J-J: Like Jaafar, unlike Jamal
By our reporter
Journalists are at risk always. Whether they expose or conceal, their lives are in danger-24 hours. Two media issues are now playing out simultaneously. One is in Nigeria concerning the videos showing Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganjude allegedly taking bribes from contractors released by online publisher of Daily Nigerian, Jaafar Jaafar. The “bribes” in different videos amounted to $5million.
The second is the disappearance in Istanbul, Turkey, of Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi. Jamal is presumed to have been killed into the Saudi consulate which he visited on October 2, 2018 to seek documents in preparation of his wedding to a Turkish lady.
The two issues are generating interest in both continents. Jaafar is now in hiding following a threat to his life by Kano State Government.
Now, Jaafar has gone into hiding over alleged threats to his life by agents of Kano State Government following the report of the story in his online publication.
According to the publication, some of the contractors said the governor personally received from 15 to 25 percent kickbacks for every project executed in the state.
But the Kano State Government in a reaction “KNGS will not succumb to blackmail, extortion” through the Commissioner, Information, Youth & Culture, Malam Muhammad Garba, said there was no iota of truth to the allegations and if indeed there is any such alleged video, it is at best cloned.
The Commissioner who was one-time National President of the Nigerian Union of journalists (NUJ), in the statement noted that in this era of technological advancements, some evil minded people often take advantage to blackmail and extort and assassinate the character of people that do not ‘patronize them.
But, if Jaafar is lucky to have escaped the agents of destruction, Jamal is perhaps not so lucky. Having gained entry into the Saudi consulate, since October 2, he has not come out and nobody seem to know what has happened to him.
Jamal is outspoken of Saudi Arabia and critical of its rulers. He moved to the United States more than a year ago, where he continued to comment on his country both in print and on television and wrote columns for the Washington Post and The Guardian.
Turkish officials remained convinced that Jamal was killed by the alleged squad inside the consulate building – a view partly formed by security footage, much of which has not been released.
Now, investigators are turning their focus towards the underground garage of the Saudi consul general’s home, where the cars thought to have carried Jamal are believed to have been driven immediately after they left the nearby consulate.
However, many officials who provided information earlier in the inquiry are now refusing to speak, citing political sensitivities.
The Saudi government has denied any involvement in Jamal’s disappearance and said he left the consulate via a back entrance.
A delegation from Saudi Arabia has arrived in Turkey for the investigation, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported Friday.
A Saudi official said that he “welcomed” an announcement by the Turkish President to form a joint team of experts from both countries to investigate Khashoggi’s disappearance,” according to a Saudi Information Ministry statement.