From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Human Right Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), an advocacy organisation, has admonished the media against misinformation capable of disrupting the sustained war on hard drugs by the administration of the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Brig-Gen Buba Marwa (retd).
In a statement on Saturday, HURIWA National Coordinator Emmanuel Onwubiko cautioned media practitioners to be circumspect so that institutions do not doubt the veracity of their reports.
The group’s statement followed a publication by ThisDay on Friday, August 26, 2022, titled, “How NDLEA State Officers Diverted over N20bn Budgetary Allocation, Other Funds”.
The report by the newspaper has since been deleted, which unequivocally means it is incorrect and misleading.
Relying on the national newspaper’s publication, HURIWA had released a statement on Friday urging the NDLEA chairman to expose and prosecute corrupt officers in the anti-narcotics agency involved in the alleged ‘diversion of N20bn budgetary allocation’ as mentioned in the ThisDay report.
However, the national daily deleted its initial report from its website, obviously having realised it misled the public.
Commenting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko strongly denounced the initial report which gave rise to the group’s statement on Friday, ‘HURIWA asks Marwa to expose, prosecute corrupt NDLEA officers involved in alleged N20bn budgetary diversion’.
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Onwubiko said “HURIWA cautions media practitioners to be circumspect in their report so institutions don’t start doubting the veracity of their news reports because if a national daily with considerable expertise in news reporting can carry a mischievous report on NDLEA from a drug suspect and hoodwink civil society organisations to believe their reports as authoritative, then constitutional democracy is imperilled.
“HURIWA tasks the media to fact-check their reports so they don’t peddle falsehood and disrupt the war on hard drugs which the NDLEA chairman, Brig-Gen Buba Marwa (retd.), has been in the forefront since he took over office last year.
“Notably, under Brig-Gen Buba Marwa, the anti-narcotic agency has achieved great strides including the arrest of top suspects like the suspended head of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team, DCP Abba Kyari. No doubt, the former military governor of Lagos State has been treading where lions don’t dare to tread in his fight against drug barons.
“Brig-Gen Buba Marwa is rewriting history in the war against hard drugs which has a link to insecurity and terrorism just as late the late Prof Dora Akunyuli rewrote history during her time as the head of the National Agency for Drugs Administration and Control. HURIWA reiterated her total solidarity and support to the charismatic and proactive leadership of General Mohammed Buba Marwa and urged the staff and management of the NDLEA to continue to do all within their mandates to rid Nigeria of hard drugs no matter who is involved because hard drugs are public enemy number 1.”