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Ivorian National TV criticised for showing football game during resort attack

Ivorian National TV criticised for showing football game during resort attack

Ivory Coast

Ahmadou Bakayoko, head of Ivory Coast’s public broadcaster, RTI; has come under attack from an Ivorian opposition party, LIDER (Freedom and Democracy for the Republic), for the manner in which the station covered the Grand bassam terrorists attack which claimed 18 lives.

In an article published on its website, the party denounced the fact that RTI had chosen to show a football match at a time that the country was going through a hard time as a result of the attack on innocent citizens and foreign nationals.

“Yesterday (Sunday), while people of Bassam fell under the bullets of the jihadists of al-Mourabitoun, while Côte d’Ivoire was attacked so cowardly and murderously, Ahmadou Bakayoko (Director General of the Ivorian public television), found it useful to screen a football game,” the statement bemoaned.

... while people of Bassam fell under the bullets of the jihadists of al-Mourabitoun, while Côte d'Ivoire was attacked so cowardly and murderously, Ahmadou Bakayoko found it useful to screen a football game.

In addition, the party recalls how a similar situation had cost the previous director of the RTI his post.

It added that “(he) was fired for not sending a team to cover the arrival of Alassane Ouattara who was returning from a holiday abroad.”

During the attack, the Ivorians claim to have depended on social networks, Facebook and Twitter to get information that can help to reassure or inform their relatives that are on their way to the City of Grand Bassam.

Some members of the public coplained that RTI simply does not show responsiveness ‘in the face of major events.’

In fact, many Ivorians criticized RTI’s long silence on the deadly attacks at a time that they kept broadcasting the football match.

However, some reject these claims, stating that the “national television was not well equipped well enough to offer live coverage for a terrorist attack.”

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