Polytechnic Don Labels Threat On Journalist As ‘Barbaric, Un-Islamic’

Dr. Hamid Adamu Muhammad, a Chief Lecturer with the Department of Mass Communication Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, has described the the recent threat to a journalist in Bauchi as uncivilised and far from Islamic principles.

Dr. Hamid stated this while commenting on the threat issued on Haruna Mohammed Salisu, an investigative Journalist.

The threat letter allegedly issued by Makkah Eye Hospital, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Al-Basar International Foundation, following the publication of a two month’s investigative piece threatened the journalist and members of his family.

The report documented how the hospital through shoddy deals shortchanged the Bauchi State government in tax, maltreatment of patients and exorbitant prices of both drugs and other services at the hospital.

 The management of the hospital had conceded to most of the allegations in an interview.

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After the publication, the management of the hospital dragged the journalist, and WikkiTimes Online Newspaper, and a reporter, Kamal Idris to court, demanding over N1 billion in damages.

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The polytechnic Don however said it was uncalled for anyone to harass journalists carrying out their duties as watchdogs of the society.

He said that the threat issued to the journalist as “Smacking of the era of darkness and barbarity.”

“Human beings should have passed this level of behavior once you know that you are doing something wrong it means it is an eye-opener and this person should be your friend.

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“I don’t think that newspaper has interest for or against Makkah hospital. That newspaper is just doing its business of investigative journalism to protect the society against whoever it is and I think that newspaper is commendable,” he said.

He said that it is the fundamental obligation of journalists to keep the society abreast of the shoddy deals of both government and private companies to protect the interest of the masses from the excesses of the mighty and powerful in society.

“It is the responsibility of journalists to expose what organisations and governments are doing that are not right,” he said.

Journalist threatened after exposing corruption at Makkah Eye Clinic

Dr. Hamid observed that there is a stereotype prevailing in Northern Nigeria is making people easily believe and trust anyone who happens to be from Saudi Arabia or the Middle East because of the shared the similarity of Islamic culture.

“The name of the Hospital is linked to Saudi Arabia in a way even without saying it and if you know the status of Saudi Arabia in Northern Nigeria people look at it as a system that is pro Islam and governed by the Qur’an and the Hadith.

“Once you associated yourself with the Qur’an and the Hadith and you come the other way round to be doing something that is negative in an essence that is tarnishing the image of Islam and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, this is the most important aspect of the whole story.   

“The Makkah Eye Hospital story should be an eye-opener for Nigerians do not believe that an individual is right in all ramifications because of the colour of his skin and region he comes from, rather, you have to taste and try that individual first and give him trust according to what he deserves,” he said.

Dr. Hamid opined that “It is an issue of correction and if you correct your ways, people will still trust you. Nobody said that you are going to lose your image forever.”

He emphasized that there is a need for journalists to investigate organisations such as Makkah Hospital to leverage people from the manipulation and exploitation of other people, saying that there is a need for the hospital to be setting examples to other private hospitals in Nigeria.


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