By Abdi Nur
PART 1: The man behind the Screen
On December 1, 2018, a defamatory article on the internet appeared about Boodhari Mills in the economy section of the website Somalilandchronicle.com.
“Boodhari Mills: A Well-Orchestrated Scam or A Legitimate Investment Opportunity? Should you invest? Is it fraud, a Ponzi scheme? Is your money safe? And can you trust them?”
***The response is chatty, brutally honest and chronicles a saga of espionage, collusion and smear from the dark forces against Boodhari Mills. Fueled by the call of a generation, Boodhari Mills is for a profit agribusiness organization with sustainable development goals. We are currently open for Investment at www.boodharimills.com
The author, Saeed Ibrahim launched his news website on June.2018, while working for T. Row Price in Maryland as an IT support. After purchasing a flashy news theme template, Mr. Ibrahim would go incognito behind the digital curtain to stay anonymous. From the comfort of his living room, he now entered the Somali Online Business News market without any formal training as a journalist. Other than his ability to read and write English. He was now free to slander, blackmail and wreak havoc with confidence.
With a pen name like “staff” on all articles, you’re given the impression of a large journalistic organization at work. A clever idea. The site’s specialty is to find snippets of publicly available information and spin it. He posts one article per week or as time permits.
Provided as evidence were false data, polished images and the end results were gossip and personal views disguised as an investigative business journalism. In the universe of Somaliland Chronicle there is no peer review, supervision or check and balances in place.
The business world and in politics smear campaigns are paid for by competing entities to get a market edge, and sway public opinion through for hire print media, online platforms and television. Fake news is now a large market in the global news place, it is an epidemic and most work as freelancers with no trace of their identity. Somaliland Chronicle’s report on Boodhari Mills falls into this global phenomenon, as you will see in part 2 of this response to the smear campaign.
Possible link to Special interest and Collusion
On Sept.08. 20018 there was an attempt to stop Boodhari Mills in Somaliland by special interest groups from the private sector. The efforts dissipated just as quickly as they came once the authorities were made aware off. Now that their original efforts have been dismantled by the rule of law. Online slandering is their best source, and that we can deal with it swiftly. The shake down was part of the strategy to get the Boodhari Mills to go back to Canada and forget about the matter at hand. They greatly miscalculated.
Once the connection was made as to who owned the website Somalilandchronicle.com. The company called Saeed Ibrahim’s cell numerous times. There was no answer on the end, Saeed was on the run, Why?
The simple answer, his cover was blown, he no longer had digital wall of his website to stay anonymous.
Earlier on Boodhari Mills has been receiving emails and phone calls from Saeed Ibrahim as himself, while concealing the association to his news website. Would not a real journalist identify himself as the news agency and ask for an interview?
In Hargeisa, I often come across reporters attending seminars of Solja (Somaliland Journalists Association) discussing the adherence to the ethical aspects of Journalism and Islamic Media.
Saeed Ibrahim and Somaliland Chronicle does not belong to any organization that would hold the news website and its owner accountable. In reality he is a blogger, disguised as a journalist. A betrayal by a charlatan to a great profession. He recently emailed me using his flagship online portal in an attempt to play nice.
It is only after finding out we were in contact with his mentor Mr. Abdirazaq Mahamed of Marsa News in Somaliland. That Saeed confessed to undertaking the smear campaign against Boodhari Mills. The admission came in the form of a text message. And in further conversations threatened Boodhari Mills with;
“I have nothing else to do except pursue Boodhari Mills, if you ever write about me….”
Mr. Abdirazaq Mahamed warned Saeed against such poor journalism and reiterated his disappointment to me at my office in Hargeisa. I must thank Mr. Mahamed for the relentless work and time he devoted to this matter, a 30-year veteran for the freedom of press both in arms and in pen.
Lashing out at everyone: Somaliland Chronicle uses gossip to portray a guest speaker at a Boodhari Mills Euro Conference;
“In fact, business associates of Mr. Warsame confirmed that within 10 minutes of meeting him for unrelated business, Mr. Warsame brought up Boodhari Mills and strongly suggested that they should invest. One of the associates stated that Mr. Warsame’s sales pitch went on to a painful awkwardness”
This is adolescent school yard gossip, and the reporting is of tabloid, sensationalist news nature. At best it is Fadhi ku dirir “arm chair warrior” on steroids, an upgraded version of the Somali male diaspora past time.
The article was about economy, we fail to see how it is connected to a big subject such as economics. On the contrary, the website portrays itself as a reliable news agency.
“Somaliland Chronicle is a news website designed to bring you in depth news and give you a break from sensationalist youtube.com”
THE BUSINESS: NUMBERS AND GRAPHS
Somaliland Chronicle’s investigative analysis and viability litmus test were three main points. Commodity markets (freight rates), investor protection and conflict of interest with public figures. The discussion will be limited to the chosen theme by the news website. No new tools will be used except those chosen by SomalilandChronicle.com
…. To Continue reading this Article, please visit www.boodharimills.com as we dive deep into the propaganda machine and the mind behind it.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and don’t necessarily reflect the views of Somaliland Monitor Editorial Team