AL JAZEERA, CALL YVONNE NDEGE TO ORDER, PLEASE!
There are inconsistent, fraudulent, lazy, weak and unprofessional journalists in various professional media outfits and media stations home and abroad.
These cadres of journalists survive and perpetuate themselves in the system mischievously by cloaking their inconsistencies, laziness and weakness in colourfully adulterated reporting. They do these by telling their pay-masters what they want to hear as well as by calculative sowing of seeds of discord in their parameters of operation utilizing the chaos that follows as a form of distraction. By doing this, they forces the scrutinizing eyes of their superiors and concerned audiences away from their flaws and fixes them directly on the needless chaos and wars their scheming generates.
To these selfish journalists, purposeless conflicts are subject worthy of reporting. In fact, they are what feed and sustain their job, hence theirs is like killing two birds with one stone, a double-edged sword of sort that save them from the anger of their employer and at the same time provide them with something that keeps them busy.
For time immemorial, journalists fetch logic and inspiration from the adage that goes “if a dog bites a man, we have only a scenario. But turned the reverse, we have news”. Meaning if the man bites the dog, we have news to tell.
Ndege is the West Africa Correspondent for the posh, sleek and glamorous satellite news channel Aljazeera headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Most of what she reports in and about Nigeria is to a measurable extent the case of a dog biting a man.
They are common occurrences and events that usually and routinely occur in almost every developing country of the world – leadership crisis (elections and coups), battle for state resources (e.g. oil politics), corruption, and religious intolerance among others.
What she report about is basic, natural and ethical but how she reports it from Nigeria is far from been ethical, honest and professional.
Her shoddy reporting style leaves one with little option than to qualify her method as a ploy or tactic to distract all from her weakness via-a-vis conducting a thorough investigation about her subject of reporting prior to filing her reports. It is possible as well that it’s a ploy to distract from her inability to be fair, impartial and honest in her reporting, basic ingredients that could have render her reports balanced and convincing.
We had it right under the leadership of Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo when all grew fed-up with belittling reports about Nigeria filed overseas by CNN’s Jeff Koinange. Koinange was kicked out of the country for reasons similar to those hovering over Ndege’s head.
It appears as if Madam Ndege is nursing a hidden hatred for the country that welcomes her with open arms and is growing exceptionally hospitable to her by being patient and tolerant in the face of her continued ruthless negative reporting about Nigeria. This can be seen simply in the manner she is conducting herself in Abuja and other news generating spots in Nigeria like the Niger Delta, Kaduna, Plateau (Jos), Borno (Maiduguri), Sokoto, Bauchi and Kano.
Andrew Simmons of the same satellite station could have been the suitable candidate for Nigeria for his close-to-balanced reporting, professionalism and on the spot style of reporting.
To begin with, despite the scintillating beauty and aesthetics of Nigeria’s capital and most important city (Abuja), Yvonne Ndege hardly see benefit and logic in recording her reports for Aljazeera in a location in Abuja that could have done justice to the giant strides made by Nigeria to build a world class capital city. She always squeezes herself in-between gutters, culverts and red soil-ridden backgrounds to shoot and record her reports.
One will doubt if this is happening courtesy of the inability of the Nigerian authorities concerned to grant permit to her camera crew for such shots. If such is the case, then countless eligibility questions hung around her neck. If a professional journalist that was brewed at the prestigious London School of Economics and working for a reputable media outfit like Aljazeera cannot logically talk her way to a permit, then she’s got no business been a journalist. After all, a journalist without skills in persuasion is a journalist without the critical tool of investigation.
One may dismiss her deliberate crime as a minor perfidy. But the truth is, any professional journalist can tell you that there is more to her crime than meet the eye. Her actions carry the weight of sabotage and subterfuge. Her actions harbours heavy, long-term psychological and economical consequences to Nigeria and Nigerians, the easiest of which is the calculative belittling of the eight largest oil producer in the world and weeding out the hard-earned face of Africa’s largest oil producer, and the most populous black nation on the face of the earth.
