Our attention has been drawn to a viral online story on social media platforms with the headline: “Lagos Deputy Governor, Others Beaten up in Free for All Fight at the APC Secretariat”.
According to the news item, the Deputy Governor and some senior members of the Lagos State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were reported to have been beaten up by aggrieved political miscreants during a reconciliation meeting at the Party’s Secretariat in Ogba.
The Office of the Deputy Governor, however, wishes to state in unequivocal terms and for the information of millions of readers that the report is untrue, mischievous, fake and unfounded.
While we would not have joined issues with the originator of the story and his/her cohorts, we are compelled to write this piece due to the inaccuracies it conveyed; as the story was completely different from and a false reflection of what happened at the meeting. Also, we would not allow some quack bloggers and journalists with mischievous inclinations to bring the personality and name of the Deputy Governor to disrepute.
It is important to state that truly, a meeting was called by the Party to discuss with all the party candidates, aspirants and party chairmen. The meeting which commenced earlier on that day was abruptly brought to a halt as suspected political miscreants, who were supporters of one of the Local Governments, took over the venue of the said meeting shutting out other members from accessing the meeting room.
When the Deputy Governor got to the Party Secretariat and, with the support of his aides, promptly calms frayed nerves and had a meeting with the aggrieved parties for over one hour, after which photographs were taken and everyone went about their business peacefully.
The above narrative is exactly what happened at the Party Secretariat on Monday and was accurately reported by Vanguard on its online page with the caption, “APC Primaries: Hamzat Intervenes As Aggrieved Members Disrupt Truce Meeting In Lagos” and on Page 29 of the Nigerian Tribune of Tuesday, 26th July 2022. So one wonders where the writer got his/her side of the misleading story or information that the Deputy Governor and others were “Thoroughly Beaten Up”.
Truth must be said. This is a sad example of awful journalism and abuse of the social media space which we all must endeavour to do away with in our public discourse. We cannot have journalists cooking up stories without verifying and without credible bases. To us, this story succeeded in exposing the unprofessional and unethical quality of the writer. In this specific case, the writer goofed.
Let those who are interested in professional reporting continue their good work and the crooked ones should stop their falsehood because it will come back to haunt them.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor (Media)
Office of the Lagos State Deputy Governor