Friday, 21 December 2012

JAF Reaction to a Malicious Report in the PM News

The News Editor
PM News
Dear Compatriot,
The News Editor
PM News
Dear Compatriot,
Re: PM News Report - Traffic Law: Group Slams Okada Riders, Says Protest Illegal
The attention of Joint Action Front (JAF) has been drawn to a malicious and concocted report in the PM News of December 21st 2012 captioned Traffic Law: Group Slams Okada Riders, Says Protest Illegal authored by your reporter by the name Jamiu Yisa.
The said report, which we strongly suspect is at the behest of the Lagos State Government and the Lagos State Police Command was, aimed at disparaging the Joint Action Front (JAF), equally undermines the credibility of the PM News.
The malicious report as we reproduce in full reads:
A pressure group, Joint Action Movement, JAM, has described as illegal, the recent protest of some commercial motorcyclists popularly called okada riders against the Lagos State Traffic Law. The group, at rallies held at Agege and Mile 12 this morning, warned the protesters that they risked being charged with contempt of court because their grievance against the law has been adjudicated upon by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Addressing the rallies jointly, the National Coordinator of JAM, Kehinde Olaore and Kola Animasaun, President and General Secretary, respectively, wondered why an aggrieved set of people, who approached the court for adjudication on a matter could thereafter engage in senseless protest after their matter has been thrown out.
JAM dissociated its members from the last protest organised by Joint Action Forum, JAF, and some okada riders. It admitted that it was formerly part of JAF before it decided to engage in activities that are inimical and detrimental to the corporate existence of the country.
While pledging its support to the Lagos State government on the Traffic Law, the group warned against lawlessness and advised protesting okada riders to be guided by law and due process.
Olaore and Animasaun warned the JAF to desist from misleading those they are expected to guide aright.
Let us put the record straight:
JAF notes that the PM News has a record of prompt and effective coverage of the activities of JAF, which are very prominent in local and international media. None of your reporters covering the activities of JAF and other groups in the civil society would have written such malicious report without recourse to the leadership of JAF on such spurious claims by agents-provocateur that they were erstwhile members of JAF.
The Joint Action Front (JAF) and not Joint Action Forum as reported by the Mr. Jamiu Yisa is the pro-labour civil society coalition with irreproachable precedents of struggle on the side of the working people and the poor against exploitative and oppressive policies in its drive towards SYSTEM CHANGE for the socio-economic transformation of Nigeria.
JAF operates on the basis of affiliate organisations who subscribe to its goals. JAF cannot just be joined by the individuals. Thus, Kehinde Olaore and Kola Animashaun are impostors unknown to JAF as they never belonged to any of our affiliates.
We strongly believe that the floated JAM should be in the imagination of Mr. Jamiu Yisa, who, from our preliminary findings, has been exposed as an agent of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) working to undermine the credibility of the PM News.
Also, our findings showed no such rallies as reported by Mr. Jamiu Yisa took place anywhere in Lagos today. It is therefore, in the interest of the PM News and the profession of journalism that Mr. Jamiu should be investigated as to know whose interest is he serving.
Rallies and protests (even the rent-a-crowd government-sponsored) had never escaped the attention of a wide section of the media and the police. Mr. Jamiu needs to explain to the public who Kehinde Olaore and Kola Animashaun are, his invitation to cover the rallies and photographs of the rallies. Mr. Jamiu needs to convince the public of the history of JAM and its capacity to pull two supposedly held rallies in the morning hours as were covered by only him.
Given our high regards for the media, whose objective reporting of JAF’s activities in the past and present are well documented, we will not take Mr. Jamiu Yisa’s misleading and concocted report against the PM News. Instead, we urge the PM News to address the issues we have raised with utmost diligence and save the profession of journalism from being ridiculed by those violating its basic ethics and practice.
We appreciate your prompt treatment of the issue and feedback to the Nigerian public on the fact of the matter.
Yours fraternally
Comrade Abiodun Aremu
JAF Secretary

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