Another painfully grinding excesses of Yvonne Ndege is how she is deliberately polarizing her reports about Nigeria, an act that is consequently facilitating the polarization of Nigeria’s politics, a trend that is gradually pushing Nigeria’s ethnic groups further apart as well as head-butting the country toward the edge of the precipice. Ever since she started reporting about and from Nigeria she religiously and continuously observe a ritual of lacing her reports with polarizing phrases similitude of tools used in calculative subterfuge, repeated phrases like “Nigeria is divided between Christians in the south and a Muslim dominated north” and others like “Muslims in the north a killing Christians in the north to send message to Christians in the South for not voting for a northerner”.
Where was she when northerners overwhelmingly voted General Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo into power in 1999 when his kith and kin did otherwise? Where was she when they equally massively voted for Moshood Boshorun (MKO) Abiola another non-northerner? Had she the guts to conduct thorough investigative journalism, she could have stumbled in stories as well of support from Hausa-Muslims to their Christian neighbours in the north that are threatened by the actions of the restive youths.
Although it is a known fact that the recent spate of post presidential election crisis is more political and social than religious, you hardly hear Ndege link the outcome of the crisis to the truthful root cause. The fact is, there happens to be more uneducated, unemployed and unskilled youths in the north than is obtainable in other parts of the country and like a time-bomb they waited for an opportunity to use in sending a message to the authorities. The post election tension presented itself as an opportunity and they unfortunately ceased it, and the rest is history.
Although she is not the only selfish media specialist pushing this destructive agenda, hers is the most cunningly sustained and the most dangerous! In a learned society, her action could have exposed her to mob action or litigation as what she pursues is an agenda for creating discord between long-term brothers and sisters that exists together for decades mutually benefiting each other.
She is so determined in her treachery so much so that she makes sure that whatsoever she reports about Nigeria, she embeds these tasteless, deadly and venomous phrases. Today, courtesy of Ndege and Co, the likes of Reuters and AP are also joggling the sadistic phrases in-between their respective reports and features about Nigeria.
The post-election violence in the north and the tense atmosphere it created in the south is a clear testimony of how venomous such an act can become. Lack of proper investigation before she writes her reports can be seen in how she misspells ‘Kano’ in her latest report on the Aljazeera website. Her version of ‘Kano’ reads ‘Kanu’ (may be she is a fan of Kanu Nwanko).
Whether it is Boko Haram in Maiduguri, MEND Militants in the Niger Delta, miscreants in Jos (Plateu State) or the chaos in Kano, Ndege have her way of cleverly incising her deadly divisionary phrases.
If the management of Al-Jazeera is ably aware of these deadly and poisonous discrepancies on the part of Ndege and kept shut, then one will find ease in concluding that it is an agenda pushed by the duo as did against Muámar Gaddafi and Libya. The same applies for the Nigerian authorities responsible for safeguarding the face and peace of our dear nation.
Mr. Labaran Maku and Odjumogobia will have to sit up.
I am a Christian with a Christian wife and two of my five children are Muslims. We live harmoniously with my Hausa neighbours; in fact we watch soccer games in my house together. My father was Muslim, am Christian yet he didn’t cut my throat.
I will hardly agree with any proposition that will allude that these poor masses are the ones behind planting of sophisticated bombs be it in the Niger Delta, Kaduna or Maiduguri. One can easily smell foul in the way our desperate and greedy politicians are conducting themselves this days.
As a concerned Nigerian citizen and a media practitioner that continue to grow painfully uncomfortable with reports about Nigeria and Nigerians by Ndege and her likes, I deemed it patriotic, civic and worthwhile to highlight this negative developments for the need of correction and I hope we could see changes soonest!
Resting my case here and now, while at the same time keeping my fingers crossed.
Written by James Bala Shingu, Hayin Dogo, Samaru, Zaria Kaduna-Nigeria.