I'm unaware of arrest, detention of Abuja-based journalist: Masari

Gov Masari

Gov. Masari

By Abbas Bamalli

Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State has said he is unaware of the reported arrest and detention of any journalist.

Masari also said that he did not ask any of his officials to do so.

Alhaji Abdu Labaran, the Director-General Media to the governor said this in a statement issued in Katsina on Sunday night.

Labaran was reacting to a statement issued by the FCT Chapter of the NUJ accusing Masari of ordering the arrest of one Nelson Omonu of Summit Post newspaper.

“The attention of the Katsina State Government has been drawn to a press statement issued by the NUJ, FCT Council, in which it accused the governor of ordering the arrest of one Nelson Omonu, who works for Summit Post Newspaper.

“The statement was issued today, Sunday, and jointly signed by Comrades Emmanuel Ogbeche and Ochiaka Ugwu, Chairman and Secretary of the Council, respectively.

“They alleged that the journalist was whisked away in a commando-style by security operatives believed to be working on the orders of Gov. Masari.

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“As bad as the allegation is, the FCT NUJ went on to make degrading remarks about the security challenges bedeviling the state as if Katsina is the only state facing the menace of banditry.

“For the avoidance of doubt, and the purpose of putting the record straight, Gov. Masari, or, for that matter, any official of the Katsina State government, has not ordered for the arrest or detention of any journalist, in Abuja or anywhere else,” the statement read in part.

The governor added that journalists working in Katsina, and even a number of those working in other parts of the country, notably the FCT, will without prompting attest to the fact that he is one of the most media-friendly public officials in Nigeria.

“In our view, this reckless press statement by the leadership of FCT Council of the NUJ has exposed the bankruptcy of journalistic ethics among some members of the fourth estate of the realm in the country.

“And the FCT Council is supposed to lead the rest of the councils across the nation.

“It is also our belief that we may not be wrong to suspect a hatchet job executed for a handsome reward, paid by a shadowy puppeteer who pulls the strings behind the scene.

“We cannot teach members of the FCT NUJ council how to go about keeping the wolves away from their door, but they would do well, very, as a matter of fact, to make sure of their fact before rushing to put pen on paper, making laughable allegations in obeisance to their paymasters.

“Such actions, which have nothing to do with purity of purpose, have a way they easily boomerang,” the statement advised.

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