The speaker of the Adamawa state House of Assembly, Kabiru Mijinywa, who was quizzed by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) recently in Abuja, has accused Nigerian journalists of writing cooked-up stories after collecting bribes from government officials.
The speaker’s accusation came barely one week after some editors of national dailies were in the state on the invitation of the state government to inspect some of Governor Umaru Jibrilla’s projects in the state.
Mr. Mijinywa, who spoke Monday during the plenary session of the House, was visibly angry over a report inSunday Guardian stating the huge finanacial approvals the House granted the governor to the tune of N54 billion and how members were planning to impeach the governor.
“Nigerian journalists will go and collect money to write fake reports; if they are looking for money from the governor they should not involve Adamawa Assembly in their black market activities,” the lawmaker said in an angry tone.
The speaker, who suggested that media reports played a role in his travails at the hands of the EFCC, said if Guardian failed to retract its story on the impeachment of the governor, within 24 hours, the organization will have itself to blame.
“I’m giving The Guardian 24 hours to retract this report, after 24 hours the company will have itself to blame,” he fumed.
“Being a journalists is just an opportunity, so journalists should not see themselves as special people in the society or that they can intimidate people to get money and go free,” he stated.
The chief whip of the House, Hassan Burguma, who raised the issue of the Guardian’s publication, accused Adamawa state political elites of sponsoring such reports to cause disunity in the state.
He said the report claiming there were plans to impeach the governor was not only defamatory against state lawmakers, but that it was calculated to create friction between the governor and House members.
The member representing Demsa constituency, Lumsambani Dilli, insisted that the Guardian reporter be invited to House to disclose how he got to know about the plans to impeach the governor.
The member representing Mayo-Belwa constituency, Musa Mahmood, moved a motion that the security agents should be directed to arrest the reporter and produce him on the floor of the Assembly to disclose the source of his information.
The speaker later directed the clerk of the House to write the management of The Guardian and to also invite the reporter to appear before the House.