The crisis between a media aide to Borno Governor, Babagana Zulum and the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Borno State reached a climax on Tuesday as the chapel condemned the disposition of the aide.
In a statement signed by the Chairman of the chapel, Mr Haruna Dauda, it was a unanimous decision of the congress that the governor’s media aide identified as Mr. Haruna BabaSheikh was undermining the role of the mainstream media operating in the state.
BabaSheikh, a Senior Special Assistant Media to the Governor is also the immediate past Chairman of the Borno State chapter of the NUJ.
“It is disheartening to observe that in recent times there seems to be a deliberate attempt by the officer to prevent members of the Correspondents’ chapel who represent various national and international media outfits from doing their jobs.” The statement read.
According to the statement, the Senior Special Assistant on Media who recently assumed the supervisory role of the Governor’s media affairs has continued to engage in “ an unprofessional conduct by refusing to invite or inform journalists of important public engagements or functions of the Governor in the state.”
The Correspondents’ chapel argues that Babasheikh’s act “negates the provision of section 22 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended which empowers the press to function freely without any form of hindrance.”
“The Correspondents’ chapel wishes to remind the SSA Media that good governance and accountability, which his principal, Governor Babagana Zulum stands for, can only be achieved when the media is allowed to cover and report the activities of government for effective checks and balances.” The Chairman noted.
According to him, the Chapel had on several occasions tried to draw Mr BabaShiekh’s attention to this unbecoming attitude but to no avail.
“To this end, therefore, the Chapel will no longer condone any attempt by Mr Baba Shiekh Haruna or those he delegates to undermine press freedom in Borno state.” The statement said.