December 29, 2014 – Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Abdul Jelili Adesiyan, has warned media organizations across the country against labeling some states in the North east as Boko Haram territory.
The minister gave the warning against the backdrop of the media reports which categorized some troubled states in the north eastern part of the country as Boko Haram territory.
The report said that President Goodluck Jonathan would visit Boko Haram territory as part of his campaign activities ahead of the 2015 general elections.
But in a swift reaction, the minister, through his Chief Press Secretary, Wale Akinola, said the content of the story was not only misleading but a calculated attempt to portray the country and by implication, President Jonathan led administration in a bad light to the outside world.
He advised media organizations not to use their reports and analyses to polarized the country, especially as the 2015 general election was around the corner.
“It is unfair, biased and unprofessional for anyone, group or media organization to tag some states in the country as Boko Haram territory. That categorization does not only portend bad omen for the country but it gives bad impression to the outside world about our dear country.
“That there is security challenge is some parts of the country does not make those areas a Boko Harram territory. Such statement is an attempt by the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) to demean the government of the day and it should be seriously frowned at by every well-meaning Nigerian.
“Media, as the fourth estate of realm, is supposed to give the public accurate and timely information in an unbiased presentation. But when the media that are supposed to be objective in their commentaries and analyses of events become partisan or biased, then, our democracy is definitely threatened and this should not be allowed. The media should be wary of all reports that tend to polarize or disintegrate the country.”
Adesiyan, therefore, urged media owners and journalists not to allow their political, religious and ethnic sentiment to affect their news reportage and analyses, adding that media should be instrumental in deepening Nigeria’s democracy as it happened in some advanced democracies, rather than being used as instruments to pull the government down by the enemies of progress.