DW correspondent Ubale Musa lost his accreditation at a joint press conference between Chadian President Idriss Deby, on an official state visit in Nigeria, and the country's outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan.
Musa lost his accreditation at the Abuja event for asking a question deemed "inappropriate" of a state guest. At the press conference on Monday, May 11, the journalist raised critical questions about Chad and Nigeria's armed forces - part of a "Multinational Joint Task Force" aimed at opposing the terror group Boko Haram. Although Deby answered many of the questions and also expressed criticism of the Nigerian army in doing so, Nigerian security forces removed the DW reporter from the venue and revoked his accreditation for the State House, the seat of the president.
Ubale Musa has reported for Deutsche Welle's Hausa program from Abuja since 1998, and reporting directly from the presidential palace has been one of his key tasks.
Deutsche Welle has now sent an official letter of protest to Nigerian officials. DW Director General Peter Limbourg said, "Our radio correspondent Ubale Musa posed completely legitimate questions - including about the issue of South African mercenaries taking part in the fight against Boko Haram. He was pursuing his journalistic duties in an exemplary fashion. We call for his accreditation to be restored as quickly as possible."
Nigeria imposes many restrictions on press freedom. Other DW journalists have also been repeatedly hindered in their work and have been violently assaulted by security forces. Reports about Boko Haram and the country's response to the terror militia have again and again led Jonathan's government to attack media representatives. Last year, Nigerian military leaders issued a broad threat to sanction international media if they didn't temper their critical reporting. In the case of Ubale Musa, Nigerian security officials apparently interpreted the questions about collaborating with mercenaries as an embarrassing exposure - particularly since they were directed at a foreign head of state.
May 13, 2015