Alhaji Lawal Saulawa, former Executive Director, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Kaduna, has advised journalists to be cautious with their mode of investigation in the country.
Saulawa gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Wednesday.
According to him, though investigative journalism is necessary for the development of the country, some Nigerian factors had made investigation dangerous.
According to him, the factors discourage many journalists from carrying out investigation on some hidden facts that will develop the country.
Saulawa, however, urged journalists not to be deterred of engaging in investigative journalism to reveal hidden facts but that they must do it with utmost sense of responsibility.
“Investigative journalism is very important to the development of Nigeria. The issue is that, it must be done with the sense of responsibility in a developing nation like ours.
“Investigating security issues in Nigeria, if one is not careful, such action could precipitate series of events that may be too enormous and capable of dividing the nation.
“There are factors in Nigeria that impede this kind of journalism. First, Nigerians are not really used to this kind of journalism and the media is not competent to do such investigation to its logical conclusion.
“The suspicion of who is reporting, where is he reporting from, misinterpretation of genuine reports, tribalism, religion, culture will always come to play and these could fault a successfully investigation.
“So the issue is, we must be careful and do our job with utmost caution, bearing in mind all the legal implications of our actions so as not to become victims of our investigation.
“Such caution is necessary because people who are being investigated, especially politicians, are willing to pull their resources to stop any investigation and investigator,“ he said.
Saulawa emphasised that funding was a problem impeding investigative journalism in the past but noted that reporters could now access any of the numerous foreign and local sponsors with good proposal to do investigations