By Simeon Nwakaudu
The President of the United States of America, Donald Trump is one of the major critics of purveyors of fake news. A man of courage, Donald Trump never hesitates to call out carriers of fake news. Cable News Network (CNN) has been on the receiving end of his accusations.
If CNN has been accused of being partisan for barely scratching the surface of fake news, then the situation is worse here in Nigeria. There are media organisations with reporters dedicated to the cooking and circulation of fake news.
In the evening of Sunday, July 8, 2018 the national secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP ), the main opposition party circulated a notice of the meeting of political parties at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre. Presidential Aspirants, PDP Governors, BOT Members and Former PDP Members were invited.
With the benefit of hindsight, this notification must have been circulated by the National Chairmen and leaders of all the political parties that participated in the coalition of July 9, 2018.
The July 9, 2018 edition of The Nation Newspaper as seen in Port Harcourt published a false speculative report titled: “R-APC: PDP Summons Atiku, Makarfi, others”.
Same FrontPage report authored by one Yusuf Ali had a front page quotation: “We are aware that Wike favours Tambuwal and Fayose is insisting he must play a major role in who gets the presidential mandate of the party. We won’t allow anyone to dictate to us”.
The events of July 9, 2018 at the Yar’Adua once again exposed the unethical practices at the The Nation Newspaper, where falsehood against the PDP is a given.
This false FrontPage Report was simply concocted by the reporter who imputed quotations and attempted to malign the integrity of Governor Wike, who is the nightmare of the APC.
That same fake report outlined concocted conditions upon which there were negotiations between PDP and the R-APC. It turned out that the gathering had a totally different agenda, with about 39 political parties in attendance. R-APC was simply one of the participating political parties angling to sack the non-performing President Muhammadu Buhari.
Though The Nation Newspaper is owned by APC National Leader and Former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the medium must realise that it owes the public a modicum of respect.
The very next day, the same Nation Newspaper made no reference of the fake report of July 9, 2018. Its FrontPage lead report “2019: PDP, 38 parties form coalition against Buhari ” of July 10, 2018 only reported the actual event.
It is indecent to deliberately set out to mislead the public. It is totally uncalled to use a medium to always attempt to misrepresent facts on happenings in the PDP simply because the owner of The Nation Newspaper belongs to the APC.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has been the worst hit by The Nation Newspaper’s penchant for false reportage. Imagine including Governor Wike’s name in the false report on the meeting of July 9, 2018.
All Nigerians must be vigilant on news items they read ahead of the 2019 elections. The APC controls certain key newspapers and electronic media. They will inundate the public domain with half truths and outright lies. People must continue to be focused on the struggle this corrupt contraption –the Failed APC Federal Government.