Friday, September 24, 2021

Fake News: How I nearly got into trouble with my wife – Osinbajo

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Rayyan Alhassan
Rayyan Alhassan is a graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday, narrated how a popular blog in the country got him into trouble with his wife by putting up a ‘fake’ picture of him posing with naked strippers at a night club.

Speaking at a conference organised by the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, in Abuja, Mr Osinbajo, however, admitted that he had indeed taken a picture with the said women at an entertainment event but they were fully clothed.

According to him, the blogger picked a photo of where the women were not fully clothed and presented it to the public as the real picture.

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Mr Osinbajo said: “I have been one of the targets of fake news. It can also sometimes cause you marital peace. I got a call from my wife about three or four weeks ago and she said Yemi what are you doing with strippers and I said what do you mean by strippers? So, I read a story in a famous blog that said, ‘Osinbajo caught with strippers’.

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“And there was a photograph of me sitting between two perfectly clothed ladies but underneath this picture, the same ladies were not wearing much.

“In fact-checking (I noticed that) the photographs with these two ladies at an entertainment event were taken when they were perfectly clothed but by the time the story was put out, it was as though I had taken a photo with them at the time they were not clothed at all.

“As it turns out, I wasn’t in the picture of where they were not wearing clothes but just the caption, the stories and all that gave the impression that here I was in the company of these ladies at a point when they were doing their business. I think the capacity of fake news to cause great harm is not in doubt at all.”

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Also speaking, Nigerian playwright and Nobel laureate, Professor Wale Soyinka, described those who fabricate false information as cowards who are “sick in the head”.

During a panel session, Mr Soyinka said fake news is real and would possibly cause World War III and would be masterminded by a Nigerian.

 “Basically, I think the commonality is that those who create fake news are sick in the head and they are also cowards because they lack a conviction of their own and so they transfer to other people what they really are thinking,” Mr Soyinka said.

DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the conference tagged: ‘Beyond Fake News’, gathered media and political figures to discuss how to prevent the distortion of facts during and after the election period.

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The conference was attended by Garba Shehu, the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC Chairman Mahmud Yakubu who was represented by INEC Commissioner Festus Okoye, President of the Nigeria Guild of Editors and Editor-In-Chief of New Telegraph newspaper and many other dignitaries.

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