A first generation online newspaper, SaharaReporters have been accused of taking $2000 dollars to publish a story to indict Zamfara Governor Bello Matawalle.
According to our source in Lagos, the reporter was asked to do the dirty report that was against the ethics of journalism profession, to distract the attention of the Zamfara Governor from the implementation of the former IGP MD Abbubakar’s report which indicted emirs, top class politicians and some security personnel for aiding and abetting armed banditry in Zamfara state and some northern Nigerian states.
Our source in Abuja said the reporter who is based in Lagos, said the condition for the publication was $2000 dollars and must be paid cash before putting our the story.
The source further added ” the money was paid by a Bureau De Change through it’s branch in Lagos.
Meanwhile, our investigation revealed that the story which lacks all the conditions and code of ethics of journalism profession was fake, biased, unobjective, unverified, unbalanced and sensational.
Speaking to our reporter on the issue, an indigene of Zamfara state said he was shocked to see such a report from SaharaReporters, an international medium that was hitherto highly respected for its reportage.
He said “such a damaging report was outrightly denied by the Nigerian army when it was first published by the online medium.
“The Nigerian army also explained that the governor did not give any vehicle to any repentant bandits, but to military and other security agencies to facilitate their operations in fighting the recalcitrant bandits. Yet the online medium is still writing a report on the issue.”
Audi Musa Gusau who is based in Abuja, said the online medium has lost its focus and credibility as a professional journalism organisation.
Another Zamfara indigene who spoke to our reporter from Gusau, the state capital said “it is unfortunate that such medium the poor man relied upon for reliable reportage, has now relegated itself to the background of collecting money to write fake reports and or intimidate people to collect money to cover up scandals.
“Just of recent, this medium was accused of collecting $1000 to write another fake report against Governor Bello Mohammed Matawallen Maradun over Zamfara state University.
” Our governor has been doing excellently well in both security and infrastructural and human development, we have no problem with our governor.
” All we know is that, these troubles are politically being caused to sabotaged the governor by some enemies of the state.”
Malam Bashir Auta, a Kano based Zamfara indigene said “we are no longer disturbed by any report published by SaharaReporters against our state, because the online medium has lost its focus and credibility as a professional journalism organisation.”
It may be recalled that, an official of Zamfara state government was approached by a reporter working for the medium to link the reporter with the governor for a deal, requesting for the sum of $50,000 to stop a publication against the governor and his government. When the request was turned down, the online medium published the story that His Excellency Gov Bello Matawalle has purchased and distributed Hilux vehicles to repentants banditds and they were using them to attack communities, a publication disputed by the Nigerian Army.
The publisher of the medium was also accused of joining hands with Namadi Kanu to destabilise Nigeria through a foreign-funded project.Reports from both the security agencies, particularly the police said there were no such attacks in Wazoji Village, talk less of killing a police inspector and 12 others. Funny enough, according to the reports, there was no such village called Wazoji in Zamfara state.