- It’s fake news – US Embassy
BY VICTOR OSOWOCHI – The Living Faith Church Worldwide, popularly known as Winners Chapel International, has debunked media reports claiming its President, Bishop David Oyedepo, was denied an entry visa into the United States.
Also, confirmation has come from the United States Embassy in Nigeria describing reports in social media on the so-called visa application rejection as fake news that should be ignored by the public.
The denials come on the heels of some online and mainstream media being awash on Friday morning with claims that Bishop Oyedepo was denied visa into the US, leading to his allegedly creating an ugly scene at the American embassy.
However, in a sharp reaction from the Ministry, Chairman, Editorial and Media Board of Winners Chapel, Professor Sheriff Folarin, debunked the report, maintaining that the Bishop was at no time denied an entry visa into the United States.
In a statement released on Friday, Prof Folarin also explained that Bishop Oyedepo was not anywhere near the US Embassy on Thursday as carried in the said reports.
According to him, “Mainstream and online media spaces this morning (Friday) were abuzz with the news that Bishop David Oyedepo was denied an entry visa to the United States on Thursday, January 30, 2020. We wish to put it on record and categorically submit that this piece of information is not true. At no time was the Bishop denied a visa, nor did he create a scene at the US consulate in Lagos, as purported by some mainstream and online newspapers.
“The Bishop renewed his visa, last year, without any initial denial or drama, or scene. The Bishop was not at the Embassy or Consulate yesterday or even anytime this year. Bishop has been in Canaanland all this week. The last time he applied for a visa, which was last year, he was issued without delay.”
The Editorial and Media Board Chairman also drew attention to a statement by the US Embassy denying the reports, and challenged journalists to verify their facts before publishing, adding; “We have contacted the US Embassy and they are as surprised as we are about this FAKE NEWS, which some media houses decided to spread.
“We encourage the Nigerian media to always follow the line of due diligence before rushing to press and try to at least reach the church from time to time, whenever items try to pass through the rumour mill. Professionalism and wisdom require this so as to maintain integrity and make the media trusted in society, particularly in this age that fake news has become the news.”
Prof Folarin further said; “Bishop Oyedepo is a good friend of the US government and has a very good relationship with US Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria. He is a social entrepreneur, who has touched so many lives in Nigeria, Africa, United States and all around the world.”
- We didn’t deny Oyedepo visa – US
Also reacting to the reports which it described as “FalseNews Alert”, the United States Embassy in Nigeria washed its hands off the claims that visa application from Bishop Oyedepo was rejected.
In a tweet on Friday, the Embassy said; “FalseNews Alert! Be advised, the reports making the rounds about a visa being denied to Nigerian Bishop Oyedepo are false.
“If you have seen this manufactured item in the media, help defeat this #misinformation by communicating to everyone that it is completely false.”