Stop Giving Boko Haram Media Coverage!

January 5th, 2012, Last Update, May 30th

NewsRescue- This is a message to all media houses, online and off line editorials, journals and associated social media platforms in Nigeria and globally: Kindly stop giving the notorious Boko Haram radical group operating in Nigeria- undue media coverage for all their announcements and threats.

Boko Haram (Western education is bad) is a terrorist group with suspected links to international Alqaeda and AQIM (Alqaeda In the Maghreb), with the common tactic of intimidation via cowardly bombing of innocent victims.

They recently received enormous media coverage for their dastardly bomb attacks on Christmas day across Northern Nigeria in which Churches were targeted. Over 40 people lost their lives in the attacks and families remain injured and devastated. This however is as much as need be said.

Attention ‘whores’

Boko Haram as with all unscrupulous terrorists are definitely attention seekers, bathing and gloating in the immense media attention and ‘recognition’ they get. The local and international media does Nigerians a great disservice by playing to the tune of these common hoodlums. Indeed if the late Lawrence Anini, a popular thief in the 80’s who operated across Nigeria, or any other similar criminal, gave announcements for people to regulate and control their activities, this would not be news and will not earn media attention. Likewise the rants and ‘orders’ of Boko Haram, a fringe, radical criminal group, deserves no media attention, and all their messages should simply go only to the Nigerian security services if this menace is to be controlled.

Related: NewsRescue- Boko Haram linked to Qatar, Western Powers

Update, April 22:

Stop giving Boko Haram cheap publicity, IGP tell journalists

Sunday, 22 April 2012 18:46 administrator; PeoplesDaily

From Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji, Abeokuta

Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar has identified media coverage being given to the Boko Haram sect as motivational factor for the group to see themselves as relevant, and therefore passionately appealed to journalists to henceforth stop giving them such publicity.
Abubakar who spoke with newsmen at Eleweran Police Headquarters, Abeokuta, shortly after addressing men of the command, cautioned newsmen that in the interest of the country, the noise over the group should stop.
“Don’t promote terrorism. This is the only country where we promote terrorism. They don’t need to be promoted, don’t give them attention, you make them relevant, if you stop giving them media attention, they would soon fizzle into oblivion”.
“Where in the world do you see terrorists and terrorism being promoted, even in CNN you can’t see such stories been promoted. They are criminals, I am appealing as a Nigerian, the way we report such is not in the interest of the country, stop given them publicity”.
He declared that the activities of the killer group do not give him any sleepless nights, because he is optimistic that their days are numbered, stressing that their (Boko Haram) activities would continue to consumed their members.

Muslim stance on Boko Haram activities

The Muslim Holy book, the Quran clearly states:

Qur’an 22:40 [They are] those who have been evicted from their homes without right – only because they say, “Our Lord is Allah .” And were it not that Allah checks the people, some by means of others, there would have been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is much mentioned. And Allah will surely support those who support Him. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might.

This defines that it is actually the duty of all believers who include,- Muslims, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, and the like to protect all, bar none, Holy places. The Northern Muslims are once again implored to sacrifice their lives to protect all religious sanctuaries in which ‘Allah (God)’s name is called.

Islam further expresses as obtains in the Holy book, that whoever kills an innocent person, is compared to a person who has killed all of humankind, likewise, whoever saves an person has equivocally saved the entire mankind. We all know the feeling we had for all the innocent victims of the evil of this group, we all felt a part of us die per innocent victim killed in their attacks. Giving them a platform to announce their evil, the reasons for their evil only promotes their success, which  is not in the best of our interest.

Quran 5:32 ..whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind.

Related: NewsRescueNigeria’s Nasir El-Rufai tweets about Boko Haram violence

A Clarion call to all Media

Please desist the urge to promote the success of this notorious gang. The more they are promoted and given free publicity and advertisement for their concoctions, the greater their success. If contacted by this group, simply proceed to pass their information on to the Nigerian security services. As media organizations we must consider our risk-benefit ratio. Promoting public fear and chaos, while subversively contributing to the vicious cycle of hate and violence, and splintering of the Nation is not what the Media is about.

Not belittling the impact of communal terror in Nigeria, in 2011 there were a total of 250 deaths from all forms of terrorism within the Nation. This compares to the number of deaths we have from road transport accidents every 2 months. Of course our high level of deaths from these accidents is due to all levels of neglect and corruption from top level down. This higher level of terrorism actually is a greater risk to human life than that due to the unscrupulous elements the Media gives large audience to, ultimately promoting their agenda.

The Nigerian government is also implored to stand up to their obligations of providing its people with the security they deserve. They should work with all Media organizations toward the safe and secure transmission of sensitive information and guide the Media to alert the public in ways that ensure the security of the citizenry is top priority.

Ajibade Folorunsho contributed to this report.

Related: NewsRescue- Nigeria; 55 murdered, houses razed in New Year eve Ebonyi communal clash attack