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Press Statement

Press Statement

The Daily Trust Newspaper has been described as a National news daily that is gradually and tragically degenerating into a medium that cannot be trusted when it hinges on publishing the truth.

In a Press Statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity ll, to Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku, Bala Dan Abu stated that the definition of truth has become biased and discriminatory and the result is double or multiple standard in its understanding and the treatment of issues.

The press statement described the standpoint as exhibited by the paper in its front page comment on Monday 23, July, 2017, tittled “Genocide in Mambila”, pointing out that the editorial comment of the newspaper laboured painfully to give the ugly tag of genocide and ethnic cleansing to the unfortunate crisis that happened recently between farmers and herdsmen in Mambila.

Accordingly, the statement says the newspaper editor failed to perform their mandatory professional duty of subjecting information on the crisis to Independent investigation through their own reporters and other field men, rather, they chose to believe the outrageously partisan and fraudulent figures of death people and cows as given by Fulani leaders who were party to the crisis.

The press statement as authored by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity ll, Bala Dan Abu described such as action as highly unprofessional and a confirmation of the widely held belief that Daily Trust cannot be trusted in terms of balance and fairness on matters affecting entrenched Hausa Fulani interest.

It also brought to fore the silence of the newspaper to label the massacre of southern Kaduna indigenes some few months ago by Fulani as a case of genocide and ethnic cleansing, apparently exposed the partisan direction of Daily Trust editorial standpoint on issues in which the interest of its pay masters are involved.

The press statement asserted that the Mambila crisis is no genocide and can never be no matter how much Daily Trust tries to make it look.

In line with acceptable global best practices and standard, is for Journalists to rely on security agencies for accurate figure of casualties and other important statistics, but lamented that, the Daily Trust Newspaper dumped that noble path of the profession because it would not serve the motive it set out to achieve and stressed that, such act is pathetic to the practice of journalism.

Also contained in the statement was the newspaper reliance on the tragic, unacceptable recklessness, highly partisan and distorted account of the Mambila crisis by Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Ahanotu in their editorial comment and a pointer to the fact that Ahanotu was on a mission to satisfy some vested interest in the crisis which it is believed that the Daily Trust is equally serving.

Similarly, the press statement said the way and manner in which the officer spoke was at variance with his professional calling, which is unexpected and unbecoming of an officer of his rank and training.

The Press statement further stated that, Taraba State Government categorically rejects in its entirety the deliberate and callous attempt by unpatriotic elements to tag the Mambila crisis as genocide.

Furthermore, the statement revealed that the recorded casualty figure of 18 human lives as announced by the police and other security agencies that brought the fighting to an end do not support that evil name-tag.

The Press statement described the Mambila crisis as an unfortunate clash of people who have lived together for decades as neighbours and which has been condemned by respectable voices from around the country.

To ensure that the people are protected and immediate succour gets to them, the Taraba state Government in the statement indicated that men and materials were deployed to the affected areas to help quicken the healing process, stressing that, what the Government expects at this most difficult moment is support and not evil effort of supporting and promoting sentiments that can only worsen the peace process being vigorously pursued by the state Government.

The statement further added that, enough is enough of the mischievous effort to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it.

Taraba Anti-open Grazing Bill: House Begins Public Hearing                                           

Stakeholders have unanimously agreed that the Taraba state Anti Open Grazing and Ranching Development Bill will reduce the spread of diseases in animals, increase the production of meat and milk, reduce conflicts between farmers and herdsmen and curb the straying of animals into farms, among others.

This was agreed upon during the opening of the public hearing on the bill in Jalingo Tuesday.

During its presentation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources,represented by the Permanent Secretary, Isaac Mela, noted that ranching was the best practice the world over as practiced in Kenya, Brazil, South Africa and America.

He added that modern ways of pasture production would be provided which would be useful in both rainy and dry season.

He however advised that sensitization and public enlightenment should be done on the bill, revealing that the nine grazing reserves in the state have been encroached by farmers on the excuse that they have not been compensated and therefore advised government to pay compensation, acquire the lands and demarcate some for ranches and some others to grow pasture.

Also towing along that line, Permanent Secretary, Bureau for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Bello Yero, was confident that ranching will promote international best practices in livestock production.

He noted that the lack of proper public enlightenment had resulted to different ‘narratives’.

He therefore suggested that a six month window period should be provided when the bill is passed into Law for graziers to prepare their ranches and for government to put all necessary machineries on ground.

Yero also insisted that the enlightenment must go on despite the attempt by mischief makers to misinform the public about the bill.

However, in his response, the Chairman of the Committee, Mark Useni, regretted that a ‘counterfeit copy’ of the bill was circulated by mischievous persons which was aimed at misinforming the public about the bill.

He therefore cautioned those in that habit to desist from such acts.

Other presenters at the public hearing were the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), Muslim Council, Farmers Protection Association of Nigeria, the Jalingo Development Association, Northern states Christian Elders Forum and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Jalingo chapter, who questioned the title of the bill, attributing the opposition to Bill by some sections of the society to the title which they believe, succeeded in sending a negative message.

A stakeholder, Alhaji Aboki, who spoke last complained of the practicability of the bill, saying the terrain in most parts of Taraba was not conducive for ranching.

According to him, apart from Sardauna where ranching is being practiced, the remaining 15 LGAs could not produce pasture all year round for the cattle.

Earlier on, Speaker of the House, Abel Peter Diah, while declaring the occasion open, stated that the House represents “the essence of democracy” and would do nothing inimical to the interest of the people and that the bill was not targeted at any group.

According to him, the bill would promote the best standard practices in dairy production.