Vandalisation of Online paper in Zamfara: Management Cries Out, Seeks For CSOs Intervention
The Management of Thunder Blowers Multimedia Services has called on the International community and members of the civil society organisations to be aware of the development and how Governor Bello Matawalle is planning to muscle out public freedom of speech and association.
In a press conference, the Managing Editor and the team leader ithe company, Dr. Anas Sani Anka said, there have been several incidents of how the government of Bello Matawalle has allegedly been scouting for the members of the opposition and getting them imprisoned for exercising their freedom of expression.
The management was specifically bitter about the destruction of its office by some political thugs.
Anka maintained that, on the 4th of January 2022, at around 8:15pm one Zayyanu Abdullahi ADC led a team of about nine other thugs to attack their newsroom and abducted one of the non-linear editor Mansur Rabiu alias (SK) who sustained injury as a result of the attack.
Dr. Anas said, “Clearly the alleged (ADC) met us at the downstairs of the Fadama Plaza onboard a motorcycle attached with two others and armed with deadly weapons”.
“On arrival where we were standing, one of us called his name and having realized that, his identity was established he left where we were standing and used the other entry of the plaza to access our newsroom”.
“On arriving to our newsroom, they met the said non-linear editor Mansur Rabiu and asked him the whereabout of one of our editors Abdul Balarabe and he replied him that he has left”.
“After minutes of dragging, they used hard sticks to hit-down the editor until he forcefully manipulated his way out of the newsroom”.
Acccording to Anas the thugs have crashed all the eight units of desktop computers, picked away three laptop computers, video cameras and the server decoder.
He stressed that the management has already forwarded the details of the facilities taken away by the thugs and also sent the copy of the petition sent to the Commissioner of Police and Director of State Security for necessary action.
Anas said “After extensive review of the development at our emergency editorial board meeting, we have come to the conclusion that, the state Governor, Alhaji Bello Muhammad Matawalle must be in the picture of the attack against Thunder Blowers having reviewed the conversation that transpired between the gang leader (ADC) and two of our private guards that engaged him”.
“The gang leader (ADC) specifically narrated that they have launched the attack because of our constant criticisms against the Governor and his government”.
“That, the same (ADC) has confessed to the managing editor on phone that, he was the one who led another set of thugs to invade the venue of the state PDP congress last week Monday”. Said Dr. Anas.
Anas saidt it was expected that with the series of calls for concern on what was done to the PDP the state Governor Bello Matawalle should have cautioned the gang leader and the sponsors against the occurrence of similar incidence but to no avail.
Anas also maintained that, it was the same (ADC) who allegedly led to the burning of part of Zamfara NUJ center at the early beginning of this administration.
“It was made clear by the government that it has taken responsibility of renovating the burnt edifice but yet the same (ADC) is moving freely with thugs and weapons threatening the people and nothing was done to curtail the situation”.
Hr maitained that the gang leader and indeed his sponsors have called for mediation and promised to return all facilities carted away on condition that the matter should be laid down to rest.
“We have forwarded our formal petition to the State Police Commissioner and State Director of SSS and we have laid our complaints against the two individuals’ finger-pointed earlier and we believed they are going to take appropriate action.
“We want to make this position very clear that, with the scenario that occurred on Tuesday, whatever happened to any staff of this medium henceforth the state government should be held responsible because the threat is considered critical to our professional practice”.
“We want to implore the members of the Civil Society organizations that they should rise to the occasion and watch things as they unfold in Zamfara state”.
Anas however vowed to continue his civic responsibility no matter the amount of intimidation.
He said, “The attack will not deter us from discharging our duty professionally and we believe where the government or its agents think we have gone wrong there are statutory procedures of getting things redressed’.