We in Greenbarge Reporters were embarrassed at the news item published in many online media today, most of them as Breaking news, the claim by supposed leader of the deadly Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, that his members were responsible for the June 25 bomb blasts near Folawiyo Energy fuel depot in Apapa, Lagos and the one at Emab plaza, Abuja, the nation’s federal capital.
It is for lack of appropriate word to use that we called it embarrassment, especially with the High Intelligent Quotent (HIQ) Nigerian Journalists are endowed with.
Agreed that almost all the media dubbed the news from a French foreign agency, AFP, the fact remains that the media appear to be indirectly fighting on the side of Boko Haram against the security people and, of course, government.
There is no doubt that the message conveyed in that media promoted Shekau claim seriously damaged the corporate entity of Nigeria, as questionable as it appeared.
It has been long that minister of information, Labaran Maku has been calling on the media to either blackout Boko Haram activities from their pages or airwaves or give less emphasis to them.
We in this medium never really comprehended the enormity of Maku’s continuous appeal until the governor of Edo state, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole backed him last week.
Oshiohole, who spoke to newsmen shortly after the National Council of State meeting at the Presidential villa, Abuja, made it clear that more publicity to Boko Haram and any other enemy of the state amounts to giving them incentive. In this case, incentive means encouragement to them to continue to do more harm or using media as mega phone to make it look as if they are doing more harm.
The media may not have come to terms with the universal reality that most of the wars are won through the power of information. Information most times, lounders the ego of the perpetrators of the terrorism and devastates the morale of the security operatives and government.
In most cases, 80 percent of information dished out are manufactured just so as to dampen the spirit of the opponent. This is saying that Information is power.
That is to repeat also that winning a war is dependent on how vocal or loud mouthed the winner is.
Why should it be that each time disasater ocures in any part of the country, someone floating any name, would claim to be responsible and the media would go to town with it, line, hook and sinker?
We were told by the security operatives long time ago that Abubakar Shekau was dead, but each time, it is the same Shekau that would appear on yootube to claim responsibility for any explosion, even if it is petroleum tanker that is gutted by fire, and the media would celebrate it.
Does it not occure to colleagues that anybody, in this era of technological advancement in which people hack even the most sophisticated website, can appear on yootube, calls himself or even herself Abubakar Shekau as “responsible” for one attrocity or the other?
We in Greenbarge Reporters are appealing to colleagues to slow down in the way they fall over one another to celebrate the “achievements” of Boko Haram, as if such “achievements” would add to the nation’s peace, unity and socio-economic progress. Especially when they capitalize on disaster that is akin to their modus operandis, making us to believe that such is also part of their “achievements.”
As a matter of fact, it would not cost our respected and responsible colleagues, either those in online, in newspaper or broadcasting, any negative thing for them to let some news items about Boko Haram pass them by.
Rather, downplaying Boko Haram’s exploits will likely push the members out of business, how ever slow it may be.