Haruna Mohammed Salisu, the publisher of WikkiTimes, an investigative platform based in Bauchi State, says the government’s nonchalant attitude in prosecuting individuals and entities exposed by the medium could further deepen corruption in the country.
The platform since its establishment in 2018 had unearthed a number of scandalous and inhumane conducts by individuals in government and private entities, including in traditional settings.
Salisu in an interactive programme with Albarka Radio in Bauchi, on Monday, lamented that despite the time and resources invested to uncover the wrongdoings, the governments seemed not to make a drastic effort to bring the perpetrators into books to account for their wrongdoings.
Recently, WikkiTimes’ reporter, Hafsah Mohammed Ibrahim went undercover to expose how health staff in Gombe State issue fake genotype certificates to couples for a token. Their menial act of corruption, however, is claiming lives in the state.
Hitherto, Babaji Usman also went undercover to unearth corrupt and unethical practices of how health workers in Bauchi State divert and sell drugs distributed freely to health facilities by government and non-governmental organisations to support vulnerable citizens.
“I’m not happy that most of these kinds of reporting we do, the people that are supposed to take immediate action seem not to care, most of the times. My expectation was that as soon as these reports are out, the authorities should immediately take action. They should get these culprits arrested and investigated and allow the law to take its course,”, the publisher said.
Salisu stressing that the media as the fourth realm of government and watchdog for society, maintained that WikkiTimes’ investigative stories were basically aimed at holding powers to account, as well as to assist any responsible government to redress the misconduct across the societal sectors.
He harped that the dream of the investigative outlet was to speak for the voiceless individuals who were deprived of their rights by those in power and some selected individuals who were empowered, but abuse the trust for their selfish interests.
The publisher explained that WikkiTimes has focused its attention on the topical issues bedevilling a common man at the grassroots level that is mostly ignored by the media including the victims.
“It is our duty to speak for those who cannot speak,” he affirmed. “To speak for the people at the lowest cadre of the society. There are a lot of under-reported issues that are bedevilling the life of a common man in a typical local community that is totally ignored by the mainstream media. Wikkitimes resolved to focus its attention on the issues that are in the hinterland.”
He added that democracy would not be consolidated to yield its dividends if issues at the local level are neglected by media and governments.
“So, we felt its compelling for us as a platform to focus on those issues people tend to ignore including the media houses,” he added.
Salisu stated that WikkiTimes is collaborating with other media houses to amplify the exposed scandals to inform the afflicted groups of the knowledge and to provide basic information to governments who should take action to redress the menace.