September 4, 2014 – Lagos State House of Assembly today debunked a media report alleging rift between the State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola and Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji; describing the allegation as malicious and capable of destablizing the peaceful co-existence amongst the three arms of government in the state.
Chairman of the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Information, Strategy, Security and Publicity, Mr. Segun Olulade made the clarification during a press briefing which he addressed on behalf of the leadership of the House in Alausa, Ikeja.
Olulade however said the leadership and the legal team are plannimg to sue the newspaper in question.
According to him, a weekly newspaper, ‘The Premier’ had published a story on 2nd September, 2014 on its front page which was titled, ‘Fashola is a traitor- Lagos Speaker, Ikuforiji in a scathing facebook attack on BRF.”
Olulade explained that the purported publication had earlier surfaced on the Speaker’s Facebook Fan page sent by an unknown person who had earlier liked the page as a fan.
The Chairman who explained that he is speaking in behalf of the leadership and members of the State Assembly, said the publication was aimed at causing destruction, adding “those behind the publication are bent on destablizing the state.”
Olulade explained that the social media team of the Speaker had on the following day of the posting on Facebook 14th July, reacted through a DISCLAIMER, condemning it as a fabricated report.
He then wondered why the newspaper would still go ahead to report the same story without confirmation, saying the publisher also failed to publish the DISCLAIMER issued by the Speaker to debunk the story.
The statement further explained that the Speaker had condemned the allegation, adding that Ikuforiji has esteemed regards for the governor and the national legal Adviser of All Progressives Congress (APC) who was also indicted in the story.
He said, “In the DISCLAIMER, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji distanced himself from the story, drawing strong and convincing evidences that are crystal clear to every right thinking person that such a low-cost and watery statement could not have emanated from the calibre of the speaker. Mr Speaker expressed his esteemed regards for His Excellency, Governor Babatunde Fashola and Dr Muiz Banire who were both indicted in the publication.”
Olulade stressed that the personalities involved in the story including Justice Abiru and a member of the state Assembly, Funmilayo Tejuoso who was also accused of wrongdoing, were beyond what should be played with on the pages of conventional or social media, adding that, the perpetrators did not realize the gravity of offence committed and its consequences.
The DISCLAIMER on Facebook also went further, “As a matured and responsible person occupying a significant position in the State, we like to ascertain that such statements demean Mr Speaker’s status and he does not expect anyone to believe such low-cost statement could be from him.
“Hiding under such discrediting write up is a clear demonstration of cowardice, insensitivity and calculated attempt by the ghost author whose intent is to trigger conflicts and damage the existing harmonious relationship amongst all the personalities attached to the article,” the statement read.
While urging the public to disregard such report in the interest of peace and decorum, Olulade maintained that the Speaker remained committed and focused to his official duty as a lawmaker for the good of all residents.
He therefore appealed to the media to continue to support the strengthening of Nigeria’s democracy by ensuring all sides to stories are reported.