By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Tuesday advised journalists to guard against libelous and slanderous publications capable of ridiculing or lowering the esteem of their targets in the estimation of right-thinking members of the public.
The governor gave the advice while accepting the public apology of the management of Fresh FM, Ibadan over a broadcast falsely naming him as a co-owner of the state’s central abattoir.
Governor Ajimobi in a press statement issued by his governor’s Special Adviser, Communication and Strategy, Mr Bolaji Tunji, made available to journalists said the acceptance of the apology was in view of “the Easter Season and the fast-approaching Ramadan”
The governor added that he had decided “to put the matter behind him, following appeals by the Chairman of the station, Mr Yinka Ayefele and the Presenter of Political Circuit, the programme on which the offensive statement was aired, Mr Isaac Brown. “
“This is festive season and I have, in the spirit of Easter and the coming Ramadan, forgiven everyone involved in this matter and hope that lessons have been learnt. I wish the Fresh FM and the management the very best.
As humans, we are not perfect. Definitely, I must also have offended some people in one way or the other. I use this opportunity to implore them to forgive me as I have forgiven these people too.” he said
While admonishing journalists to guard against libelous and slanderous publications capable of ridiculing or lowering the esteem of their targets in the estimation of right-thinking members of the public, the governor
described Dr Ayefele as his son but that he was forced to seek legal redress to clear his name and reputation following the claims of the studio analyst, Dare Adekanmbi, that he has written proof of his accusation.
“To err is human and to forgive is divine. I have forgiven Fresh FM, the station’s chairman and management. I have also forgiven the presenter of the programme, Isaac Brown and Dare Adekanmbi, who pronounced the slander. I’m a firm believer of investigative journalism. But, I frown upon the attitude of journalists who conjure innuendoes, libels, slander and outright falsehood and present them to the public as exclusive stories.”
Governor Ajimobi added, “sometimes, I wonder whether they consider the incalculable damage they do to the person being targeted. It took years to build a name and reputation, but it does not take more than a stroke of a careless pen or unguarded mouth to destroy”.
“I would not have taken the matter seriously if not that the said analyst insisted that he had sufficient proof to back up his slander and unguarded utterances against me. I wanted to give him and Fresh FM the opportunity to expose me if they have any iota of fact to substantiate their falsehood.”