Emerging report indicates that Mallam Yushau Shuaib, is using his online medium, PR Nigeria, to mislead the general public on the true situation of things concerning the war against terrorism and banditry in some parts of Northern Nigeria.
The revelation allegedly came to the fore, following tabs kept on his stories by some interested readers of PR Nigeria, who said that they later realised that the interest of Shuaib is not necessarily information dissemination, but to help his ambition of getting back into reckoning as a Public Relations, PR, Consultant on Security matters.
Shuaib had in the past acted as a Media Consultant to the former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki, and according to reports, has not been happy that he has not been given the brief in the current administration, hence he is doing all he can to pressure the authorities to notice his presence.
The readers drew our attention to the fact that most of Shuaib’s stories were aimed at painting the Nigerian Military in bad light, so as to create a negative image of the Institution, in order to sell a proposal to them, that it is only through him and his PR firm, that the Military can ‘redeem’ its image.
The reader-instigated investigations, revealed that it is the drive for negative stories about the Military, that informs PR Nigeria’s penchant to usually be the first to publish stories that are negative to the Military, even when the medium is not known to have Reporters in the places it claims the incidences happened.
One of the readers said: “What made me wary of his reports, is that they are always filled with innuendos, and do not say anything beyond the usually misleading headlines.
“When I did further checks, I now realised that even national dailies that have Correspondents in all the States of the Federation, do not claim the ubiquity of Shuaib, and I began to ask questions.
“It was then that I realised that many of the stories said to be at the theatres of operation, were merely planted in Abuja, to mislead the public.”
Another reader in Kano said: “I also observed that while they are doing PR stories for other organisations, when it comes to the Military, they are different.
“Initially, I was believing them until I noticed how they distorted a particular incident I got first hand information about.”
Another reader who said that he should be identified with the initials AK, stated that PR Nigeria has not been fair to the Military.
“Going through their stories, you cannot help but notice strong bias against the Military.”
Further checks revealed that the allegations are true.
When the Military recorded a major victory against bandits in the North-West, last week, it issued a statement announcing how troops of the Nigerian Army Super Camp 4 Faskari, deployed for Operation Sahel Sanity, on 6th July, 2020, received a distress call on the invasion of armed bandits at Yar Gamji village, in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State, and the gallant troops who were just inducted into the operation responded swiftly to the call.
“They engaged the criminals, thereby neutralised 46 bandits in the encounter, while others escaped with gun shots”, the Military had said.
However, a few days later, PR Nigeria was one of the first to attempt to disparage the Military for reporting what it witnessed first hand at the battlefield, saying that the Military’s claim of killing 46 bandits is not true, and quoted an unknown group that said the bandits massacred 18 Katsina villagers unchallenged in that encounter.
PR Nigeria was also quick to report through a third party, that the Police rescued Soldiers from Boko Haram, after an attack in Borno State, a few days later.
It had said: “The Nigeria Police Counter-Terrorism Operatives have rescued two Soldiers, who were earlier abducted by Boko Haram fighters in Borno State.
“PRNigeria gathered that the terrorists had killed some Security Personnel, and abducted others, after an attack on Soldiers on a patrol.
“Counter-Terrorism Unit of the Nigeria Police on pin down point (operation), at the area, went after the terrorists. After a gun battle recovered one gun-truck, rifles, and rescued two Soldiers alive.”
More revealing is the purported interview with the District Head of Batsari, in Katsina State, Alhaji Mohammed Muazu, where the District Head was purported to have made some disparaging remarks about the Military, and their efforts to rid the North-West of banditry, which turned out to be a hoax.
While other papers quoted the District Head as saying positive things about the Military, PR Nigeria only concocted a version that was in line with its agenda to say negative things about the Military.
The Punch Online for instance, quoted the District Head as saying when asked about Security efforts in his District, that: “As I said earlier, it was the Special Forces that helped us drive away the bandits who killed our Farmers on Monday. We know the government is trying its best, but we shall always appeal to them to do more.”
Readers of PR Nigeria were unanimous in advising Shuaib to tread with caution, and not allow his ambition push him to be used by unpatriotic elements.