FeaturedHighlightTrending Story

PUNCH’s sensational headline on Osinbajo, NYSC absolute falsehood, irresponsible journalism — BOSF 

140

“Due to the rising profile of the VP, it is clear that there is a sinister agenda by Osinbajo’s detractors and political opponents. But despite this, the VP continues to blaze the trail in contributing to governance and national development as deputy to President Buhari.’’

The Buhari-Osinbajo Solidarity Front (BOSF) has taken a swipe at the sensational cover headline of the Saturday (January 16) edition of PUNCH newspaper, describing the report as inaccurate, irresponsible of and utter falsehood.

The story with the headline, “COVID-19: Again, FG snubs Osinbajo report, mobilises corpers to camps”, is a desperate attempt to gain clicks on its website and drive traffic to its social media handles, BOSF said in a statement and emailed to Persecondnews.

“This is not only inaccurate; it is irresponsible of the newspaper to lead with such falsehood, especially as the media is regarded as proponents of the hallmarks of objectivity, fairness and truth.

“We can only conclude that in a desperate attempt to gain clicks on its website and drive traffic to its social media handles, the PUNCH Newspaper had to lead with a sensational cover headline, no matter how skewed it is and regardless of the maligning of the sterling reputation of people serving the nation and its institutions.

“The paper claimed that `The Federal Government has again snubbed a recommendation by the Economic Sustainability Committee led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and decided to re-open orientation camps nationwide next Tuesday amid rising COVID-19 infections’.

“The Osinbajo-led committee had in June 2020 recommended that while the National Youth Service Corps programme could continue, the three-week orientation exercise should be suspended for two years.

“Interestingly, the report by the Osinbajo-led ESC made up only a fraction of the report. But it is obvious why PUNCH led with such, simply to gain online traction and sell newspapers. But does this mean that objectivity, fairness and truth, which are hallmarks of the media as watchdogs of the society, be sacrificed simply because of online clicks? No, it shouldn’t be.

“The fact of the matter is that the Federal Government DID NOT reject Osinbajo’s report,’’ the statement signed by Mr Liberty Olawale Badmus, the Convener of BOSF, said.

In June 2020, the ESC had indeed recommended that while the National Youth Service Corps programme could continue, the three-week orientation exercise could be suspended for two years. But at that time, the recommendation was based on the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, and also the fact that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) did not have enough capacity then to conduct rapid testing.

The rapid testing option was not available when the ESC, and not Osinbajo, submitted its report.

It also explained: “As of February 2020, when its first case of the virus was reported, Nigeria had only five laboratories in four states able to test for COVID-19. Now the situation has improved. It is thus obvious to any discerning and unbias person to know that the need to review the earlier position was strictly based on improvement in rapid testing now made available by the NCDC.

“In the light of this improvement in rapid testing that was made available by NCDC, which helps to detect COVID-19 positive cases, the NYSC only then had to take the natural option of reviewing the situation. Again, this option was not available when the ESC had submitted its report. So COVID-19 positive corpers are removed at the inception and this is being reported publicly already

“Secondly, it is misleading for PUNCH to claim that the ESC was “Osinbajo’s report”. It was not Osinbajo’s report. In June 2020, the Federal Executive Council approved the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) with the endorsement of President Buhari. The ESP was the outcome of the ESC report and recommendations.

“The Economic Sustainability Plan aims to mitigate the effects of a deep recession, while ensuring social stability and addressing long-standing economic vulnerabilities. Programmes like MSMEs Survival Fund, 5 million Solar Installation Project, Social Housing Scheme, Agro scheme, are all under the ESP and they are currently being implemented. So, there is no truth whatsoever in the sensational claim by PUNCH’s cover headline.’’

Pointing out that the mischievous report was out to tarnish the image of Osinbajo, BOSF said: “Due to the rising profile of the VP, it is clear that there is a sinister agenda by Osinbajo’s detractors and political opponents. But despite this, the VP continues to blaze the trail in contributing to governance and national development as deputy to President Buhari.

“This is not the first time PUNCH would lead with such inaccurate headlines and stories related to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. We would urge PUNCH as a respectable media outfit to do better.

“They should lead the charge in restoring the confidence in the Nigerian media and not join the bandwagon in hyping sensationalism with misleading headlines and stories simply to gain online traction, rather than uphold the tenets of journalism, which is objectivity and truth.’’

Leave a comment

Related Articles

Just in: Tinubu extends free ride on Abuja metro rail by six months

President Bola Tinubu has approved extending the free train rides on the...

We will enforce ban on protests, gatherings – Kano CP

Kano State Police Commissioner Mohammed Usain Gumel has announced the readiness of...

Conflicting interim injunctions over Kano Emirate tussle: CJN summons FHC CJ, Kano CJ

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has summoned the...

Train accident in Abuja claims two lives

An Abuja-bound train from Kaduna State has killed a set of twins...

Kano Gov. Yusuf bans public demonstration, orders arrest of protesters

Kano Gov. Abba Kabir Yusuf says he has imposed a ban on...

EU announces €201m humanitarian aid for Africa, Nigeria to get €31.5m

The European Union has announced a humanitarian aid package of €201 million...

NNPC Ltd., JV Partners, NDDC inaugurate N24.5bn Ogbia-Nembe Road

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and its joint venture partners –...

Just in: Court restrains security agencies from evicting reinstated Emir of Kano Sanusi

A Kano High Court has restrained the police, the Department of State...

VP Shettima, ex-VP Atiku, others attend prayers for late EFCC Chair Lamorde

Vice President Kashim Shettima and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar were among...

Breaking: Barely two months after suspension, Senate pardons, recalls Sen. Ningi

The Nigerian Senate has pardoned and recalled Abdul Ahmed Ningi, the Bauchi...

Banex Plaza reopening: How we reached agreement Brig.-Gen. Onyema

The Nigerian Army said it announced the reopening of the Banex Plaza...

Tinubu to address joint session of National Assembly May 29 

President Bola Tinubu will address a joint session of the 10th Assembly...

Naira surges by 9.68% at the official window, closing at N1,339.33/$1

The Nigerian naira appreciated significantly against the US dollar on Monday, closing...

Organized labor’s N497,000 minimum wage demand unrealistic, unserious – Onanuga 

The Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Mr. Bayo...

Abuja Banex Plaza reopened as military bows to pressure

Following a recent shutdown of Banex Plaza, a popular marketplace in the...

Tinubu’s government reviews airport concession process for more transparency – Keyamo

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), has...

Just in: Tinubu suspends the Nigeria Air project indefinitely

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace, Festus Keyamo, has announced the indefinite...

Fatalities as scores of hoodlums attack police station in Lagos

Bloody violence erupted at Iyana Ipaja on Monday as more than 100...