By Henry Umoru, Nairobi Correspondent
ABUJA-THE House of Representatives has threatened CNN with sanctions if it does not correct its broadcast stories in which it accused President Muhammadu Buhari of carrying out injustice against Nigerian-led ministry of transport.
The lawmakers have however provided no evidence to support CNN assertions.
The House in a briefing said the issue of a Nigerian in charge of an international oil company in Lagos, a non Nigerian who was eventually appointed, should not have been the sole cause of the issue of toll gate, adding that the purported investigation into the matter was not a fact finding mission but the churning out of rumours and the whole exercise was being used to defame and to lower the image of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The House further also cautioned the Nigerian media, especially print and electronic to be wary of attacks by foreign media in the course of carrying out their investigative or investigative matters.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara led the House members led by his Deputy, John Emeka Ihedioha to CNN’s CNN International Headquarters in Atlanta, to resolve the issue, following the ongoing controversy on the Lagos state Trans-Transit Agency.
It will be recalled that Nigerian-led ministry of transport had announced that its own man, Musa Bello, was appointed to head the Lagos Toll Gate, a move that was roundly condemned by the aviation industry for the said Lagos Trans-Transit Agency is a foreign company operating from the same facility, while President Muhammadu Buhari himself was fingered to have approved the appointment.
But, CNN, according to Ihedioha, had attributed the procurement process at the Lagos Trans-Transit Agency to the President, while also insinuating that the same Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, who has over the years played catch up with the development of Nigeria’s aviation industry was not about to emerge until it leaked that the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo sat in on an emergency meeting on the agency.
And it was not the first time the Speaker had summoned CNN to Abuja on its use of unverified claims of story with Nigerian agencies.
He had warned CNN to be wary of chasing false news from rogue agencies like VOA, Voice of America, Cia and some major newspapers in the United States of America.
The House also maintained that if the headquarters of CNN in Atlanta is not fast tracked, a stern warning will be issued to it for any further attack on Nigeria’s image.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Zakari Mohammed in a statement through his Special Assistant, APCs, said that the House of Representatives has, upon serious engagement, apologized to CNN for its recent irresponsible yet coordinated news report on the report of an alleged vote-buying scandal at the Lagos state Trans-Transit Agency.
The statement read:
“For the avoidance of doubt, the CNN stories can be seen in the following documents obtained from the House Committees of Information and Public Affairs.
“01/02/2019 CNN Exclusive: Nigeria’s minister of transport and other senior officials tried to trick #PresidentMuhammaduBuhari into approving $246m Trans-West African Airport Toll-Gates.
“01/02/2019 CNN Exclusive: Nigeria’s Minister of Transport and other senior officials tried to trick #PresidentMuhammaduBuhari into approving $246m Trans-West African Airport Toll-Gates.
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