Presidency; Okupe Didn't Compare Mandela With Jonathan

SAN FRANCISCO, December 09, (THEWILL) -   The Presidency on Monday said the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, never likened the late South African leader, Nelson Mandela, to President Goodluck Jonathan as being alleged by some social media platforms. A statement signed by Bamidele Salaam of the Media Relations Office in the Office of the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Public Affairs, said Okupe never drew such comparison. The statement read: 'It has become necessary to draw the attention of the public to an unfortunate trend in which certain individuals fabricate statements purportedly made by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe and circulate same on various social media platform. 'Last week, some individuals, apparently acting on behalf of the AREWA VANGUARD and their  sponsors, invaded the social media with a statement purportedly made by Dr Doyin Okupe on an AFRICAN INDEPENDENT TELEVISION PROGRAMME, FOCUS NIGERIA . According to the post, Okupe on Facebook, said  'I have looked through the history of Nigeria. The only person I can liken to the late Nelson Mandela is President Goodluck Jonathan.' The truth of the matter is that Dr Okupe never said anything of sort either on the AIT programme or on any other platform. The AIT programme in question was recorded about 5pm on Thursday 5th December, 2013 by which time Dr Nelson Mandela had not died and the presenter, Gbenga Aruleba never raised any question that could warrant such a response. '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. '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 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. 'He is therefore urging these cowardly fabricators to be courageous enough to disagree with him on the basis of what he actually says rather than embark on this 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 demonise 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 'The public is hereby encouraged to confirm any such postings from the official website or call 08033595963/ 08106310664 for further clarifications.'