7th March, 2011
The Presidency says it will take legal action against a national daily, the NEXT Newspaper, if it fails to apologise and retract a false allegation against President Goodluck Jonathan.
A statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Ima Niboro, said the newspaper should apologise and retract the allegation it published that Jonathan voted four times in the Edo State Governorship election of 2007.
â€œThe Presidency demands a full retraction of the offensive allegation of electoral malpractice against President Jonathan and an unreserved apology to the President, published by the Newspaper with the same prominence as todayâ€™s false report.
â€œIf this is not done in short order, we will pursue every legal means available to seek redress for the president and the presidency. This nonsense must stop,â€ Niboro said in the statement.
Niboro noted that Gov. Adams Oshiomhole of Edo to whom the allegation was attributed to by the Paper â€œhas already denied ever making such a ludicrous claim.â€
He said that the newspaper and its editors â€œare deliberately waging campaign of calumny against Jonathan.â€
â€œIt has become evident that Next newspaper and its publishers are deliberately waging a malicious campaign of falsehood and calumny aimed at impugning the integrity of President Jonathan.
â€œWe have come to this conclusion following the series of defamatory and always false reports published against President Jonathan by Next newspapers.
â€œSuch reports include the bogus claim that he has engaged over 130 personal aides since assuming office.
â€œAnd the totally untrue report that the Presidentâ€™s children were attending school when other Nigerian children were asked to stay at home for the recent votersâ€™ registration,â€ he said.
Meanwhile, Oshiomhole described the report as â€œfalse and mischievious.â€
A statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media Affairs, Mr Tony Iyare, said that the report was a deliberate attempt by mischief makers â€œto drive a wedge between Jonathan and Oshiomhole.â€™â€™
â€œWe are completely at a loss how the newspaper came to that conclusion which is attributed to the highly controversial whistleblower site, Wikileaks and said to have been made exclusively to it.
â€œWe wish to say that at no time did the governor ever made such a weighty allegation against President Jonathan,â€ he said.