By Hassan A Karofi
Few days after the release of the report by the Kangaroo judicial commission of inquiry set up by Governor Ahmed El-rufai, the damning indictment of the army by the report did not catch the attention of Nigerian media curiously because it may not be the narration they were expecting.
I watched many news media houses, televisions, listened to radio stations and read newspaper headlines today in anticipation to read the report, but I was disappointed as the media refused to prioritize the findings. Daily Trust Newspaper- where I have worked for 16 years- chose to report a sponsored demonstration by some idle youths in Kaduna denouncing the constitutional rights of the Islamic movement of Nigeria, IMN to ask the Kaduna state attorney General to prosecute soldiers drafted to massacre innocent women and children. This is despite the fact that our editors have access to the report or were privy to the content as reported by some online newspapers.
This blackout by the media did not come to me as a surprise looking at the ideological composition of the ownership and editorial management of mostly northern newspapers. However, if the report had indicted the IMN-as many would want-the media would have scramble to splash the indictment on their front pages.
In the early morning of yesterday, I had engaged one of the members of the kangaroo commission, Dr Jibril Ibrahim in relation to his article-again in Daily Trust and Premium Times were he seemed to set the tone of what the report would be. Although he argued that my conclusion was hasty as the accusation of bias I levelled against the commission before I read the report was like putting the cart before the horse, a glimpse into the report had shown a superficial indictment of the army.
From the surface, it could look like the commission has indicted the army and asks for the prosecution of the General Commander of the Kaduna infantry division, Major General Kayode the truth of the matter was that the commission only succeeded in exposing its agenda by indicting the messenger and freeing the owner of the message. If General Kayode is guilty of massacre, what about the General Burutai, the mastermind of the massacre? Or the Commander in chief who abdicated on his responsibility to protect Nigerians regardless of creed, sect of religion?
The decision by the media to blackout the report was deliberate and calculated attempt to bury the findings and makes it irrelevant. I am sure, in the next few days, when the full report is out we will see the media prioritizing the aspect of the report which ban the Imam Hussaini commemoration trek from across the country to the Hussainiyya shrine in Zaria.
Other curious silence by the report was it muteness on issues of compensation, rebuilding of our Hussainiyya mosque destroyed, the graveyard vandalized and the house of our revered Sayid destroyed also.
As the events unfold, the world will continue to watch with keen interest the various shenanigans and underplays being orchestrated to doctor the report as we have seen with the arms procurement manipulation where the same General Burutai was skilfully removed from the criminals even when it is clear that he was an active participant. We shall see.
Karofi wrote from number 30 Wuye finance quarters and can be reached at
Hassan A Karofi
Manager, Marketing and Sales,
Media Trust Limited, Abuja
email: [email protected],[email protected]