By Ibidapo Balogun in Lagos
All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has denied reports claiming he has acquired a new plane, describing such as fake news.
Reports linking Tinubu with a new plane had been splashed on a section of the social media, but THISDAY in a report in its Sunday edition two weeks ago and last Sunday’s edition of the Sun had regurgitated such claim.
But in a statement issued on Tuesday in Lagos and signed by his Special Assistant, Mr. Ademola Oshodi, Tinubu lambasted THISDAY for the report.
The statement entitled “CLAIMS THAT BOLA TINUBU HAS PURCHASED NEW PLANE IS FAKE NEWS AT WORK” read thus:
“The THISDAY story of Sunday, July 23, 2017 claiming Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has recently purchased a new airplane is symptomatic of what happens when a publication divorces itself from any pretence of objective and impartial reportage. This is what happens when a newspaper becomes a mercenary tool for partisan designs. THISDAY has a partisan axe to grind and it seeks to grind that axe against someone like Asiwaju Bola Tinubu because that is what the paymasters of THISDAY demand of it.
“So eager to be seen as loyal to the whims of its paymasters, THISDAY stands disloyal to the very truth it professes to publish. Rather than practise journalism, this publication now specializes in peddling rumour and manufacturing fake scandal. One of the paper’s favourite excursions into fiction is to publish any and all things false about Bola Tinubu. Why THISDAY has such animus against Tinubu only the paper can answer. That such irrational hatred exists cannot be controverted
“THISDAY published a story that Tinubu purchased a new plane. The story was replete with pictures as if to authenticate the report. There is only one slight problem. The story is false and the pictures are doctored.
“Asiwaju Tinubu has not purchased a new plane. He is currently using the same plane he has used for over a decade now. This is the same plane that was used during the elections of 2011 and more recently in 2015 to help the APC campaign to victory, much to the everlasting chagrin of THISDAY and those whose wishes it caters to. If THISDAY would have done even a cursory check of the photos it published it would have noticed the pictures reveal spaces with different interiors. They would have easily seen Tinubu’s picture was super-imposed onto a space he has not been.
“This is sensational, shoddy and false. In the rush to embarrass Tinubu, THISDAY bares itself as a mill of rumour and falsehood. It is THISDAY that should be embarrassed not Tinubu. Had THISDAY done any investigation at all and had it even a brief acquaintance with the truth and the etiquette of proper journalism, it would not have published the false report.
“To clear the record, Tinubu has not bought a new plane. A simple investigation would have revealed the correct situation. But these merchants of fake news are more interested in attacking perceived enemies than in enlightening the public as should be the call of a newspaper.
“This is journalism that is not journalism. We send this message in hope that THISDAY will find some respect for the norms of the profession it claims to practice. While this hope is probably too optimistic given the newspaper’s track record, we shall continue to pray and hope that they turn to the truth and quit their romance with blatant rumour and outright falsity”.