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The Fallacy of Shekarau's opting for Senate: Nigerian Leadership And Politics

07 November 2010

By Saka Raji Audu 

It is very unfortunate that in the present politics of Nigeria, one hardly recognizes truth from some fourth estate of the realm, particularly as some of our modern day journalists are all out for misinformation. Perhaps, as a result of the crude desire to quickly get rich, some media reporters make some deliberate attempts to be partisan and mischievous against perceived political foes in the society, just for some worldly things. They, therefore, chose to report hearsays, make beliefs and what does not exist so as to generate confusion for their own selfish goal, thereby, reducing the integrity of the media they represent to zero.  

When I read the front page caption "Shekarau may opt for the Senate" in the highly respected Daily Trust edition of 1st November, 2010, I quickly tried to read the full detail of the 'news story' which was published on page 2 of the said edition. Having gone through the story, I, as usual, became highly disappointed when I discovered that the reporter was only trying to speculate because the story has no iota of truth but a mere adoption of his usual style of reporting his opinion about Shekarau's presidential ambition.   

Indeed, it has always beaten one's imagination how a high ranking reporter as Auwalu could descend so low to stake his name to story that lacks attribute and authenticity. In news reporting, it is important to consider source of information in order to maintain one's credibility. A story that has no traceable source of information becomes an opinion that is not necessarily binding on any body. In the first paragraph of the said story, the Daily trust claims that its "correspondent learnt in Kano yesterday that Shekarau may jettison his presidential aspiration for the Kano Central Senatorial Seat." But it failed to disclose who did the reporter learn the story from, only to state that, "Shekarau's senior media aide, Sule Ya'u Sule, however, described the development as untrue, saying the governor still eyes the presidency and nothing would change his decision to offer himself for the country's presidency." 

The reporter also stated in paragraph three of the story that the "Daily Trust learnt on good authority" but also failed to mention the authority that is so good to inform him of Shekarau's opting for Senate. The same thing in paragraph four, which stated that "Shekarau's former aide confided in Daily Trust that the governor had already told his closest aides that he indeed had interest in the senatorial seat which one of his wives had indicated interest in early this year." Other subsequent deliberately adopted phrases used by the reporter as cover include "according to findings", "Sources close to the governor" and "it was gathered that…" In the entire report, only the governor's media aide, Sule Ya'u Sule was mentioned as having refuted the unattributed story.  

From the foregoing, it is clear that the story that "Shekarau may opt for the Senate" is not a true story. It is nothing but a concoction, which only the reporter and his allies can explain how such story of high magnitude can warrant publication without any attribution, which is an important aspect of journalism. It is however very funny that Shekarau's media aide could be said to have refuted story attributed to nobody. Is it a matter of "charge and bail" lawyer? How can the reporter formulate story and ask the same source that the formulated story is about, to comment. One cannot just fathom the plausibility of this matter.  

It is however on record that before Shekarau publicly declared his presidential ambition on 5th August 2010, it was an open secret that some people wanted Shekarau to vie for Senate. This was some five months ago. If any body is still wishing Shekarau to go for Senate, there is no need for the Daily Trust reporter to resort to speculation, which even warranted the report as front page news because the issue has been there for a very long time now. This is not the first time Daily trust reporters in Kano have carried confused story on Shekarau's political ambition. I had cause in the past to comment on similar concocted story against Shekarau's interest by the reporters, which up till now has made my view not to be heard again in the paper.  

In the Daily Trust of May 5, 2010 when the endorsement of Takai by Shekarau was first reported by one Ruqayyah Yusuf Aliyu in the front page of the paper, she succinctly reported on page 5 that, "present at the gathering were 31 out of the 44 local government Chairmen of the state, who individually declared their support for Takai and said it was in obedience to the state governor." The readers were however taken aback when in the Daily Trust edition of May 7, 2010, Jaafar Jaafar reporting the same event on page 56 stated that, "Thirty three out of the 44 local government Chairmen in Kano State have shunned the rally of the anointed Kano State governorship aspirant on the platform of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Alhaji Salihu Sagir Takai (sic)."Where does one stand in these two contradictory stories of the same item. 

In view of the above and from the recent story of Auwalu, there is no iota of truth that Shekarau has jettisoned his presidential ambition for Senate. It is a mere political ploy to persuade the teaming supporters of Shekarau for President from pursuing their genuine cause of action. As a matter of fact, Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau, Sardaunan Kano is the only aspirant that is qualified to vie for the office of the President because other presidential aspirants for the same position are yet to discharge moral burden on them. It is when the series of allegations leveled against the presidential aspirants are discharged in court that they can go into the credible election. Malam Shekarau has done that when he received court judgment in his favour against the blatant lies published by the Business Eye and its fellow travelers.   

Finally, if the interested Kano reporter of the Daily Trust or any one for that matter is envious of Shekarau's presidential aspiration, he should for the interest of responsible journalism resign his job and pick up his ticket from his political party so that he can meet the people's governor at the ballot box. This is better than hiding under the façade of creating confusion in the name of news report. Enough should be enough!


Saka Raji Audu writes from Kano and can be reached on his



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