It was a sorry day, when the media abandoned ethics, assiduity and professionalism, and lent itself to sentimentalism and hearsay.

In the former capacity, it had hardly put a foot wrong but in the latter capacity, it exposed itself to the whims and caprices of odious, discordant fabrications, as recently played out in Edo State.

The media has generally conducted itself as it should – sentinels of truth – in the campaign leading up to the September gubernatorial elections in Edo. To a large extent, it still does, but a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. News agencies have reported with good grace the wave of defections that the outgoing Governor Godwin Obaseki’s camp is suffering. It has reported with unmatched accuracy the conflict between a frayed, disappointed and distraught Phillip Shaibu and his suspected niggardly boss, who has refused to fund his own campaign. It has closely reported the public declaration of support for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, but what it has gone on to misreport is an alleged support for the underwhelming Mr 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), Nigerian tribune (Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu families support rival candidates in Edo Poll) among others.

Pastor Osagie 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 APC candidate.

Also fabricated by the Obaseki campaign organisation is the bewildering story that the family of Professor Idia Ize-Iyamu 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-hr ultimatum to the erring media agencies to retract the discordant and falsely construed news reports, failure to do which will press the aggrieved parties to seek judicial remedies.

Mr. John Mayaki,
Chairman, Edo State APC Media Campaign Council