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Banditry: Farooq Kperogi Blasts Kadaria Ahmed For Condemning BBC Interview




Banditry: Farooq Kperogi Blasts Kadaria Ahmed For Condemning BBC Interview
Kadaria Ahmed and Farooq Kperogi

Popular Nigerian columnist, Farooq Kperogi has tackled her professional colleague, Kadaria Ahmed over her stand on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) documentary on some bandit kingpins and their activities in Nigeria.

Ahmed had accused the BBC of glorifying terrorists and terrorism with the pubication.

The BBC on Monday published a 50-minute documentary titled ‘The Bandit Warlords of Zamfara’, which captures the booming kidnap-for-ransom industry and other terrorist activities.

The Interview

In the documentary, the BBC interviewed a bandit leader who confessed that they bought more weapons with the N60 million ransom paid by the Federal Government for the release of schoolgirls abducted at the Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe town in Zamfara State in February 2021.

A notorious Fulani gang leader, Ado Aleru who is wanted by the Katsina Police for leading a massacre in the village of Kadisau in June 2020 was also interviewed.

Kadaria’s Position

In an opinion article on Thursday, Ahmed accused the BBC of becoming a tool of propaganda for terrorists and providing a platform for them to express their extreme views.

In her view, the documentary is against public interest and the BBC should not have given its platform for such urposes.

Kperogi Replies

However, on Friday, Kperogi disagreed with Ahmed, saying her position will strengthen the government in its bid to muzzle the media.

Taking to his Twitter handle, he said Kadaria Ahmed’s anti-BBC article is a disservice to journalism and she should be ashamed of her article.

Kperogi also accused the government of trying to cover the horror being perpetrated by the terrorists and its own ineptitude.

He wrote: “Kadaria Ahmed is my senior in the profession for whom I have tremendous respect not only because of her matchless brilliance but also because of the record she set at Bayero University’s Department of Mass Communication from where I also graduated years after her.

“But her fuzzy attempt to criminalize BBC’s—and Daily Trust’s— praiseworthy investigative reporting on the heartrending terroristic banditry in Zamfara, her home state, which gave the inept federal government the justificatory lifeline it needed to muzzle the media is a huge disservice to the profession.

“If I were her, I’d be ashamed of that article. She is more worried about the uncomfortable truths revealed in the BBC report, which most of us already know and which journalists are professionally obligated to report, than the government’s crying ineptitude.

“If you don’t like what you see in the mirror, breaking, covering, or ignoring it won’t change anything. If the horrors of terroristic banditry weren’t ignored or covered by the gov’t, reporting on it wouldn’t have come across as glorification of banditry. It isn’t light’s problem that it reveals what’s in the dark.”

Government Reaction

President Muhammadu Buhari-led government on Thursday said the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Daily Trust will be sanctioned over their documentaries on terrorism and banditry in Nigeria.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed while speaking in Abuja accused BBC of showing the faces of terrorists as if they are Nollywood stars.

According to the minister, the news platforms would not get away with the interviews with terrorists.

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Mohammad further stated that the appropriate sanctions will be meted to the platforms.

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