By Iyobosa Uwugiaren
A leading aspirant in the Edo State governorship election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has denied media reports in a newspaper that he was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC), describing the report as ‘’untrue, sponsored and cooked by the reporter’’ to discredit him.
According to the report, the PDP chieftain was purportedly arrested shortly after he was screened by the committee of the PDP in Benin City, the state capital.
‘’The EFCC officials had stormed the secretariat where they waited for the committee to screen him and whisked him away in an unmarked white Hilux van. They were said to have arrived the state from their zonal head office in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital’’, the report added.
However, speaking with THISDAY on Saturday, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu said the report was sponsored by those apprehensive of Ize-Iyamu’s swelling popularity and deliberately cooked by the reporter to lower his reputation.
According to him, ‘’We know for a fact that journalists often describe the essence of their work as finding and presenting the facts and also the truth about the facts. But in the fabricated report against Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the reporter failed woefully to present his facts.
‘’He allowed himself to be used by my political opponents to misinform his audience. I was never arrested by EFCC as reported by the reporter.’’
‘’A phone call to either the EFCC or me would have saved the reporter and his organisation of the fraudulent and outright unethical conduct. As we all know in journalism, the discipline of verification and its intellectual foundation rests on three core concepts – transparency, humility, and originality.
‘’I am not surprised about the reporter’s ethical misconduct. He has consistently shown bias against my aspiration — in reporting the on-going process for September 10 governorship election. In spite of several complains against him, the reporter had consistently allowed his audience to be deceived by deliberately acts of outright falsehood like his latest report.’’
As the process leading to the governorship election enters a critical and crucial stage, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu advised journalists, especially correspondents in Edo State, to keep open minds — not only about what they hear but also about their own ability to understand what it means, exercise humility and avoid arrogance about their knowledge.
‘’Our journalist friends need to be fair to all the aspirants and candidates in the election; they should avoid reports that will lower their media organisation’s reputation in the estimation of very knowledgeable audience by keeping to the sound ethical conduct of journalism practice’’, the governorship aspirant added.
Further details later