FAKE NEWS: Soyinka Labels Omokri, others as Cowards

…Attacks Obasanjo Again For Supporting ‘A Devil’

By Shola Akingboye

Event watchers have described the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka’s outburst condemning fake news in the

Soyinka at the Fake News panel

country, as a direct eye-opener on the activities of the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party and its recently imbibed offensive  reports believes to have been adopted as campaign strategy in running down opposition ahead of the 2019 Presidential Campaigns. Many believes Soyinka’s speech might be unconnected with the debunked trending video of Reno Omkri, which has been proven to be a doctored report to downplay the chances of the opposition in the coming general election among similar adulterated reports such as the Buhari cloned news among others.

Soyinka in Abuja on Wednesday at a symposium on fake news organised by BBC News, bemoaned spate of unsubstantiated news, which he described as capable of setting the world on the path of another World War, starting from Nigeria.

The playwright, who was a panelist at the event tagged, ‘Nigeria 2019: Countering Fake News ’ , urged the traditional media not to spread unfounded allegations as the electronic media sometimes do. Says such alarmists are cowards and shallow in reasoning.

It is suffix to note that, though avoided individual names but the Nobel laureate was comprehensible enough as he asked Nigerians to be wary of such fake reports as he cast aspersion on activities of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his adopted political affiliation, describing the former President as a pretender who want to be seen as the conscience of the nation.

The Nobel Laureate said if the former leader had been referring to a certain person for eight years as ‘ a devil ’ and is now telling Nigerians to vote for the devil, then there is a reason for Nigerians to express some doubt.

Soyinka said, “We have got to develop a very healthy skepticism. If someone in a position of power for eight years has lectured a nation for eight years and after that , continued year after year to continue to direct the minds of a whole nation in one direction, only saying , ‘ This is Lucifer from hell ’ for eight years in office and several more years out of office saying , ‘ This is Lucifer ’ and then one day he changed and says: ‘ Behold your redeemer;’ which of the two is fake news?”

It is recall that following the commencements of the ongoing political campaign across the country, series of unsubstantiated reports have been sponsored by politicians to tarnish the goodwill of their opponents in order to draw the sympathy of unsuspecting voters.

Though such demeaning fake news by the political party in question have not been proven by the progenitors. Among such fake news are the Presidential cloning report (Buhari double); Buhari with multiple investments in banks through proxy, unverified Amina Zakari blood lineage with incumbent President Buhari and lately, the Reno Omokri doctored report on the Minister of Transport, Rotitmi Amaechi, among other reports emanating from the camp of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.


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