Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in a press release has replied to an earlier report from the TrentOnline which said he recently stormed out of a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari after being insulted by Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
Why will a news medium pack its supposed news article with a bunch of lies? Or why will a reporter and the editor, who are meant to disclose truth to the reading public embark on a fictitious journey misleading the very audience that they are meant to inform. Could there be a hidden agenda that TheTrentOnline is trying to implement?
Writing under the headline “Osinbajo insulted by El-Rufai, Walks Out on President Buhari”. TheTrentOnline completely fabricates scenarios that is not known to truth. Not only that, the website makes references to previously baseless claims that have been conclusively rebutted and dismissed, ignoring the very basic ethical commitment to truth of a journalist and a media outlet.
In one of its latests fictions presented as a news report, with the headline above, the website reported that “A few weeks back, our investigations reveal, the tension between Osinbajo and El-Rufai came to a head when Governor El Rufai insulted Vice President in a meeting in the Presidential Villa in Aso Rock, and Osinbajo reacted by denouncing El-Rufai and walking out of the meeting which had President Buhari presiding”
TheTrentOnline did not disclose the time of the said meeting, the agenda of the meeting or the specific cause of the purported disagreement, yet the only website, went to great length to purvey such aspersions.
A simple investigation in Aso Rock easily as revealed, that there were no such incidents. Besides, it is well known that the relationship between the President and the Vice President has been one of cordiality and mutual respect, equally the relationship between the President, Vice President and the Governor of Kaduna State is also of mutual respect. There are several ongoing government initiatives around which the Vice President and the Kaduna State government have worked on and are still working together, unlike what TheTrentOnline claimed, there was no meeting in the presidency or anywhere where the governor insulted the Vice President nor was there any meeting where the President or Vice President walked out as reported by the news outlet.
This curious “news report” attempts to befuddle the reader and create an impression of confusion. It also tried to belittle without cause, the personalities of the President, the Vice President and the Governor of Kaduna State. Who or what set of individuals will have the motive and the desire to create such impression? I will soon come to address that question. The report claims that the President prefers to have a Northerner as his right hand man, deliberately ignoring the fact that the President has surrounded himself already with several aides and assistants both from the North and from the South, covering all grounds of the nation.
The report also tried to rehash some of the failed campaign talking points deployed before the election, to paint then General Buhari as a religious fanatic. Not only have Nigerians seen through such blatant falsehood, the President has come to be known as a real Pan-Nigerian patriot since his emergence in December 1983 as the Head of States. What is more, in the March 28presidential elections, a vast majority of Nigerians that voted, validated President Buhari’s nationalist credentials. Retelling the old tales that Buhari would never have appointed a Southerner or a Christina, TheTrentOnline conveniently but questionably ignores the fact that Buhari had always picked Southern Christians as running mates.
This news report that is awash with ill feelings and mischief also claimed that governor El-Rufai forced the hands of the President to appoint Amina Bala Zakari as the acting INEC Chairman. The website made all these claims without providing any scintilla of proof. The so called news report also continued the pure falsehood regarding the alleged exclusion or locking out of the Vice President from Security Council meeting when many Nigerians have since found out, that not only is the Vice President a constitutional member on the Security Council, but that the President personally invited the Vice President to the Security Council meetings, But this harbingers of lies continue to lie through their teeth that the Vice President was excluded. Again, short of quoting anonymous sources, the website provided no proof for it’s wild and outrageous claims.
Why is TheTrentOnline so committed to falsehood, ill-will, and this desperate acts of wickedness. Is it because the owner of the website Aziza Uko Douglas, is a paid crony of former President Goodluck Johnattan, who is an active client of her Ziza Media Group? Or could it be that TheTrentOnline is committed to misleading Nigerians about the President and the Vice President, because it’s owner is a well known ally of Reno Omokri, the infamous Special Assistant to former President Johnattan on New Media.
While we will leave those questions for well meaning Nigerians can read through the lines, it is important to say that those who intend to be considered as fair participants in the public place ought to do so with a sense of fairness, personal integrity, commitment to accuracy and an absolute desire to publish the truth, and not fictions. He who seeks equity must come with clean hands. If Ms. Aziza Uko Douglas wants to show her gratitude to her paymasters, it is all well and good, however, it is unconscionable for her and her website to resort to denigration of the President of Nigeria, his Vice President and the Governor of Kaduna State. Basic human requirements of decency, imposes upon the publisher of TheTrentOnline to respect the truth.
Writing fictions, making outrageous claims, and spewing lies cannot advance the cause of anyone, including individuals who are sponsored to tarnish the respectable image of others, or those of the sponsors themselves. Stop the lies!