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NTA’s irksome Sallah coverage

My disappointment was more profound I observe the station showing Muslims in Yenagoa, Bida, Gusau, Lagos, Sokoto, Minna, Birnin Kebbi, Lafia, etc, on the network…

My disappointment was more profound I observe the station showing Muslims in Yenagoa, Bida, Gusau, Lagos, Sokoto, Minna, Birnin Kebbi, Lafia, etc, on the network news while the Muslim faithful of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe were shut out.  To add to my consternation, Maiduguri was depicted with a stern soldier in combat gear, as if to tell the world that Maiduguri is under siege.

Does NTA want Nigerians, particularly those of us in the Diaspora to believe that notwithstanding the current victory being recorded by the Nigerian Armed Forces, the people of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe are in a state of nature where life, according to Thomas Hobbes, is solitary, brutish, nasty and short? If NTA which claims to be the most reliable source of news in Nigeria can deprive us of how our parents, governors, traditional rulers and people prayed at Eid grounds who else do we turn to for accurate news?
It is no wonder that private electronic media remain not only dear to us but unbeatably cherished in Nigeria today.
The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai El-Kanemi, who is the Deputy Chairman of Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) should have been shown on how he prayed along with his people, however beleaguered they may appear to be to the network’s management.
Paradoxically speaking and for the benefit of all discerning people of Nigeria, Kanem-Borno Empire (Borno/Yobe) has been practicing Islam around 1085AD long before the advent of the revered Late Sheikh Usumanu Danfodio in 19th century. Sokoto was chosen as the capital of his Caliphate and a base for the spread of Islam and the expansion of the Fulani jihad that lasted from 1804 to 1830.
If for any reason the NTA chose to show Eid prayer sessions in all parts of Nigeria (on Sallah Day) on the network news without showing those from Adamawa, Borno/Yobe states, it means that the people of Adamawa, Borno/Yobe are being seen as liabilities to the Nigerian Project as myopically theorized by Gideon Orka in 1990.
I therefore wish to call on all well meaning Nigerians to condemn the NTA’s shenanigan and consider the people of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe as nucleus to the peace, harmony and development of Nigeria. The contributions of these states in Nigeria need not be over-emphasized. More so that NTA is being administered, maintained, sustained and managed with the tax payers’ money including people of Adamawa, Borno/Yobe states.  Is it not a self indictment on the part of NTA for not covering prayers in Adamawa, Borno/Yobe with its avowed digitalization campaign and globalization of the electronic medium?
Finally, if it is the trial we are facing of insurgency today is the reason behind NTA’s goof, let it be known that the only thing permanent in life is change as our current security situation which made NTA to consider us as pariah, is ephemeral. Adamawa, Borno/Yobe states will rise again to the glory Nigeria.

Mohammed Habib, Abuja <[email protected]>;

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