Daily Trust (Abuja)

23 January 2013

Nigeria: Journalist Gets Death Threats

Yola — A journalist working with a broadcast media owned by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar complained yesterday that he was getting death threats over a political programme he runs in the outfit.

Malam Shekarau Yerima, who runs the programme 'Dimukradiyya a Yau' in Gotel Radio in Yola, Adamawa State capital, alleged that people he believes to be working for the state government are sending death threats to him.

In a letter his organisation sent to both the state police command and State Security Service yesterday, obtained by Daily Trust, Shekarau alleged that the latest threat was made yesterday by someone who claims to be a security officer in the state.

He said the purported officer called him "with a telephone number 08088811117 at about 10.36a.m on the 22nd of January 2013, the call lasted for six minutes and 36 seconds.

"In the conversation he warned me and the station to desist from featuring some politicians that are giving bad name and abusing Governor Murtala Nyako.

"The caller said that if we insist on giving room to such people to be attacking the governor they will eliminate us by death or attacking the station facilities by all means," he alleged.

Gotel's Head of Administration Mohammed Sani Isa said in a covering letter that this was one of many threats delivered to the station and its staff.

Shekarau told Daily Trust that an earlier threat was sent to him through a text message.

The text which reads: 'I will distroy your life (sic)' was allegedly sent via a phone number: +2348166094950. It was sent on 15 January 2013.

Shekarau, a popular broadcaster with over two decades of journalism experience, is also the Financial Secretary of the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

Political programmes in local broadcast stations in the state get large audiences in the state at the moment.

The political atmosphere in the state is tense following the split of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) into two factions: Governor Nyako faction and a Joel Madaki faction which is loyal to PDP national chairman Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.

Radio Gotel is alleged to be sympathetic to Madaki faction.

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