While the leadership of Irigwe Development Association (IDA) continued to condemn the barbaric act that occurred along Rukuba Road of Jos North on the 14th August,2021 where some hoodlums attacked a convoy of five buses and killed some commuters while several others sustained varying degree of injuries,we want to reiterate that such heinous act was not in anyway perpetrated by Rigwe Youth.
The leadership wish to sanely condemn the report published by DailyTrust Newspaper on Sunday August 15,2021 outrightly affirming that the Saturday, August 14 attack along Rukuba Road of Jos North was carried out by Irigwe Youths even when no court of competent jurisdiction has declared the Irigwe Youths guilty of commiting the act.
The caption of the report which reads; ” Irigwe Youths kill 25 Fulani Travellers in Jos ,over 50 missing” is not only malicious but vicious in its entirety and capable of placing the Rigwe Nation on the map of bad people as well as have the propensity of inducing other noble people against the Rigwe people.
One would wonder how quickly the National Daily arrived at the identity of the victims and perpetrators when no formal investigation has been carried out. Could it that there’s more to this swift profiling of Rigwe people? This, we shall unravel soonest.
No doubt that the report was done on the platter of religious and ethnicity as the elements used are purely inciting, instigating and trouble fomenting and this is completely against the ethics and codes of journalism and reportage which stipulates that a journalist should refrain from making pejorative reference to a person’s ethnic group, religion, sex or to any physical or mental illness or handicap.
A Journalist should strive to enhance national unity and public good. A journalist should promote universal principles of human rights, democracy, justice, equity, peace and international understanding. A journalist should not copy, wholesale or in part, other people’s work without attribution and/or consent.
This has not only revealed the unprofessional nature of the Daily Trust Newspaper but has shown how unqualified they are in terms of information management as peace journalism has been relegated by them and had their focus shifted to emotion and promotion and propagation of violence and conflict.
Aside this being a deviation and violation against the Nigeria Broadcast Code(NBC) 6th edition where the introduction 2(3a) states that “Broadcasting shall adhere to the general principles of legality, decency, truth, integrity and respect for human dignity as well as the cultural, moral and social values of the people within the provisions of the Constitution” it also shows a negation of Chapter 1(2.4) which stipulates that “Sensationalism shall be avoided by refraining from speculations, statements, details or exaggerations that could aggravate mass panic or hysteria.
Worthy of note is that the said National Daily has not been publishing the reports of atrocities committed by Fulani Herdsmen in Rigwe Nation for over three weeks where over 70 people have been killed,over 2,500 households burnt down,over 25,000 people displaced,over 1000 hectres of farmlands mowed and destroyed and many domestic animals and household items looted. This is an attestation that they are completely out for an agenda which is to promote evil against good.
By this, no one can object that the act done by Daily Trust Newspaper is a defamation of character of entire Rigwe people and therefore must not go unpunished.
While we seek legal redress on this matter,we demand an open apology letter as well as a swift retraction or withdrawal of the report from the management of Daily Trust Newspaper as the dragging of Rigwe name to the mud is unacceptable and uncalled for.
We want to draw the attention of the Director General of National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) Mr Balarabe Ilelah to as matter of utmost importance sanction Daily Trust Newspaper for violating the established ethics of professional journalism in order to serve as a deterrent for others nursing the same thing.
Finally, we want to advice the media outlets to always check and verify information before they are dished out to the public in order to avoid flaming the nation.
Rigwe people will continue to be part and parcel of any process that will ensure that peace reigns in all parts of Nigeria.
Remember,a nation grows higher when EQUITY, JUSTICE and FAIRNESS supersedes Emotions and Sentiments based on ethnicity, religion and political affiliation.
Thank you and God bless.
National Publicity Secretary, IDA