• Accuses Obaseki, PDP of being fake news’ purveyors

  • Berates gullible media 

Obaseki accused of thriving on fake news

BY EDMOND ODOK – The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the September 19 Edo state governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has denied holding any media briefing since losing to Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Director of Communication and Media for the Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation, John Mayaki, categorically declared that reports claiming his principal has requested Governor Obaseki’s return to APC are utterly false.

The campaign organisation, in a statement released on Thursday, urged the traditional media to always perform due diligence in reporting events arising from the elections in Edo state.

Cautioning that unprofessionalism would render the media as compromised tools for the PDP, Mayaki said such skewed reporting is sadly a continuation of the media’s lack of news verification before publication.

Some news media had reported Pastor Ize-Iyamu, as making a television broadcast on Wednesday, appealing and seeking Governor Obaseki’s return to the APC fold

According to Mayaki, it is a sad commentary on media professionalism that Pastor Ize-Iyamu, who is yet to address the press since the election results were announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission on Sunday, should be so mischievously quoted by media organisations

The Campaign spokesperson said the video being referenced was broadcast three months ago, adding; “We warned several times that the media should beware of fabrications from Obaseki and the PDP camp, but they did not listen.”

He further said. “That is why they have reported that the election was free and fair, and that is why they have said our candidate appealed to Obaseki to come back to APC.

“The video in reference is from three months ago, not after the election but doctored by Governor Obaseki media handlers to seek undue legitimacy.”

Stopping short of accusing the media of being sponsored by Governor Obaseki and the PDP, the statement said it seemed implausible that they (the media) actually believed the story to warrant such being given such wide spread publicity.

Querying the story’s veracity further, the Campaign Organization said; “Pastor Ize-Iyamu was reported in the stories as speaking from Abuja, but it was the Benin reporters that covered the story. Were the reporters transported to Abuja? Do these media agencies actually believe the stories they carry?

“Obaseki and the PDP have a way of leaking false news to the media and the media has to be sensitive and professional in receiving these news.”

Similarly, the Campaign Organization warned the public to beware of a fake Twitter account purportedly owned by Pastor Ize-Iyamu, which has been disseminating false information.

It said the media must the platform like a plague while verifying all their information garnered before dropping such in the public space.

Mayaki further said; “I only wish the media had been more professional during the elections; they were not and what is done is done.

“They don’t know how violent and anti-democratic it was in several parts of Edo State, including Egor in Benin City, and so they reported that the elections were free and fair.”

“At least, going forward, let them verify all news before passing it on. It is the basic ethic of the profession”, the spokesman pleaded.

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