports.com, he also said that he wanted to interview Governor Shekarau while the latter was in U.S but he was rebuffed and this was why he had to do his own as a publisher since the Governor has done his own by rebuffing him from conducting the interview. Further investigation about this claim by the publisher of Ukpakareports.com revealed the contrary and he was only being economical in words to me as one of his readers. Ukpakareports.com publisher should not have hidden his thousands of dollars demand to feature story, which was perhaps why he failed to scale through his request. If he denies this fact, how will he also deny the other fact that the article he now featured against his target is not plagiarised as revealed above.
Incidentally, plagiarism and deception are as fraudulent as demanding dollar pay before putting up story, which was why Ukpakareports.com was rebuffed in the first place. Contrary to mischief the plagiarised article featured by the publisher of the Ukpakareports.com tends to create on the issue of Pensioners in Kano, the fact, which has hitherto, been stated in my article titled, "As Desert Herald Battles Kano Pensioners" is that it is of public knowledge that before the coming of Shekarau in 2003 as Governor of Kano State, the Pensioners were not receiving their pension as at when due. The pensioners had backlog of arrears unpaid. As a result of this, some of them lost their lives. When Governor Shekarau came into government, he saw the need to settle these arrears, knowing full well the selfless contributions of these pensioners when in service. He has kept this tempo in spite of the crowded state budget. This therefore informed why the pensioners had to relentlessly fight with contribution, to the enthronement of the governor for his second term.
As a matter of fact, the State Pensioners are one of the backbones of the many successes recorded by Shekarau administration. The Pensioners have taken Shekarau's government as their saviour because of its human face in solving their long time problem of non-settlement of their pensions and gratuity by the previous governments. Since Shekarau became the governor of Kano State in the past almost seven years, there has been cordial relationship between his government and the Pensioners. It is therefore very amusing for publisher of Ukpakareports.com like that of the Desert Herald to display his ignorance about a matter he knows nothing about, believing that such falsehood will force his victim to kowtow to his fraudulent demand.
If I were the publisher of Ukpakareports.com, I would not have desperately resorted to using another man's labour to secure benefit at the detriment of my website. I would have tried to be professional enough, no matter the desire, by moving away from the path of dishonor. This would have been better for him than consecrating his time, energy and resources into destroying his website that in any case, is made up of lies and plagiarised materials. Assuming his dubious advances had scaled through, does it mean that he would have used plagiarised but dubious article to pay back in return? This is highly ridiculous, fraudulent and unprofessional.
Finally, let it be known to the publisher of Ukpakareports.com that the survival and patronage of his website largely depend on his credibility, which has now been eroded and would take hard work and time to regain it. In this case, when next we come across Ukpakareports.com, we shall know it less in credibility and more in deception.
Saka Raji Audu writes from Kano and can be reached on his email: firstname.lastname@example.org