The Blueprint newspaper of Tuesday, September 9, 2014 carried a front page caption ‘Jonathan called me day after my children were killed’. Then in the body of the paper the story was captioned ‘Jonathan called me a day after my children were killed.
On narrating the story however, the paper claimed that ’Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky has disclosed that President Goodluck Jonathan called him 24 days after soldiers killed over 30 members of his movement including his three children’. All these the paper claimed ‘the movement said yesterday’.
It is important to understand that Sheikh Zakzaky was having a personal discussion with the Chairman of National Human Rights Commission Professor Chidi Anselem Odinkalu when they paid him a condolence visit on Thursday 4th Sept., 2014. It may be recalled that Sheikh Zakzaky had been asked a number of times by the press and some dignitaries that condoled with him whether there has been any form of communication from the government after the callous murder of 25th July, 2014. As of then the Sheikh had answered that there wasn’t any form of communication from the government. It may be equally recalled that Gen. Olukolade of the Defence Head Quarters tried refuting what Sheikh said by saying that the National Security Adviser has called Sheikh to condole him. To this we replied that yes he called on personal basis but not in official capacity. Now that Blueprint has claimed that Sheikh Zakzaky is saying the President called him a day after the brutal murder of his children is contradicting the revered Sheikh. Goodluck Jonathan called Sheikh to say sorry twenty four (24) days after the crime was committed, perhaps after internal and diplomatic pressure.
Looking at the way the title was put may cause someone to think that President Goodluck Jonathan’s call was something to write home about and be honoured of. How can one be happy in any way for a call from a Commander in-Chief of an Army that has killed his children only to say sorry?
In anyway, while appreciating the good and friendly attitude of the press to the unfortunate and shameful incident of Quds day massacre of 25th July, 2014 in Zaria, we employ the press to be charier in their reporting so that the image and personalities of great personalities will not be traded for the sale of their papers.
Dr. Abdullahi Danladi
Islamic Movement in Nigeria