By Hilary Kimuyu
A Nigerian journalist says she has cancelled her trip to Kenya because an al Shabaab attack in Somalia made it ‘too dangerous to visit’.
The journalist Kemi Omololu-Olunloyo, who is barely known to Kenyans, was supposedly invited to attend the African Women in Media event that kicked off in Nairobi today and will run until Saturday.
She cited the bomb attack in Mogadishu, Somalia where six people were killed in a suicide attack on a government building.
“Kenyan fans, I will no longer be attending #AWiM19 African Women in Media due to a SECURITY THREAT as a result of the Al-Shabab bomb attack today in the Mogadishu Mayor’s office. I will not be in #Nairobi tomorrow. Al-Shabab terrorists often operate in Kenya,” she posted.
To justify her decision, she also referred to the Dusit terrorist attack on January 15, 2019 where suspected al Shabab gunmen killed 21 people.
On her social media accounts the journalist describes herself as a clinical pharmacist, publicist and activist.
A search on the internet for her profile revealed that she is considered a controversial blogger in Nigeria.
In 2017, she was detained by Nigerian authorities for criminal defamation. She had written an article about a pastor being involved in some misconduct but the pastor fought back, leading to her arrest and detention. She also claimed in one of her clap backs that she had worked for CNN for more than 20 years.
But the CNN Africa supervising producer in Nigeria Stephanie Busari challenged her to provide evidence of working for the company for two decades.
“I have not seen any evidence of this work for CNN beyond a few rambling interviews for some of the shows in 2009. Please enlighten me @HNNAfrica on your 20 year history with CNN,” Busari wrote.
DOUBTING HER CREDENTIALS
She later took to Twitter on Sunday to scold some of her followers for doubting her credentials.
The irony is that she comes from a country that is facing similar if not more serious issues of extremist attacks.
At least 1,200 people died and nearly 200,000 were displaced in the northeast in 2018, according to the Human Rights Watch. Conversely, only four deaths from terror related incidents were recorded on Kenyan soil last year. Those deaths happened in Mandera County.
The extremists have sought to establish a strict Islamic caliphate in Nigeria, carrying out attacks as far away as the capital, Abuja.