…calls for arrest and prosecution of imposters
A group, the Coalition of West African Investigative Journalists, COWAFIJ has condemned in strong terms the crackdown on Nigeria Government officials by some suspended journalists from the body.
The President of the group, Femi Adebayo who spoke with the media after rising from an emergency extraordinary congress of the group said it has decided to raise alarm and let the world know its position on the plans to blackmail and extort funds from several federal government agencies and public officials by a clique of rascals and imposters purporting to belong to our esteemed organization (COWAFIJ).
Adebayo said, ” Arising from an Emergency Extraordinary Congress of COWAFIJ, we considered and discussed the horrendous attempt to rubbish our organization’s hard earned reputation by associating us with a series of blackmail plots as seen in the media lately. Unethical schemes like this are becoming rampant as they target some politically exposed persons since the inauguration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Just the same way some people abused the Whistle Blowing policy of the federal government, many have suddenly realised they can manipulate the leadership style of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to their advantage by threatening, blackmailing and harrassing government institutions with frivolous petitions aimed at provoking their sack or persecution but in this instance for monetary gain.
“As part of the points raised and discussed at the Extraordinary Emergency Congress of our organisation, we do not only distance ourselves from these imposters, we are also confident that their plans and those of other groups or individuals who may want to tow this line will fail because President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is an objective and discerning leader who cannot allow hoodlums and greedy individuals to tell him who to hire and fire, more so that theirs is for purely blackmail and extortion of public officials for personal gain.
“Credible intelligence at our disposal shows that these charlatans have pencilled down names of several government agencies and their Chief Executive Officers whom to blackmail and threaten with the aim of milking them dry of taxpayers money. We cannot therefore fold our arms and watch these touts make a caricature of our hard earned reputation
“Our intelligence further reveals that in addition to above listed targets of the imposters, several public officers are also targeted in this criminal move. But we will want the public to know that this so called people are no longer valid members of our organization and stand suspended
“Accordingly, the resolutions reached at the end of the Emergency Extraordinary Congress of COWAFIJ has also ratified the suspension of some members pending investigation by security agencies of members directly linked with this charade. Their behaviour represents gross insubordination, criminal representation, character assassination and conspiracy to cause a crime and harm with intent to extort the unsuspecting public. Their suspension is therefore indefinite” he said
The group said it has petitioned the Inspector General of Police to crackdown on them on such persons as it will not hesitate to take legal actions if the imposters do not retrace their criminal moves .
“Ladies and gentlemen of the press, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has started on a sound footing. It will be callous for us as continental body of journalists to constitute ourselves into a distraction to derail his renewed hope agenda. Like the Whistle Blowing policy, anybody or group that raises a false alarm simply because he has been paid to do so or feels he has something to gain without verification should be made to face the wrath of the law. Impersonating a well recognized organisation with outstanding credentials such as COWAFIJ to gain credibility and cause crime is punishable by law” he said.
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