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Managing director of state-owned newspaper dismissed for writing, publishing article disparaging president

(MRA/IFEX) - On 20 August 2008, Mr. Bashir Sanda Gusau, the Managing Director of "Legacy", the Zamfara (North Western Nigeria) State-owned newspaper, was sacked for publishing an article the state considered to disparage President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua.

He was immediately replaced with Alhaji Muhammad Sama'ila Gusau.

The state Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Danmaliki, in a two-page statement said Gusau got sacked for allegedly being "insincere" in the article. The statement added that Zamfara's political differences with President Yar'Adua were not enough reasons to launch media attack against the Presidency.

According to the statement, the article, titled: "My fears for Yar'Adua", posited that "the past one-and-a-half years of Yar'Adua's Presidency were marred with indolence, ineptitude, violence, kidnapping, armed robbery, communal clashes, power blackout and succumbing to the whims and caprices of a cabal holding the nation to ransom."

It added "This is simply one instance in which the distasteful write-up sought to condemn the administration of President Yar'Adua and by extension, our growing democracy."

The statement described President Yar'Adua as "the de facto and de jure head of the country and we shall never associate the government and people of Zamfara State with any attempt to run him down."

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