Friday 09 September, 2016
After reading the junk concocted by the Nigeria DSS against the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu, the supreme leader and prophet of the IPOB, Director of Radio Biafra - published by Vanguard news in their various publications, you will indeed agree with me that Vanguard is a total disgrace to journalism.
It is important to let the world know that Vanguard news house has been riding on intelligence of the general public to count success among other news houses in Nigeria; they are full of lies, deceit and unprofessionalism. Above all, they practice “brown envelope journalism.”
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According to Farooq A. Kperogi, in his article tittled “Journalism is Dying a Slow Death in Nigeria” published on Saturday, May 31, 2014, he wrote;
“On May 27, 2014, many newspapers, including—yet again—the Vanguard, went to town with another transparently fictitious report about Borno women invoking a magical spell to subdue Boko Haram terrorists who had reputedly come to attack them. Vanguard quoted a nameless eyewitness of this putative supernormal encounter to have said that Boko Haram attackers invaded the village yesterday on motorcycles but met some women, adding ‘they wanted to hit the women with sticks but when they raised the sticks, their hands refused to descend." The hands of the Boko Haram terrorists “refused to descend?"
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In my effort to find out if any other mainstream newspaper reported this incident I found Daily Trust’s report of same May 27, titled “Women arrest Boko Haram fighters in Borno", which was even more dramatic and fantastically naive than Vanguard’s report. Like Vanguard, Daily Trust also quoted an unnamed eyewitness to have said, “The insurgents wanted to attack the women but their guns did not work. They tried hitting them with the butt of their guns but mysteriously, all the hands of the insurgents hung until youth and vigilantes in the area mobilized and killed them.”
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read this. Actually, I did both. That modern newspapers like the Vanguard and Daily Trust would give space to this sort of fictional, superstitious bunkum, dispirited me deeply. It killed the last vestige of hope I had that we might be able to leapfrog into the 21st century. We are probably condemned to be stuck in the Stone Age where ignorance and childlike obsession with superstitions and irrational, unfounded beliefs hold sway.
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But what kind of reporter would report those kinds of patently false stories? What is even worse is: what kind of editor would allow a fantastically fictitious story, with no authentic pictorial corroboration, based solely on the secondhand account of an unnamed source to be published in his/her paper? What happened to age-old journalistic skepticism? What happened to the ideal of verification before publication? When you add these to the countless stories in our newspapers about birds transmogrifying into witchy old women (another gem from Vanguard and other supposedly reputable newspapers), you know Nigeria’s problem isn’t just high-level corruption and incompetence in the highest reaches of government; it’s also irresponsible and credulous journalism.
The general public must be properly guided to avoid being deceived by the Vanguard news and any other brown envelope news houses in Nigeria. Boycott Vanguard news, they are enemy of truth. The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB will continue to expose their lies and unprofessionalism until they learn to publish the truth. We have come to restore Biafra and we cannot be deceived by any fake news because we are not ignorant of the devices of the enemies of truth.
By Chijindu Benjamin Ukah
Edited By Uche Nwosu
Published By Nwosu C.S
For Biafra Writers