BBC Correspondent Petitions Nigeria Police over Threats to his Life

Mr. Peter Nkanga
Reporter with British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

Mr. Peter Nkanga, a reporter for the  British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Africa Eye, has petitioned the Nigeria Police, alerting it of the alleged threat to his life by supporters of a host of a radio programme, Berekete Family Show

Peter who said he has been receiving death threats since the release of his BBC documentary showing Isah assaulting an interviewee, called on the police to invite Isah to sign an undertaking that his life is safe.. He alleged that supporters of Ahmed released his phone numbers on social media and they have been bombarding him with calls and SMS threatening they will stone him to death.

In the letter dated June 2, 2021 and addressed to Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, Peter said he does not feel safe adding he and his family were worried that for over a week, the police failed to act on the clear threats to his personal safety.

He said the British Broadcasting Corporation submitted an official letter with corroborating evidence to the Inspector-General of Police regarding harassment, cyber-bullying and threat to his life and others on May 25, 2021.

He however noted that it was over a week and he was “following up to know the status of the letter and the actions that the Police have taken, most particularly for Ahmad Isah of the Human Rights Radio 101.1FM to be invited to sign an undertaking that no harm will befall me, my family and BBC crew. This is because the harassment and threats were occasioned by our phone numbers released on his Live programme to the public.”

The BBC reporter said he won’t feel safe until Ahmad signs an undertaking for at least two reasons: “Because Ahmad is someone with power and  influence who boldly lied on his Live show when he told his followers and the whole world that I and the BBC plotted to kill him. This was a premeditated lie with malicious intentions,” and because he knows of a similar instance that Isah got his mob to harass and threaten a station manager at Love FM some years back.

On May 17, the BBC aired a documentary anchored by Nkanga that featured Ahmed hosting the Brekete Family Programme in which he was seen slapping a woman who allegedly set her niece’s hair on fire. Peter made the comment that Ahmed “crossed a line,” but elsewhere in the documentary, Peter also referred to Ahmed as “effective” in seeking justice for Nigerians who faced abuse.

On May 19, while on-air during the Berekete Family Programme, Ahmed accused Peter and the BBC team of plotting to kill him, claiming, “they had planned a specific spot where they would stage what looked like an attack on our vehicle and there they would eliminate me.”

On May 20, during the phone-in segment on the Berekete Family Programme, someone who identified himself as “Barrister Tinubu” called in and disclosed Peter’s phone number on-air urging Ahmed’s supporters to contact Peter to voice their displeasure over the documentary.

Almost immediately the reporter began receiving threatening messages and calls and he was forced to switch off his phone. One of the threats from an unidentified caller threatened Peter would be “stoned to death” if he continued covering Ahmed and Human Rights Radio.