By Palma Ileye
Ministry of Women Affairs has debunked allegations of an online publication by Osun Defender over allegations of lavished birthday party for the Minister’s husband.
This is contained in a press release issued by Ohaeri Osondu Joseph, Special Assistant, Media to the Minister of Women Affairs to newsmen in Abuja.
The statement read, “The attention of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs has been drawn to a publication by the Osun Defender with the caption; “Admist Economic Hardship, Minister Organizes Lavish Birthday For Husband”, published on Thursday,1st February, 2024 on its online page as authored by one Hafsoh Isiaq.
“Much as it is not our intention to use this platform to join issues with the author, one does not need to dig deep to notice that the publication was a deliberate deviation from the usual rigor and incisiveness associated with true and objective journalism. Having gone through the content of the publication, the need to clarify the disinformation and misleading allegation against the person of the Honorable Minister of Women Affairs as portrayed by the author, has become most pertinent.
“The publication is grossly marred with falsehood as some indices point to the fact that the author was either misled by his source (s) who is out to malign the personality of the Honorable Minister or did not carry out due diligence before going to press. It is even most worrisome to note the obvious shift by the management of Osun Defender from its philosophy which is anchored on integrity and journalistic balance which is the hallmark of true and fair journalism.
“It is common knowledge that modern day information technology provides wider latitude for most documents to be forged, make alterations, clone signatures and other manipulations which cannot be visible to the human eye.
“Without dwelling much on the attached letter of invite purportedly linked to the Honorable Minister, the author was quick to assert that “OSUN DEFENDER understands that the year ‘2023’ as written on the invite was a typographical error that should have read as ‘2024’. However, this is a strong pointer to the fact that the attached letter of invite was the handiwork of mischief makers with latent mission to whittle down the remarkable feats of the Women Affairs Ministry in the last 5 months under the watch of the present Minister, Barr Uju Kennedy Ohanenye. Otherwise, how can one explain the 29th January, 2023 date on the purported letter when the present dispensation was yet to assume office.
“More so, it is erroneous to use the word ’has allegedly organized’ for an event which yet to take place. “has allegedly organized” is in simple past tenses, meaning that the event has already taken place while “is allegedly organizing” is in present continuous tenses. It then follows that the said publication is fraught with obvious contradictions in the author’s bid to push falsehood into the public space.”
It also stated that, “We are therefore urging well-meaning Nigerians to disregard the said on-line publication by the Osun Defender which is yet another figment of falsehood and calculated attempt to distract the Honorable Minister of Women of Affairs from sustaining her Ministry’s genuine and undiluted course to protect and promote the welfare and wellbeing of Nigerian women and the girl-child.”