The federal government has rejected a report on a fatal shooting of two workers at a toll gate in Lagos, saying the report has been “hijacked” by an “ignorant and unpatriotic elements” and that it would be rebutted soon. The worker, identified as Moshood Ali Njoku, was shot and killed at the toll gate in Lekki, on the southwest coast of Nigeria, on April 14.
The Workers of Editorial Board of national paper of their group , certain irreligious elements are unveiling the matter of killing an employee of the Lagos State government, just to instigate retaliation to organize some attacks against the government of Lagos State, state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, stated in a statement.
He added that the government would take all necessary steps to protect workers in public and private sector.
The government deplored the present situation, whereby an individual or group of individuals could declare war on government for national interest by abusing the sacred freedom of expression.
I want to remind my brother editors to always adhere strictly to public interest as they produce their journalistic products. The paper should not be tilted or be in favour of one group or the other.
On my part, I will continue to keep alive my media advocacy for the interest of the ordinary Nigerians, which was meant to promote democracy and good governance, particularly in the face of the current challenges.
A reporter, Idowu Fatiregun, from The Nation newspapers was also killed at the same toll gate in February. Fatiregun wrote for several other newspapers, including Kingsley Udoh, TK Abang, TMS De and WNFE. He was shot by unknown gunmen. Since then, more victims have been killed.
Nigerian media is not known for being shy in reporting social and political concerns. Indeed, it is one of the rare platforms to mobilise people to get involved in seeking solutions. In years past, it has been a rallying point for public indignation, especially where corruption has not been squarely exposed.
For a more effective platform, one of the oldest and one of the most respected Nigerian newspapers, The Guardian, has now started a new chapter, refocusing on breaking stories based on sound investigative journalism.
It remains to be seen whether the newspaper’s outlook will bring back any measure of efficacy to the task of a strong and vibrant Nigerian media, which once carried the task of keeping the country on course, particularly in times of chaos and transition of power.