By Ameh Ejekwonyilo
A group, Equity And Justice In Politics And Governance Movement has warned against attempts by individuals and groups to ridicule the Federal Government’s anti-corruption fight.
Addressing a new conference on Tuesday in Abuja, the group accused an online publication, Sahara Reporters of working underground to frustrate the anti-corruption war of the President Mohammadu Buhari-led administration.
Specifically, Equity And Justice In Politics And Governance Movement, accused the online publication of working to tarnish the reputation of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) and the anti-corruption fight.
Dr. Musa Moses Attah, National Coordinator of the movement called on relevant media regulatory agencies to call Sahara Reporters to order and sanction the organisation for allegedly peddling fake news.
Attah said the attack on the person of the AGF was not the first on government officials by the online newspaper.
”The AGF is a fine gentleman who has performed his duty creditably well since his appointment into that office in 2015 and because of his sterling qualities and performances, President Buhari found him worthy of re-appointment.
”It may interest Nigerians to note that this is not the first time Sahara Reporters will be publishing FAKE News against government official”.
He alleged that the medium once reported the death of Ghali Umar Na’abba, former House of Representatives Speaker and later retracted the report and apologized to the former speaker.
”With all that we have stated above, it is our view that the FAKE News published by Sahara Reporters against the AGF should not be taken seriously as the online medium is out to tarnish the image of the well respected AGF.
”For instance the sponsored photos of houses supposedly “owned” by Malami in Kano and other places have turned to be a hoax and misbegotten as the minister has disconnected himself from allegation of purchasing a property for his son in Abuja. It might interest you to note that a photograph of a center in Kano built over 30 years ago was allegedly attributed to Malami. Another property on Ahmadu Bello Way/Gidado Road Kano ascribed to Malami is owned by a serving Military officer under investigation. The lies are many.
”As a private legal practitioner, it is a known fact that Malami has been into businesses and even owned Rayhaan Hotels long before serving as a Minister. Is it expected that the business will crumble simply because he was chosen to be a Minister?
”We at the movement are worried that the rate at which Sahara Reporters is going, journalism may be dragged into the mud. We therefore, call on Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN), Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, (GOCOP), Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Nigerian Press Council (NPC), and the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) should call Sahara Reporters to order before the noble profession of journalism is destroyed.”