GARBA Shehu, special assistant to the president on Media and Publicity, has described media reports of a fight between top government officials at the State House as fabrications that could only have been conjured by correspondents who would probably make better fiction writers than journalists.
Shehu who denied that there was feud between Abba Kyari, chief of staff to the president and Winifred Oyo-Ita, head of service of the Federation, described the journalists who wrote about the quarrel as irresponsible writers.
Addressing State House correspondents on Friday, November 3, Shehu insisted that it was impossible for the conversation between Kyari, and Oyo-Ita to have been heard by any journalist, as the distance between the State House correspondents and the two government officials as they addressed the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, at Wednesday’s FEC meeting, would have made their conversation completely inaudible to the journalists.
He alleged that the journalists had taken the matter beyond a mere discussion to suggest that there was a feud, a fight or a clash.
Shehu, who held a short meeting with State House Correspondents at the Media Centre, appealed to appeal to them to be responsible in their reportage of Nigeria’s seat of power. “By tradition, the media organisations send their best reporters to the State House. This should reflect, at all times on the quality of reporting.
“I am a journalist myself, and in journalism, you are not supposed to report anything other than the facts of what you heard or observed directly, or what you were told by a firsthand or authoritative eyewitness.
“You cannot add two and two to make twenty-two and present it to the public as news,” he said.
Besides, he reasoned: “People can debate and argue over issues, but to suggest that there was a feud, a fight or a clash was to take matters beyond what they were.”
Shehu also denied categorically any suggestion that the two government officials had been summoned to see the president over the alleged skirmish, referring to that conclusion as yet another example of conjecture.
“Top government officials of that calibre see the president on a regular basis. To suggest that they were summoned to see him as a result of a so-called feud is just a fabrication, a conclusion that is below the level of responsible journalism that we expect from our State House correspondents,” he said.
– Nov 3, 2017 @ 14:05 GMT |