Boko Haram insurgents shied away from maiming Hauwa Bata, a renowned Peace fm Maiduguri News Manager and an On-Air Personality 16 years ago after her husband offered them a helping hand when they disguised themselves to be Almajiris.
Hauwa had no idea of what transpired between her husband and the insurgents. At that time, she preoccupied herself with her journalism career.
Trusting the safety protocols she deployed in other to stay safe, she believed that no one can identify her face, a mirror image that the insurgents proved to be deceptively wrong.
Her Press Diary reports that at a point during the height of the Boko Haram insurgency in Maiduguri, there exists mistrust among the military, the insurgents and the media.
It was not a funny epoch for media professionals in the field in Borno. “The press was in the middle of it all,” Hauwa recalled.
The growing mistrust contributed to the feeling of insecurity among journalists covering the insurgency at that time and they felt threatened. “It became a problem for our safety, family and places of work,” she said.
One day after Hauwa was invited to cover a parade of suspected insurgents at the Maiduguri Police Command, an unknown person placed a call to her line warning her not to ever show her face to cover anything that has to do with Boko Haram.
Hauwa added, “A journalist has no hiding place. I used to brag that people in town could not place a name to my face because I work in a radio station and so people only know my voice but I was shocked to hear someone and call me and say we saw you on TV. When next you go, stop showing your face.
“Your husband was a good man. We were once at your gate we begged for money and he gave us. We are leaving you because of your husband.
“I said no more going out for coverages. It is enough that they know my face, they know my children, they know my husband and they know my house.”
However, after the phone conversation, Hauwa increasingly became unsafe. She relocated to a different area within the Maiduguri metropolis. Sought a transfer out of Borno State entirely but could not leave after getting approval for the transfer.
Hauwa was brave enough to assume a new journalism perspective that encouraged her to stay back and fight and build a legacy as a fearless, female journalist.