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Enemies of progress: The fake news

By Olamilekan Sotayo
19 November 2021   |   1:49 am
Sir: When an old aphorism says, “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown,” it must have had Prince Dapo Abiodun, MFR, the governor of Ogun State at the centre of its thought.

If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re misinformed – Mark Twain.

Sir: When an old aphorism says, “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown,” it must have had Prince Dapo Abiodun, MFR, the governor of Ogun State at the centre of its thought.Journalism was taken to the abattoir in a false report— “Ogun attorney-general Gbolahan Adeniran resigns over ‘massive corruption’ in Governor Abiodun’s government”— that was published on Monday, November 15, 2021 in one online news medium. A part of the false report reads:  “Akingbolahan Adeniran has resigned as Ogun State attorney-general effective later this month…after he spent weeks seething about Governor Dapo Abiodun’s corrupt practices, incompetence and general maladministration.” They continued: It is not strange that whenever the media are set to publish fake news, in Nigeria, they resort to quoting anonymous sources. And that marks one of the hydra-headed problems that has been plaguing credible journalism in Nigeria.

In his response titled, “My Reasons For Resigning As Attorney-General And Commissioner For Justice, Ogun State,” Mr. Akingbolahan Adeniran, dismissed the fake news and said: “My attention has been drawn to some online news publications purporting to provide reasons for my resignation from the Ogun State Government as the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice. While it is true that on November 8, 2021, I formally notified His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun, MFR, the governor of the state, of my decision to resign from the cabinet, I must state that contrary to the online news publications, my reasons for resigning are purely personal. I am not aware of any ‘massive corruption’ in the Administration and I am indeed very proud of what we have been able to achieve in the administration of justice over the past two years.”

The false report by the online medium provides additional evidence of the piquancy of Mark Twain regarding newspapers. I have observed Abiodun since his assumption of office as the governor of Ogun State in 2019 and I can confidently say he has left no one in doubt, including the doubting Thomases, about his prodigious administrative acumen, robust intellect, keen vision, transparent honesty and the sheer capacity to organise men and materials for outstanding results.

In the Nigerian space where public service is largely synonymous with self-service, Abiodun has remained constant as one of the exceptional few who are passionate about their jobs, patriotic to the Nigerian nation and conscious of the fact that leadership is a call to service that must be religiously and conscientiously done.
Olamilekan Sotayo wrote in from Abeokuta.

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