28 January 2013

Nigerian Reporter Gets Death Threats for Featuring Politicians On-Air

press release

Journalists in Adamawa state, in northeast Nigeria, say their lives are in danger as a result of reporting on a crisis plaguing the ruling Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

On 22 January 2013, Mallam Shekarau Yerima, who runs a Hausa-language programme called 'Dimukradiyya a Yau' on Gotel Radio in Yola, the state capital, said he received a death threat through a phone call. He said the call came from mobile number listed as '08088811117.'

He said the caller claimed to be a security officer in the state.

Yerima said that during the call, which lasted six minutes and 36 seconds, the professed security officer warned him and Gotel Radio to desist from featuring some politicians [on-air], whom he alleged were giving a bad name to, and insulting state governor Murtala Nyako.

Yerima added, "The caller said that if we insisted on [allowing] such people to be attacking the governor, they would eliminate us by death, or by attacking the station's facilities by all means."

Yerima has petitioned both the state police command and the Adamawa State directorate of the State Security Service (SSS) over the death threat.

Media Rights Agenda also reports that on 23 January 2013, a Mercedes Benz car belonging to Mr. Emmanuel Ande - Adamawa's correspondent for The Guardian newspaper - was set ablaze in Yola. Conducted by unknown persons, the attacked occurred while the elected local council chairmen of the PDP was being sworn-in.

A four-litre plastic jerrycan suspected to be filled with petrol was placed under the car by unknown men. The jerrycan later went up in flames, engulfing the car and reducing it to burnt metals, as efforts to put out the fire failed.

No arrest was made as there was no security provided for the occasion.

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