The Chairman of Media Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Prince John Mayaki, has said members of the family of the party’s standard-bearer, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, never endorsed Governor Godwin Obaseki.
He said it was sad that some media organisations (excluding The Nation), abandoned ethics, assiduity and professionalism, and lent themselves to sentimentalism and hearsay.
Mayaki noted that the media houses exposed themselves to the whims and caprices of odious and discordant fabrications.
Said he: “The media have generally conducted themselves as they should – sentinels of truth – in the campaign leading to the September 19 governorship election. To a large extent, they still do, but a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
“News agencies have reported with good grace, the wave of defections that the Governor Obaseki’s camp is suffering. They have reported with unmatched accuracy, the conflict between a frayed, disappointed and distraught Phillip Shaibu (Edo Deputy Governor/Obaseki’s running mate) and his suspected niggardly boss, who has refused to fund his own campaign. They have closely reported the public declaration of support for Pastor Ize-Iyamu, but what they have gone on to misreport is an alleged support for the underwhelming Obaseki.
“While there is photographic and even video evidence to support the public declaration of support for Pastor Ize-Iyamu by the Obaseki family, the solitary evidence the brewed declaration for Obaseki can point to is the written testimony of one Osazee Ize-Iyamu, who is clearly a concoction of the Obaseki campaign body. Should it even happen that such a character exists, he does not speak the mind of the family. For him to do so there should at least have been a quarter of the family members present.
“Sadly, copy and paste agencies have plagiarised the fabrication from such media agencies as ThisDay Newspapers (Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu’s families trade support for candidates), Vanguard Newspapers (Drama as Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu drag families into campaign) and Nigerian Tribune (Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu families support rival candidates in Edo poll), among others.
“Pastor Ize-Iyamu’s family feels scandalised by this shocking abandonment of due practice by the media, which will suffer the alleged solitary testimony of one man to represent the opinion of the family, whereas in the same news item, the Obaseki family came in their numbers to endorse the Edo APC’s governorship candidate.
“Also fabricated by the Obaseki campaign organisation is the bewildering story that the family of Prof. Idia Ize-Iyamu (wife of Edo APC’s governorship candidate, who is of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital), has told her to distance herself from her husband’s campaign. While this amounts to a lazy-brained campaign strategy, it is lamentable that certain elements in the media have taken away the joy in campaign reporting by commercialising their services at the expense of professional ethics.
“Due to the damaging misreports, the Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation hereby issues a 48-hour ultimatum to the errant media agencies to retract the discordant and falsely-construed news reports, failure to do which will press the aggrieved parties to seek judicial remedies.”