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Despite sanction by FG, BBC may air more documentaries on terrorism

How did we know?: Insiders chatted with local newsmen in reaction to the fine slammed on Trust Television Network (Trust TV) and others.

Why BBC is gingered: The BBC sources accused the Nigerian government of trying to force the media to underreport the extent of damage done by non-state actors (NSAs).

We published another one (documentary), and will do more because it’s about the people suffering”, one hinted.

The background gist: Last Thursday, July 28, 2022, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had said the federal government would sanction Trust TV and BBC for, “terrorism glorification” in their documentaries.

Yesterday, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) fined the multimedia wing of Media Trust Limited N5million for its “Nigeria’s Banditry: The Inside Story”.

However, the NBC has not fined the BBC.

A BBC’s source said: “They (government) did not impose a fine on us because they knew they could not do so.

“What they can do is write to the agency that regulates us, the Office of Communications (Ofcom).

They definitely would ask Ofcom to take disciplinary actions; they cannot do anything other than that.”

Other sanctioned Media houses: The rest are Multichoice Nigeria Limited (DSTV owners), NTA-Startimes Limited, and Telcom Satellite Limited (TSTV) – N5million each.

NBC defends the sanctions: The NBC informed the public that they all violated the broadcasting code by airing documentaries on banditry and terrorism.

The authorities consider the visuals damaging, with citizens already furious about the country’s worsening insecurity further enraged.

“After Trust TV spoke with the victims, we interviewed the NSAs – Ado Aleru, the one turbaned, and Abu Sanni who led the Jangebe school attack,” the BBC’s source said.

The duo have been terrorizing Zamfara. In mid-July, Aleru (Alieru) was named Sarkin Fulani (King of Fulanis) of Yandoton Daji Emirate.

He was installed by Aliyu Garba Marafa, the Emir of Yandoto, despite being on the police wanted list for kidnapping and killings.

In February 2021, Sanni’s gang abducted nearly 300 students of Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe.

In BBC’s ‘The Bandit Warlords of Zamfara’, he narrated how the Nigerian government paid millions for the release of the girls.

Sanni disclosed that they struck in retaliation for military operations after the wet period in 2020.

“When the rainy season ended, they sent the military. We decided to show the government they should not interfere in our problems. We went to Jangebe and took the students.

“We wanted to get the government angry. We demanded N300million but after negotiations, N60million was paid for their release”, he revealed.

Why the government may be upset: Yusuf Anka, a journalist with the United Kingdom national broadcaster, met with the bandit leaders in their enclaves.


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