The spokesperson of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Ibraheem Al-Hassan, has disclosed that the tribunal’s chairman, Danladi Umar, instructed him to use the phrase “Biafran Boys” to describe the traders that attempted to attack him on Tuesday at Banex Plaza, Abuja.
Al-Hassan had come under heavy criticism from Nigerians who described his use of “Biafran Boys” in the press statement as ethnic slurring and hate speech against Igbo people.
He had issued the press statement to defend Umar, who was seen in viral social media videos assaulting a security guard at the popular plaza.
Apart from being criticized for the grammatical blunders contained in almost every paragraph of the press statement, Al-Hassan was also criticized for failing to admit that his boss was wrong to have assaulted the security guard.
The CCT spokesperson has now claimed that he wrote the statement under pressure, adding that the use of “Biafran Boys” in the statement was the decision of his boss.
“There’s a problem with that statement. In fact, we are about disowning it. We want to retract the content because it was written under intense pressure. I must confess to you, that is why there are many structural imbalances, language structure not being perfect and, again, some of the expressions used. I acted on instruction,” he told ICIR in an interview.
Al-Hassan who works in the Ministry of Information and Culture and simultaneously as the Public Relations Officer at the CCT since 2013 said he had already been summoned by the minister, Lai Muhammed, regarding the statement.
“Now as I am speaking with you, I’m in my ministry. My ministry has summoned me for that statement. My minister, so to say, through my director. So, I should be given some time to get this problem solved,” he said.
He went on to say, “All the grammatical errors and what have you, were not noted. I did not proofread it; I was in the car when I composed it with my android (phone).
He told the medium that he was uncertain of the punishment for his actions, stressing that it was only after the statement had gone out that he realized that it was laced with errors.
He noted that this was the first time he would be facing such an issue.
“There are series of issues in that place and I have been able to manage them. There has never been an issue with my statements,” Al-Hassan said, adding “As I am speaking with you, I am regretting my action.”