I read the article by Mr. Majeed Dahiru in the Blue Print Newspaper of Thursday, July 27th in which he tried to cause disaffection between Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim and his wife in one hand and also instigate negative reaction against the Senator and the political and religious leaders of northern extraction in another hand with great bemusement.
The writer tried several times in the article to wipe up negative sentiments and incite the people against Senator Bukar Abba and the entire political and religious class of northern Nigeria using sharia legal code and other fake narratives as launching pad.
Before I address the issue raised by Mr. Dahiru in which he tried to incite the people against their leaders with clear intent of raising new political class for selfish interest, I want to chastise him for juxtaposing private life of marriage which is an institution on its own with politics which is another institution entirely for the sake of achieving pre-determined political objective of disrupting the current system.
The writer breached the basic rule of journalism which separates public issues from private affairs. If Mr. Dahiru had written the article in any newspaper in the United Kingdom, somebody would have sued him for invasion of privacy.
Why then should Mr. Dahiru jump the wall of politics on an issue already established as fake, unfounded and manufactured story to smear the reputation of Senator Bukar Abba and then use it to elicit negative reaction from his wife and probably terminate the marriage union in which God had ordained?
For those who may not have read the article which is an extreme reaction to fake news story manufactured to smear the name of Senator Bukar Abba by some media coalition, here is a quote from the essay. He said ”More curios is the nonreaction of his wife who is Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. Not a whimper was heard from her. Husband and wife have since carried on with their public life like nothing unusual has happened.”
The question I am putting across to Mr. Dahiru is a popular question every student of journalism is taught in school. So, my question to him is what happened? Where did it happen? When did it happen? And how did it happen?
If Mr. Dahiru had paid proper attention to the new trend and developments in the world of technology and journalism especially citizen journalism, he would have given second thought to his ideas instead of exposing his ignorance on modern journalism and latest development in the world of technology.
I will however pardon Mr. Dahiru because it is not everyone who puts pen on paper that is a journalist. The new media has made journalism an all-comers’ affairs and no thanks to media houses who generously create columns for persons without any training in journalism. Because of this reality, I will pardon Mr. Dahiru for his ignorance.
According to a report in the American newspaper NPR which ran an update from the wild-wild west of fake news technologies, a team of computer scientists have figured out how to make words come out of the mouth of former President Barack Obama on video by using artificial intelligence.
If you have been on the internet at any point in the last one year, there were good chances that you would have come across fake news articles and news items. Today, the report says we have a wellspring of fake news videos.
The report went further to say that a team from the University of Washington explains in a new paper titled ”Synthesizing Obama: Learning Lip Sync from Audio,” they made several fake news video of Obama.
Take for example, the time he discussed the pulse nightclub shooter and never said ”The investigation is ongoing, but we know that the killer was an angry and disturbed individual who took in extremist information and propaganda from the internet.” The report added that Obama did not say these words, but the computer scientists were able to make it look like he said them in different places using their technology.
So, relying on the manufactured voice interview and fake news video material designed to extort huge amount of money from Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim and use it to tarnish his reputation and ruin his family is unacceptable. Because this is a senator with impeccable character and the only former governor in the Senate without any case against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission ICPC or even the Code of Conduct Tribunal CCT.
On the issue of Almajiris in which the writer said: ”Senator Bukar Abba and other leaders of the north also contributed to the entrenched Almajiri scourge that has become a burden to the rest of Nigeria,” the writer clearly expressed fallacy and laxity.
The question Mr. Dahiru and his sponsors should have asked was how was he (Senator Bukar Abba) able to govern Yobe state for 10 years without any incidence of Boko Haram, youth restiveness and brigandage or violence in the Pride of the Sahel throughout his tenor as governor?
What miracle did Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim performed in Yobe State that kept it safe from Boko Haram activities in Borno State despite the fact that there are close neighbors?
If Mr. Dahiru had written the article with obedience to the basic rules of journalism which are objectivity, impartiality and balance, he would have noticed that no leader from Yobe State had performed the miracle Senator Bukar Abba had performed in the education sector of Yobe State when he was governor. That is why there was no issue of Almajiri or reported cases of Boko Haram insurgency in Yobe when Senator Bukar Abba was governor.
Apart from the education sector which the Senator towered above his contemporaries, he also set unbreakable records in the area of infrastructure, industrial development and social services to the good people of Yobe State.
It was when Senator Bukar Abba was governor of the state that nine tertiary institutions were established. It was when Senator Bukar Abba was governor that 35 modern secondary schools and 600 comprehensive primary schools were built in Yobe State.
It is also on records that at the expiration if his tenor as governor, Yobe State had 1, 100 modern and well equipped primary schools in towns and cities of the state.
Even as Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim remains one of the most simple, humane and humble leader anyone could see in modern times.
While the calculations for 2019 general elections cannot be disqualified as the reason behind the new media coalition against Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, my simple advice to Mr. Dahiru and the unseen hands using him and other members of the media coalition against him is that, they not be faster than their shadows because in every political battle, the ultimate power belongs to God.
With time, the truth will be revealed.
Mr. Ifeanyi Emeka wrote from Lokoja, Kogi State.