Editor-in-chief of Daily Trust Newspaper, Mannir Dan Ali, has now explained why there was a military siege on the offices of his medium nationwide.
He said the siege and subsequent arrest of some editorial staff in Maiduguri Borno state was a targeted attempt by the army to clampdown on the paper for ‘comprehensively’ reporting the many losses and defeats of the military by Boko Haram insurgents in the Northeast region.
Speaking with newsmen yesterday, Dan Ali said the military authorities merely latched onto Sunday’s lead report on the newspaper which bore the bold caption: “Military prepares massive operation to retake Baga, others” to accuse the medium of ‘exposing’ the surprise strategy which the military was planning to unleash on the insurgents thereby ‘leaking’ information to the enemies.
“The military is not happy with our reporting of the Baga attacks by Boko Haram and is just using today’s story as an excuse to clamp down on the newspaper,” the Editor-in-Chief said.
However, he assured that the contentious matter of his medium’s coverage style of the anti-terror war in the Northeast was already being resolved by the government.
“Government officials are trying to resolve the matter,” he added.
Recall that shortly after the newspaper hit the streets on Sunday, heavily armed soldiers in several vehicles laid siege to Daily Trust headquarters in Abuja.
The soldiers also surrounded the premises, dismissed the Mobile Police guards, barring everyone from entering or leaving the premises.
Another set of angry soldiers had earlier in the day taken over the paper’s office in Maiduguri and arrested two reporters, including the Bureau Chief, Usman Abubakar.