Western Publishing Company Limited ,publishers of The Compass newspapers and The Westerner magazine have accused Ogun state Governor Ibikunle Amosun and his agents of blackmail.Compass is owned by former Governor Gbenga Daniel(PDP) , predecessor of the incumbent ACN governor.
Sina Kawonise, managing director/editor-in-chief in a statement today titled: “The Plot against Nigerian Compass and The Westerner by Gov Ibikunle Amosun and his Agents” said it had become become necessary to “alert members of the public to an insidious plot by Senator Ibikunle Amosun, his administration and agents against Western Publishing Company Limited, publishers of the Nigerian Compass and the Westerner. In the past few days blatant falsehood and sheer blackmail against the publications have been stepped up by Senator Amosun, his agents and media organs under the control of his administration over spurious allegations of libel. The truth of the matter is that the ongoing onslaught is in tandem with the vow of Gov Amosun to supervise the extinction of the publications. The first act in this war of attrition being choreographed at the highest level of the Ogun State Government was the orchestrated withdrawal of the Certificate of Occupancy of the company and the threat to demolish its building by the Ogun State Government. Following the intervention of the courts which granted a stay of execution of the planned demolition.
Kawonise added that “Gov Amosun and his agents are looking for other ways to achieve their plot. The latest weapon of warfare against the company is the persistent blackmail of the publications on state owned OGTV and OGBC over the spurious allegations that the publications committed libel against the Governor and his administration. We want to affirm that libel cases are not established and proven on Radio and Television but in the court of law. We are in possession of letters from the lawyers of the governor and we have since affirmed that we stood by our story. And we still stand by the veracity of the reports published. In furtherance of his ploy to destroy the publications at all costs, his government has made a spurious report of the publications to the Nigerian Press Council (NPC). We are anxiously awaiting both the court summon and the invitation by the NPC, which will afford us the great opportunity to disprove the manipulated documents being paraded to deceive the public.”
The editor in chief however added that “the resort to these dark tactics of blackmail will not deter us from reporting the blatant fascism, high handedness, and sleaze and anti people policies that have become the hallmarks of the Ibikunle Amosun administration in Ogun State. We are aware of his vow to kill the publications but we want to assure Governor Amosun that, by the grace of God and the support of the people, The Westerner and Nigerian Compass will outlive his administration. We will continue to educate, inform and carry out our task of monitoring and reporting the developments in the society no matter whose ox is gored. That is our solemn pledge to the people of Nigeria.”