Okupe Denies equating Jonathan with Mandela
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe has denied making a statement equating the Nigerian President with the late South African leader, Nelson Mandela.
A statement issued by the Head of Media in the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Bamidele Salam said the statement which had gone viral on the Social Media was an invention by some individuals whose motive is to mislead innocent users of the Social Media by putting words in the mouth of the Presidential aide.
The statement says “This trend was first noticed sometime in June this year when a certain person who writes under the Facebook name AREWA VANGUARD falsely and maliciously posted on his wall a statement quoting Dr Okupe as saying that all Muslims are terrorists and that the Boko Haram was a product of Islamic teachings. The writer claimed that this statement was made by Dr Okupe on an interview programme on TVC. The presenter of STRAIGHTTALK on TVC, Mr Eshomomoh Imoudu promptly responded by denying that such a statement was ever made on his programme. Unfortunately, many online commentators believed the false publication and continued to make disparaging comments in response to the untrue posting.
A few months after this, specifically in November 2013, this same AREWA VANGUARD again lied by quoting Okupe as saying at a Press conference that the ASUU strike was being sponsored by Tinubu and Buhari and that “when government sacks these lecturers, they should go to Tinubu for employment”. This statement was obviously from the imagination of the author who sadly misled a number of people into making invidious remarks about the Presidential aide whose statements about the ASUU strike, as on all other matters, are always signed and presented to the Media.”
While giving a background to a statement purportedly likening President Goodluck Jonathan to the former South African President, Okupe said the AIT programme where he allegedly made the statement was recorded at about 5pm on Thursday,5th November whereas the death of the South African leader was announced almost four hours later. He therefore wondered how he could have spoken about a living Mandela as if he were dead and then compares him with any other person.
The statement furthers said “It is clear from the instances above that the authors of these false quotes are linked by the same desire to mislead innocent members through a consistent pattern of published falsehood in a manner as to portray Dr Doyin Okupe as an enemy of adherents of a particular faith, geo political zone or some other noble cause in the polity.
While reiterating his personal convictions in the integrity, purposefulness and commitment of President Goodluck Jonathan to the fulfillment of his social contract with Nigerians, Dr Doyin Okupe believes every Nigerian has a freedom to express his views either in agreement with these convictions or dissent within the confines of the law without any form of manipulations”.
The release challenged those it called “cowardly fabricators” to be courageous enough to disagree with the Presidential aide on the basis of what he actually says rather than embark on an” ignoble journey of wicked deceit, lies and desperate manipulation of innocent users of the Social Media.”
“The public is also being alerted to this trend and advised to cross-check any future postings by these elements who are probably haunted by the truth and will go to any extent to demonize those who disagree with their politics.
Statements made by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs are always signed and issued to the Media after which they are posted on the official website www.publicaffairs.gov.ng.
The public is hereby encouraged to confirm any such postings from the official website or call 08033595963/ 08106310664 for further clarifications.” The statement added.