Renowned Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has condemned the position of the Federal Government regarding media reporting and coverage of the lingering insecurity in the country.
He specifically faulted the government’s plan to sanction the BBC Africa Eye and Daily Trust for their recent reports which he said exposed the politics of insecurity, the genesis of the crisis, and how bandits and terrorists virtually took control of several communities in the North West.
In a statement on Friday, the cleric commended local and international media organizations for coming out boldly to report about the magnitude of the insecurity, the government’s wrong approach to tackling the crisis, and how it has become a lucrative business for the criminals and few in the position of power and authority.
“FG’s attempt trying to find a scapegoat to justify its glaring failure after wasting over $16 billion in the last seven years without any commensurate result on security and efforts to blackmail certain media organizations for their patriotism in reporting the crisis is unfortunate and should be resisted by all responsible media organizations,” he said.
Gumi believes the BBC documentary reflects the actual happenings in Zamfara State and was done professionally with the highest ethical standards that seek solutions to consistent attacks on vulnerable communities.
He wondered why the government could not use such independent discovery to squarely address the crisis, rather than sanction the producers.
According to the cleric, claims that the BBC and others like Daily Trust are giving undue publicity to bandits, and their activities or promoting terrorism are unfortunate, myopic, and mischievous.
He alleged that the government attempted to blackmail media houses to cover its failure and divert public scrutiny into high-level corruption in military spending and budgetary allocations.