Journalists say their lives are in danger over coverage of crisis in ruling party


Journalists in Adamawa State say their lives are now in danger as a result of reporting the crisis plaguing the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

On  January 22, 2013, at about 10.36 am, local time, 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 from a mobile phone, whose number he identified as: ‘08088811117’.  He said the caller claimed to be a security officer in the state.

Yerima said during the call, which lasted for six minutes and 36 seconds, the professed security officer warned him and Gotel Radio to desist from featuring some politicians whom he alleged were giving a bad name to and insulting Governor Murtala Nyako of the state.

He added: “The caller said that if we insisted on giving room to such people to be attacking the governor, they would eliminate us by death or attacking the station’s facilities by all means.”

Yerima has petitioned both the state Police Command and Adamawa State directorate of the State Security Service (SSS) over the threat to his life.

In another incident, on  January 23, 2013, a Mercedes Benz car belonging to “The Guardian” newspaper’s correspondent in the state, Mr. Emmanuel Ande, was set ablaze by unknown persons during the swearing-in of elected local council chairmen of the PDP along Yola-Numan Road in Yola, venue of the event.

A four-litre plastic jerrycan suspected to be filled with premium motor spirit (petrol) was placed under the car by unknown men. The jerrycan later went up in flames which engulfed the car and reduced 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.