By Danlami Nmodu
Prince Kassim Afegbua ,special adviser, media and public affairs to Edo State Governor has disowned a statement he purportedly issued on behalf of General Ibrahim Babangida criticising President Goodluck Jonathan’s government.
Afegbua , former spokesman of Babangida in a rebuttal emailed to Newsdiaryonline said the purported statement credited to him by an online news portal “is outright blackmail journalism and a sad commentary on journalism practice; a profession that I hold dear to my heart”
Specifically Afegbua said “Let me also state without mincing words that I did not issue the said statement that is flying around the social media on behalf of IBB. Let me also declare with all the emphasis at my disposal that General IBB did not authorize anyone to issue any statement on his behalf let alone crediting same odious statement to me; Prince Kassim Afegbua.”
Afegbua said in the rebuttal”My attention has just been drawn to a news story and statement purportedly credited to me with a blaring headline “Your Aides are misleading you; IBB warns Jonathan” published in one Global Village Extra, an online publication. To state the least, this is outright blackmail journalism and a sad commentary on journalism practice; a profession that I hold dear to my heart.
I wish to state unequivocally that I am currently working in Edo State as a Special Adviser to the Comrade Governor on Media and Public Affairs, a position which was expressly endorsed by my boss-for-life General IBB.
“Let me also state without mincing words that I did not issue the said statement that is flying around the social media on behalf of IBB. Let me also declare with all the emphasis at my disposal that General IBB did not authorize anyone to issue any statement on his behalf let alone crediting same odious statement to me; Prince Kassim Afegbua. Even though General IBB has not officially appointed a Media Spokesman since I left, my acceptance of the offer of Special Adviser by my Governor automatically removes me from being General IBB’s Spokesman, a position I so cherished and a personality I so admire. It is therefore bad journalism for one obscure, good-for-nothing, unprofessional platform such as the Global Villa Extra, to fabricate a statement and credit same to me, not only to mislead the public but cause disaffection amongst the personalities involved.
“General IBB is a leader of leaders that I admire so much and one whose understanding of the delicate politics of the country is, in my honest view, unequalled. I have been a very good student of his political school of thought since I met him till date and I will remain so till the end of time. It is not in his character to join issues with leaders in such pedestrian manner as reflected in the so-called statement credited to me. This rebuttal becomes instructive to put the records straight and disabuse the minds of our numerous followers, friends and associates who may come across this statement in one way or the other. It is also to remind the publisher[s] of Global Village Extra that journalism is a very serious profession that requires all the ethics, decorum and standard from all practitioners, but certainly not this category of naysayers, hirelings and journalistic-jobbers that are trying to mislead the public. When I called the local mobile telephone number of the online publication: 08165076156, no one answered my several calls. In fact, the receiver from the other end was cutting my calls. When I called the international number 00912407041545, a receiver from the other end who refused to disclose his name, expressed shock at my declaration. He did promise to instruct his co-conspirators to remove the tissue of concocted lies from their site. As at the time of writing this rebuttal, he has not done so.
“I therefore wish to formally disown the said statement in part, whole and its entirety. It was neither authorized by me nor General IBB and should be so discountenanced. I wish to thank my reputable colleagues in the media who quickly saw through this statement as a piece of abhorrence and alerted me almost immediately. May God continue to replenish your wisdom and deep sense of judgment.
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