WikkiTimes Reporter Alleges Threat to Life by Politician’s Assistant

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Mr. Yawale Adamu, WikkiTimes’s reporter

Mr. Yawale Adamu, a reporter with WikkiTimes, has alleged that his life is being threatened by Mr. Mustapha Abdurrahman, an assistant to a  lawmaker in Bauchi State, following his report on the politicization of the distribution of aid by the North East Development Commission (NEDC), an initiative meant to alleviate the impact of fuel subsidy removal on the poor and vulnerable in the region. 

Mr. Adamu said Mr. Abdurrahman warned him of serious consequences from himself and his boss if he failed to retract the story, saying the investigation was a ploy by political rivals to undermine his principal and declared that they would not tolerate ‘arrogant’ reporters damaging their principal’s reputation.

The reporter revealed that in a series of threatening phone calls, Mustapha claimed he had detailed information on every WikkiTimes’ reporter and stated emphatically that they would act against Mr. Adamu for sullying their principal’s reputation, warning that the lawmaker himself would ensure the reporter does not escape.

In one of their phone conversation, the political aide asked: “Who authorized the publication of that story?” He claimed: “The details you reported were incorrect. I’ve been in contact with the DSS; they’ve requested your contact information.”

Threatening the reporter, Mr. Abdurrahman said: “Remember, being a journalist does not place you above the law. All the rice deliveries were distributed in Jama’are, none went to Itas Gadau. I’ve provided the DSS with the contact details of the individual who assisted your reporting in the constituency; they intend to track him down. The person who guided you and facilitated interviews throughout the constituency, I assure you, will face consequences; no one will shield him. We cannot stand by while our reputation is damaged; I swear by Allah, you will face repercussions for your actions.”

In another conversation, the political aide said: “You’re presenting a very contradictory story. I want to clarify that today, I’ve spoken with the founders of WikkiTimes in Bauchi. Don’t mislead people by claiming there’s no political angle; that’s completely untrue. You claim you visited Itas, but in reality, you’ve maligned the people there and favored Jama’are. Stop fooling yourself.

“I swear by Allah, we will take action because of your stubbornness. No one will grant you any interviews; the representative has instructed as much. Go and amend your report. I swear by Allah, if you fail to retract that story, we will be compelled to act against you”

“What kind of reasoning is this? Do you really think it’s feasible for us to distribute enough rice for every single person in Jama’are? You seem solely focused on damaging someone’s reputation. I swear, we will not tolerate this.

“Stop fooling yourself into thinking you’ve exposed us; what story have you really captured? When did you even start in journalism? Stop deceiving yourself, I’m telling you.”

“Wallahi Tallahi, you cannot come here, blackmail us, and expect to go free, I’m telling you. The lawmaker asked me why I gave you the numbers, but given what you’ve done to him, he will not allow it. Don’t think being a journalist exempts you—there were many before you. I have a brother who is a BBC reporter.”