THE end to the cold war brewing between the Sun Newspaper and the presidential spokesman, Garbage Shehu, may not be insight anytime soonest.
This is as the print news medium rejected being the purveyor of hate speech reversing the title to the presidential spokesman.
The Newspaper had published an interview granted to it by a statesman of the Fulani extraction warning that there might be more violence if decisive action was not immediately dispatched to quell the farmers and herders clashes across the country.
It also published an opinion piece on the same subject, calling on the authorities and leadership of the country to rise to the challenge of protecting life and property or they would vicariously have to be held liable for their actions and inactions.
The newspaper said it was merely drawing attention of the authorities to the possibility of a likely more violence, going by the utterances of one of the key parties to the conflict.
As at press time, HEADLINE gathered that the authors of the published articles has not denied making the statement attributed to them.
These publications didn’t go down well with Mr. Shehu who lashed out at the management of the newspaper, warning them to further desist from their conduct.
He said they were propagating hate speech adding that “What prevailed in Rwanda before the genocide of the early 90s, was as a result of consistent hate speech spewing from that country’s media.”
He also urged the media to show more decorum and professionalism in the reportage of security and humanitarian situations in the country.
Responding, the Sun said, “We reject in its entirety Garba Shehu’s hate speech against The Sun as well as tag of promoter of ‘hate speeches,’ which he, maliciously and unfairly, laboured to foist on our newspaper without any scintilla of evidence. We hope this is not a calculated ploy to give a dog a bad name in a bid to hang it.”
It said the emerging absurdities in the journalism profession in Nigeria is the penchant of erstwhile professionals, who, on becoming government officials, mount the high horse and holler pontifications on rules and ethics, which they hardly practised while they were in practice.
The paper went ahead to state that the presidential spokesman hold a distinguished medal as a purveyor of hate speeches.
“The man, who accused this newspaper of propagating hate speeches, himself holds a distinguished medal as purveyor of hate speeches. In case he has forgotten, here is what he said about his principal, as spokesman of Atiku Abubakar, in the run up to the primaries: “I don’t even think Buhari is the best candidate, because Buhari as military head of state has the worst human rights record in the country. I will prefer a neutral candidate. I don’t mind, but I will prefer a neutral candidate, because we would, if Buhari becomes the president, even get back to a worse situation than we are going through now. There are many top contenders for the alliance presidential ticket who are really truly democratic, and who we can always support to emerge.”
When this news portal enquired from the presidential spokesman about his response to the paper’s allegation, he purposely ended his call after this reporter introduced himself.
Subsequent redials to him ranged unanswered.