Nigerian Journalist, Ahmad Salkida, has raised alarm over alleged effort effort “under different spurious banners and using a few sloppy media platforms to drum up a virulent campaign” to smear and call for his head.
A strong worded press statement by the Editor-in-Chief, of HumAngle Media, Ahmad Salkida. Friday partly reads; “On October 3, 2020, a platform, GCFR NG, seemingly a parody effort out to benefit from the time-honoured national honour rank, ran a misfit of a story, ‘Beware of Boko Haram agent, Ahmad Salkida-CAFA warns Nigerians’ The said report was derived from a random statement by a group that goes by the name, Citizens Against Fake Activists, (CAFA).
“One Comrade Richard Adie reportedly signed the statement. The group’s name is, however, not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria. It does not have any physical address or functional website and has no tangible physical or digital footprints whatsoever.
“The names associated with it are shadowy, bearing imaginary ghost emblems. The whole drama is so ghostly that it paid for a hotel hall for a press conference without leaving an address or phone number.
“Instructively, only two other publications online have the name of the “security expert” on them, both coincidentally and heavily praising the current administration.
“On October 7, another faceless group, International Human Rights Protection Forum, (IHRPF), cast in similar anonymity as the first and calling itself public interest lawyers, released a statement reportedly addressed to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN to media houses.
“No attempts were committed to verifying the claims and criminal allusions nor did any of the papers run a check on the identity of the platforms and individuals making the utterly vexatious claims.
“The time tested ethos of the diligent process in news reporting seems to frequently suffer grave blows whenever the agents of fascism in Nigeria want to hang any spurious accusations on Salkida.
“These dramas would have been laughable if they were not already reflective of the sad state of newsrooms and other key institutions of governance and security in Nigeria.
“What is the reason behind this renewed desperation to contrive any manner of a criminal act and hang upon Salkida?I worked with other team members in our newsroom to do an expose published in HumAngle on September 30.
“The investigative report amplifies the voices of women in Borno state whose husbands were ostensibly framed up, detained, tortured and in some cases disappeared by state actors while converting the women into sex slaves: Knifar: Women Facing Forced Family Separation By Soldiers Cry Out.
“A few decades ago, when the agents of dictatorship and fascism targeted one of Nigeria’s most iconic journalists, Dele Giwa, Editor-in-Chief of now rested Newswatch, accusing him of gunrunning, they did not use the pages of any media publication. The editors of that era would have asked for verifiable evidence.
“Today, editors can run any unverifiable thing in their papers and are ever ready to serve up their colleagues to the baying hounds for easy elimination. The agents of fascism and dictatorship in Nigeria have been encouraged by the steady unravelling of newsroom ethos, news values and professionalism in the media.
“The piles of unverified criminal smears on my person did not start today, nor is it limited to my person. For instance, Amnesty International has been routinely accused of unimaginable things and threatened. Clear-headed individuals will not dig too deeply to connect the dots between the steady demonisation of Amnesty International and the organisation’s investigation and reporting of serial extrajudicial killings across the country by state actors. I have personally been under repeated threats.
“I once fled this country with my family on account of the threats to my life. While out in exile, the Nigerian Army declared me a wanted man. I took a flight and presented myself. They had nothing on me.
“I will restate that I’m a journalist, and I am committed to making my contribution to making Nigeria a better place for all. I do this professionally through the instrumentality of news reporting. As professionals in the fourth estate of the realm, we owe it to society to continually commit to the best standards of credibility.”
The statement added that the time tested ethos of the diligent process in news reporting seems to frequently suffer grave blows whenever the agents of fascism in Nigeria want to hang any spurious accusations on Salkida.
“This is deplorable…. As professionals in the fourth estate of the realm, we owe it to society to continually commit to the best standards of credibility.”
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