Monday, 31 August 2020

Hon Jarigbe debunks threat to life claims by AIT's Rasheed Olanrewaju Zubairu

31 August 2020


My attention has been drawn to the allegation by one Rasheed Olanrewaju Zubairu, the Cross River State Correspondent of AIT (African Independent Television) that I threatened his life over his report of my purported disqualification by the Peoples Democratic Party Screening Committee for the bye election for Cross River North Senatorial elections. 

Ordinarily, I would have ignored such a report, but because of the recent development in Cross River State between the former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode and a journalist with the Daily Trust, I wish to put the record straight. 

The said-Rasheed carried a story on my purported disqualification without making any effort to confirm from the National headquarters of our great party, the PDP or the courtesy to hear from me so that he would give the public a correct information without embarrassing the AIT that is highly respected in the country and beyond. 

To the best of my knowledge, truth, objectivity and fairness (balancing of reports) have been the guiding principles of journalism profession. And I had expected  Rasheed to have into consideration the political tension in the state in tha last couple of months. 

Journalism also entails reporting your community, this time the state, and ensure that your report does not ignite tension or cause disaffection among contending factions especially in an electioneering period as this. It is, therefore, absolutely wrong for any reporter to throw caution to the wind by reporting outrigjtly that I have been disqualified..For me i see it as somewhat unprofessional.

On the issue of threats, he claimed he has the audio conversation between two of us, I will like him to make such audio available to NUJ Cross River State Council.

I have great respect for journalists and the journalism profession. I have also enjoyed tremendous support from Journalists in Cross River State and in Nigeria at large. Therefore, I would not do anything that would engender mutual respect and relationship between myself and the Journalists. 

However, i enjoin  the media professionals in the state to abide by the tenets of the profession and not to bring it to disrepute. 

Thank You.

Rt Hon Jarigbe Agom
August, 30, 2020.

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