Exclusive: Lai Mohammed Orders Sack, Redeployment Of Journalists In Ministry Over Reporting Of APC Crisis
Federal government news agencies editorial staff under Ministry of Information are currently on tenterhooks over gale of sack and redeployment prevailing at their workplaces at the alleged instigation of Lai Mohammed, the minister, over reporting of political differences in the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, elombah.com has been told.
As learnt, one of the correspondents of News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, Usman Alliyu in Kwara State is the latest victim of the alleged ire of the minister after the journalist reported a press conference a factional wing of the ruling party in Kwara State, the Minister’s home state.
Usman, one of the strongest hands in the bureau and recently back from a short fellowship, was redeployed from Kwara to Edo State after the journalist reported an event addressed by factional elements of the ruling party.
An inside source in Abuja head office of the news cable agency told the online newspaper that the minister practically ordered the management of NAN to have Usman redeployed over his reportage. ”The minister believed that his reporting of the political event was sponsored by his enemies,” the source said.
The press conference in question was addressed by youths under the banner of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the three senatorial districts in Kwara state where they expressed unflinching support for the removal of Hon. Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa, BOB, as the Caretaker Chairman of the party in the state.
Along with Gbemisola Saraki, another minister and sister of erstwhile Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Mohammed has been on a political battle tuff with Abdulrahaman Abdulrazak, the state governor, over reports that the governor was unwilling to work with the Minister’s preferred state party Exco led by BOB.
The state party structure is currently factionalized with claims that BOB has been sacked by the national chairman of the party.
Usman’s case is not peculiar. The online newspaper learnt that journalists in NAN have suffered either sack or redeployment from one state to the other over reports deemed to have embarrassed Mohammed or the federal government.
Also in the Kwara state bureau of NAN, there, another reporter was said to have been kicked out, sent to Osun after his reporting during the first wave of the COVID 19 pandemics.
The reporter had exposed theft of palliative money during the lock down after what appeared to be laxity of security in Kwara.
Kaduna State was also hit by the Minister’s hurricane. Though details were not revealed as at press time, but three editorial staff of NAN were sacked in the state, including an editor over a story.
Lagos also felt the brunt of the censorship after two reporters of NAN were placed on suspension.
Other agencies under the ministry have also been put under pressure as learnt. The Nigerian Television Authorizaty, NTA, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, Voice of Nigeria, VON, who are part of government perception agency are said to be under similar strain.