The management of National Trail Newspapers that is based in Abuja has cried out that some agents of the Nigeria Police Force on the alleged orders of Borno State Government, kidnapped its publisher, Mr Inuwa Bwala, and whisked him away to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, for allegedly masterminding attacks in 2015 on Deputy Governor of the state, Usman Mamman Durkwa
In a statement issued by the newspaper on Tuesday and signed by its Editor, Mr Ossai Aaron, the news outfit claimed that it gathered from reliable sources that there is a subterranean ploy to silence its publisher.
According to the statement, “The actions of the Nigeria Police and Borno state government did not demonstrate any democratic principles which the present administration is advocating. This is no longer a military era when law and order is not respected. The Publisher was not arrested according to the law; rather he was abducted by the Borno Police on the order of the Borno state government and has been in detention since January 17 this year, more than the stipulated period under law. We therefore, demanded for his immediate release and allow a right course in this matter.
“To us, this is rather a case of kidnap. Our concern is that there is an allegation that there is a threat to the life of our Publisher. We were in contact with him on his hospital bed at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital and reliably gathered that there are plans to silence him. Due to the circumstances that led to his arrest in Abuja and the way and manner he was whisked to Maiduguri, we hereby state categorically that we do not have confidence in any court within Maiduguri and the Police therein to handle his case. Our wish is that his life should not be wasted on the altar of politics.
Distancing its publisher from the publication of The National Trail newspapers on the sordid state of affairs of the state, the newspaper reiterated that Inuwa Bwala is not “responsible for all publications on Borno state government perceived by authorities of the state as anti-government. The facts on those publications were always cross-checked and found to be correct on every issue published. As a matter of fact, we are bold to say here that we have more facts on issues around the government of Borno state.
The newspaper vowed that no threat can stop it from playing its role as watchdog of the society, stressing that linking Bwala to attacks on the Deputy Governor that took place in 2015 was a hoax to deceive the general public.
On the alleged petition that is said to have formed the basis of the attack, the newspaper claimed that “Bwala was not on ground when the incident took place. We are also aware that, Usman Durkwa, the then Commissioner for Poverty Alleviation, used thugs to attack youths in Marama and burnt down the opposition PDP flags that attracted the wrath of the people on him.
“The big question here is: why did he (Durkwa) wait for two years before putting up a complaint? Does it only occur to him now that he is a Deputy Governor that he can fight his case? To us, power should be used for reconciliation and not for vendetta. We stand by Our Publisher and we stand by the truth. Durkwa and his co-travelers on this issue should have a rethink, the power he so wields now cannot continue forever. In fact in the next two years, he will be an ordinary citizen and in the Newspaper industry we keep records.”