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Tinubu begins crack down on journalists critical of his administration


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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has launched vicious manhunt for journalists perceived to be too critical to his government.

Tinubu whose academic qualifications and alleged involvement in narcotic trafficking in the United States, which has been a subject of public debate, has also perfected plans to bribe media proprietors in Nigeria to stop their journalists from reporting issues that will further damage his reputation, sources familiar with this plot reliably told NewsBand.

Nigerians in diaspora are not also left out in this alleged bribing scheme. There is also a coordinated attempt to buy over some vocal support groups in Europe and America as this will help to tone down the heat the President is currently receiving from these two places.

A source privy to this plot told NewsBand that Mr Dele Alake, the Minister of Mines and Steal is already approaching all mainstream media publishers with a deal to help offset their wage bills to their reporters in exchange to shut out critical stories of President Tinubu and his wobbling government. Millions of Naira have been dolled out for this project.

Mr Dele Alake
Mr Dele Alake

The second leg of the plot the source said, will be that any media house or journalist that refuses to accept the mouthwatering offer, state power will be used as the next alternative to put them in check.

The presidency is said to be in a state of quagmire following the announcement by the Federal Bureau of Investigation—FBI, that it will start releasing over 2,500 documents relating to Tinubu by October.

Also, the recent order by a US court, directing Chicago State University—CSU to release the academic records of Tinubu to the opposition leader, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, added salt to the injury according to an insider familiar with the development.

Recall that a federal court in Chicago in a landmark judgement, ruled on Tuesday that Chicago State University—CSU, must turn over all records relating to President Tinubu to Mr Abubakar within two days. It also held that the former vice-president sufficiently satisfied the purpose for seeking the records

Judge Jeffrey Gilbert who presided over the case, further ordered a deposition of designated CSU officials within two days after the records have been released, noting that the process can be conducted during the weekend if necessary.

The wide media coverage which has greeted the whole recent political events as they unfold, the insider source said, does not sit well with the presidency.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian authorities have vowed not to fold their hands without putting up a fight against individuals fingered to be leading the campaign for the release of Tinubu’s academic records and the classified files in possession of FBI.

One of the arrowheads who have been in the front burner of this campaign is David Hundeyin, an investigative journalist that fled from persecution in Nigeria in 2020 to Ghana.

Nigerian journalist and founder of West Africa Week journal, David Hundeyin
Nigerian journalist and founder of West Africa Week journal, David Hundeyin

On Thursday, Hundeyin alleged that the Nigerian government was plotting clandestinely to illegally extradite him back to the country over alleged treasonable offences.

Mr Hundeyin, who is on asylum in Ghana, made the allegations in a video he shared on his official X handle.

According to him, the Nigerian government is after him because he leaked a secret document on the plan of the Economic Community of West African States—ECOWAS, to invade junta controlled Niger Republic.

The journalist, therefore, appealed to the Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo, not to bow to the pressures from the Nigerian authorities.

He said, “Last month, when there was the ongoing back and forth between those who wanted to go to war within the ECOWAS bloc against the coup regime in Niger something happened.

“The Nigerian president, Bola Tinubu made a move to deploy Nigerian Special Forces illegally into Nigerian territories to enforce a no fly zone which is a euphemism for essentially staging an unprovoked military attack against an independent sovereign nation and the friendly country to Nigeria.

“As was expected, most people in the Nigerian government and Nigerian military and in the citizenry at large, weren’t at all on board with this. But Tinubu was clearly desperate to start this war with Niger, the war that nobody wanted.

“Subsequently a secret document was leaked to me, a document which contained basically, attack instructions. Basically, staging plans for this illegal invasion of Niger.

“And I knew that by putting these documents out, I could potentially stop the catastrophic invasion which would lead to an immense and unnecessary loss of West African life. So that’s exactly what I did.

“Early August, I put out these documents and it had the desired effect. It did in fact stop the invasion.

“Subsequently, Tinubu then tried to seek permission from Nigeria’s Senate to deploy the Nigerian military to Niger. The Senate knocked this back and to all intents and purposes, the invasion essentially became a stillbirth, it didn’t happen.

“It would have been something that would have been catastrophic and would have benefited nobody except the President himself, he said.

“now, after I leaked this document, I was made aware from several sources that the Nigerian military establishment and Nigerian intelligence establishments became essentially particularly enraged with me.

“I’ve been a person of interest for a long time. But with that, I became designated as something of an enemy of states.

“So I was informed that the Nigerian intelligence agency, I’m not sure whether it was the National Intelligence Agency or the Defence Intelligence Agency. But one of these foreign intelligence institutions dispatched a jet to Accra to basically have me illegally rendered to Nigeria.

“More recently, I’ve come to find out that the Tinubu government is still trying very hard to to enact some sort of illegal rendition.

“The latest tactic apparently is to lean on the Ghanaian government, and accused me of having apparently sabotage that ECOWAS mission and in so doing, basically compromised the bloc security of the ECOWAS region, in which case Ghana, being itself an ECOWAS member, is then obligated to cancel my asylum, revoke my refugee status, and revoke my Ghanaian passport.”

While appealing to Mr Akufo-Addo, the Hundeyin noted that he can’t survive coming back to Nigeria.

“I want to urge the Ghanaian president to resist the temptation to allow an illegitimate Nigerian president to push Ghana into breaking international law.

“There is a law that forbids the illegal repatriation of political refugees back to the country that they fled from where they are going to face persecution.

“It’s very well known that if for whatever reason I were to be returned to Nigeria, I would not survive it. This is not a secret,” he added.

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