Tuesday, October 23, 2012

‘Blasphemous’ Article: New Nigerian Editors Moved To Abuja

Impeccable sources in Louis Edet House, headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force in Abuja, have confirmed to SaharaReporters that editors of the New Nigerian newspaper were yesterday moved to the federal capital for further interrogation about their role in a controversial article about Prophet Muhammad.

The story was broken by SaharaReporters last Friday, the story having appeared in the newspaper on Tuesday. The editors were first interrogated in Kaduna after moves were made by Northern elites to suppress the development. Irate Muslim organizations are also said to have threatened the editors.

The article, which was first culled from a website, was allegedly reproduced in the New Nigerian, with some blasphemous remarks curiously left in.

The editors, who are being accused of insensitivity to the volatile nature of Northern Nigeria to religious issues, are said to be deeply troubled by their predicament.

A senior police officer told SaharaReporters, “Yes, the Managing Director, editor and other editors are here with us in Abuja. They were moved here yesterday and we are investigating them on how the publication passed through them. This is very serious and only God can tell [what might have happened] if a crisis had broken out of this recklessness.

The nation would have been under another problem. There seems to be more than meets
the eye, and that is what we are trailing.” The Managing Director, Alhaji Tukur Abdulrahaman, the source said, rose through the rank and file of the company, and he, as well as the editor, Malam Bala Muhammad and other editors, ought to have known the implications.

“Tukur had edited two outlets there in Kaduna, both the New Nigerian and Gakiya Ta Fi Kwabo, and here in Abuja as Aso Rock reporter. So how can all this happen under his nose?” he queried.

Another source close to Niger State Governor, Dr. Mua’zu Babangida Aliyu, said the Northern governors are terribly disturbed over the blasphemous publication, and are talking about how to contain the heat that it has generated.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar Sa’ad and prominent Islamic scholars are also said to be part of the mediation, while armed police have been keeping vigil at the company premises in Kaduna since last week.

The New Nigerian has been jointly owned by
the Northern States since 1966.

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