The Nation newspapers, the news organisation credited as the original source of a report which quoted Mr. Danladi Ciroma, the North Central leader of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) as saying that the Plateau killings were retaliatory over 300 cows killed, is yet to retract its report.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported on Friday that Premium Times, a popular online newspaper sacked its Jos-based reporter, Mr. Andrew Ajijah on Friday for filing the same story which has been disclaimed Mr. Ciroma. Following internal investigations by Premium Times, the online newspaper said it discovered that its Jos-based reporter, Mr. Ajijah had no recorded evidence of the words credited to Mr. Ciroma.
The denial and strong protest by Mr. Ciroma led to an extensive investigation by the online newspaper which discovered some infractions on the part of the reporter.
Premium Times therefore stated as follows:
“While Mr Ciroma acknowledged speaking with a reporter on Monday in Jos, he insisted to PREMIUM TIMES that he did not make the statement credited to him. In fact, he said what he told the reporter was the opposite of what was reported.
“I told the reporter that leaders at the local and national levels should come together and resolve this crisis before it is too late,” Mr Ciroma said by telephone Wednesday night, protesting strongly the comments attributed to him.
“An internal investigation by PREMIUM TIMES found that there was no recording of any interview in which Mr Ciroma made the statement, neither was any statement signed or circulated by him that contained the quotes.
“The error was traced to our outstation reporter based in Jos, whose failure to properly attribute the source of the purported statement by Mr Ciroma misled the editors into believing that it was e-mailed to the reporter.
“The reporter filed the story on Monday morning based on ‘a statement’ from Mr Ciroma. But checks by PREMIUM TIMES following Mr Ciroma’s protest on Wednesday afternoon showed that the quotes were lifted from The Nation Newspapers.
“The Nation’s reporter in Plateau State also circulated the quotes in the WhatsApp group of reporters on the government house beat in Jos, telling his colleagues they were the full transcription of his interview with Mr Ciroma.
“The reporter later admitted to PREMIUM TIMES that he did not have a recording of his call with Mr Ciroma, but said the quotes mirrored the Miyetti Allah leader’s position on the latest killings in Plateau State.
“The Nation published the purported quotes by Mr Ciroma hours before our reporter in Jos lifted it without attribution, thus misleading his editors in Abuja.”
The management of Premium Times has also resolved to apologise to Mr. Danladi over the story published on June 25.
SIGNAL put a call to the Editor of The Nation, Mr. Gbenga Omotosho on Friday to clarify his newspaper’s stand on the report. “I have sent a message to my reporter in Jos. I’m awaiting his response”, he told SIGNAL.
At the time of filing this report, The Nation is yet to retract the report.
Follow us on Twitter at @thesignalng
Copyright 2018 SIGNAL. Permission to use portions of this article is granted provided appropriate credits are given to www.signalng.com and other relevant sources.