The Muslim Media Corporation, New York City, has condemned the recent report by a TVC senior reporter, Ivy Kanu, on the Nigerian Muslim-Christian population figure.
Recently, while reporting on the Company and Allied Matters Act, a senior reporter at TVC, a private TV station in Lagos State, Nigeria, released a provocative report capable of setting the nation afire.
In the incendiary report, the Reporter claimed that Nigeria is predominantly a Christian country.
That singular unguarded statement is enough to provoke a religious crisis in a volatile country.
As a voice for the Muslims, the Muslim Media Corporation, MMC, considered it necessary to correct the False claim reported by TVC with data gathered from different sources.
While reacting to the false claim, the MMC Editor-in-Chief/CEO, Mutiu Olawuyi, stated that objectivity is key to journalism.
According to Olawuyi, every responsible media organization should uphold objectivity to report facts about happenings anywhere in the world.
He stated that violation of objectivity in news reporting is capable of tarnishing the image of a defaulting media organization.
“A good reporter or correspondent employs a number of ways and available resources to verify information before releasing such information for public consumption.
“Disregard to objectivity has made some media organizations lose their reputation and readership,” Olawuyi said.
He affirmed that the type of journalism being practiced in Nigeria today is sharply in contrast to the professional practices in many civilized countries.
The CEO noted that rather than correct the societal ills and promote peaceful coexistence in a multi-religious setting like Nigeria, most of the media organizations engage freely in biased reportage and promotion of incendiary news reports.
“As of 2018, the Nigerian population was estimated at over 200 million. The country, which is regarded as the most populous African country, is divided between adherents of Christianity, Islam and traditional religion.
“The majority of Nigerian Muslims are concentrated in mostly the northern region of the country with some Christian population. The Christians as well dominate the south with an appreciable Muslim population,” Olawuyi said.
He added that a 2019 report from The World Factbook by CIA, estimated Muslim population in Nigeria as 51.6%, Christian 46.9%, traditionalist 9%, and an unspecified population estimated at 5%.
He stated further that in a 2019 report released by Pew Research Center in 2015, the Muslim population was estimated to be 50% while the Christian population was estimated to be 48.1%.
“It is an indisputable fact that Muslims dominate the north and has a number of supporters in the southwestern, Yoruba part of the country.
“In terms of Nigeria’s major ethnic groups’ religious affiliations, the Hausa ethnic group in the north is mostly Muslims; the Yoruba tribe in the west is divided among mainly Muslim, Christian and traditional religions, while the Igbos of the east and the Ijaw in the south are predominantly Christians and some practitioners of traditional religion,” he added.
Olawuyi explained that Muslims have always been dominating this demographic space.
He pointed out that the result of the 1963 Nigerian census showed that the population of Muslims was 47% while the population of the Christians was 38%.
“The 2008 MEASURE Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) found 53% Muslim, 45% Christian, and 2% other; the 2008 Afrobarometer poll found 49% Christian, 50% Muslim, and 1% other; Pew’s own survey found 52% Muslim, 46% Christian, and 1% other,” he said.
Consequent upon the above-mentioned facts and figures, the Muslim Media Corporation urged the management of TVC to guide its reporters against unprofessional practices that could endanger the relative peaceful co-existence in the country.
MMC also issued a strong warning to TVC reporters, especially the Christians among them, to desist from misinforming the populace on issues regarding Islam and Muslims.
MMC demands that TVC release the source(s) of the false claim reported by one its senior staff.