Nigerians have dragged the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, over his threat to sanction the BBC and Daily Trust over their recent documentaries on terrorism.
Naija News had reported that Mohammed on Thursday threatened that the Federal Government would sanction the platforms in due time.
Mohammed accused the news platforms of glorifying bandits and terrorists with their interviews and showing the faces of terrorists as if they are Nollywood stars.
Recall that 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.
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.
Ado Aleru, a notorious Fulani gang leader who is wanted by the Katsina Police for leading a massacre in the village of Kadisau in June 2020 was also interviewed.
However, Nigerians have taken to social media to berate the minister and the federal government for threatening to sanction the media outlets over the documentaries.
See some of the reactions below.
@Adidi_Concepts wrote: “So the worry isn’t about the insecurity menace the nation is faced with. Lai Mohammed is more concerned with saving face and sanctioning the “4th arm of the constitution” This has to be a joke.”
@NwaOwere_1 wrote: “Been waiting for Lai Mohammed and he didn’t disappoint. Always trying to cover evil and change narratives. There have never been consequences for terrorists, but there will be consequences for the media doing their job.”
@ToryBlacq wrote: “Maybe because it was revealed that Zamfara state government paid 60m for ransom, the soldiers shot and killed a civilian kid that only came to welcome his abducted sister, the government know how to reach the bandits but are intentionally not doing anything.”
@KENZO_rdk wrote: “It’s obvious Lai Mohammed made the statement without consulting with NBC, lack of information, didn’t cite any law that was broken or state the exact punishment, the whole video was him assuming what they did was illegal and guessing he could do something about it like a village chief.”
@pdauda wrote: “Why does the Nigerian government desperately need to control the narrative around terrorists and bandits in Northern Nigeria? It’s now obvious they don’t want us to have independent opinions about the violence in parts of the country and this is unacceptable.”
@Ojayy_tweets wrote: “The documentary highlighted the conflict in Zamfara as about Govt neglect and inter-tribal misunderstanding… What makes these bad?
“The govt is not being honest! Why keep people willing to speak out, hidden? Who takes those ransoms? At least, now you can’t deny their location.”
@NwaOwere_1 wrote: “How did BBC get access to these terrorists? Nigerian Armed forces need to answer the question. These guys are not ghosts, they have phones, and they are even chiefs in Emirates. Shame on our security system.”
@KelechiObeh wrote: “This Buhari government have completely gag our media houses. Have you noticed that our media don’t really carry any investigative or exposè news? All they do is report news that is already in the public domain. News has become very boring. It is sad!”
@biggy_orobo wrote: “This was how they banned Twitter, you all are still supporting them, now they’re saying shit about BBC again. Tueh! To all APC supporters.”