THE Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has urged Nigerian authorities to conduct a swift and thorough investigation into the death threats received by BBC journalist Peter Nkanga and ensure his safety.
Nkanga is the BBC reporter who produced the documentary on Ahmed Isah, popularly known as ‘Ordinary President,’ host of the Brekete Family programme, a popular human rights radio show. The host of the programme was seen slapping a woman who allegedly set her niece’s hair on fire.
Since the documentary was shot on May 17, the journalist has been receiving calls and text messages from unknown and angry people threatening to harm and kill him over the piece which generated a lot of mixed reactions on social media and eventually led to the suspension of the programme by the Nigerian Broadcasting Communication (NBC), CPJ said.
“Nigerian authorities must promptly and thoroughly investigate the threats made to BBC journalist Peter Nkanga and ensure his safety,” said CPJ’s Africa Program coordinator Angela Quintal, in New York.
“Death threats and systematic harassment can be a form of censorship, and authorities must take any attempts at intimidation seriously.”
Similarly, the BBC has asked the Nigerian Inspector General of Police Usman Alkali Baba to investigate the alleged threat to Nkanga and other crew members who produced the documentary.
In a letter written to the IGP by the Editor of the BBC Africa Eye Marc Perkins, the news medium urged the police to hold Isah accountable if anything should happen to any member of the crew or their family members.
Perkins noted that the documentary was objectively carried out and not targeted at the work of the Brekete Family Program host.