It’s fake news, Ize-Iyamu didn’t beg Obaseki to return to APC, Spokesperson says

Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu

Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has described the media reported attributed to him that he asked Governor Godwin Obaseki to return to APC as false.

Ize-Iyamu said the report was the handiwork of Obaseki’s media handlers, who he said doctored the video in circulation and presented it to “seek undue legitimacy,” saying, he has not addressed the media after the Saturday’s election won by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Governor Obaseki.

Reacting on Thursday in a statement by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation and signed by the organisation’s Director of Communication and Media, John Mayaki, the APC candidate, refuting some news media’s claim (excluding TheDailyLeaks), called on the traditional media to ensure performance of due diligence in reporting events arising from Edo, adding that unprofessionalism would render them as tools for the PDP.

Mayaki insisted that it was not true that Ize-Iyamu pleaded with Obaseki to return to the APC at a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.

Mayaki said in his statement: “Many media houses have once again lent themselves to the fabrications of Obaseki and the PDP, as they did throughout the campaigns and the election.

“We warned many times the media should beware of fabrications from Obaseki and the PDP’s camp, but they did not listen.

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“That is why they have reported that the election was free and fair, and that is why they have said our candidate pleaded with Obaseki to come back to APC.

“The video in reference is from three months ago, not after the election but doctored by Obaseki’s media handlers to seek undue legitimacy.

“We wonder if the media were being sponsored by Obaseki and the PDP, as it seems implausible that they actually believed the story.

“This is even more so, when reporters in Benin City would report Pastor Ize-Iyamu, who is currently in Abuja, where the various media organisations are also domiciled, this is to tell you the suspicion inherent in the viral video.

“Pastor Ize-Iyamu was reported in the stories as speaking from Abuja but it was the Benin reporters that covered the story. Were the reporters transported to Abuja?

“Do these media agencies actually believe the stories they carry? Obaseki and the PDP have a way of leaking false news to the media. The media have to be sensitive and professional in receiving these news.”

Ize-Iyamu also alerted and warned of a fake Twitter account attributed to him, which he said had been dishing out fake news, while he charged the media to avoid it like a plague, but verify every information before passing it on.

“I only wish most of the media had been more professional during the election in Edo State but they were not. What is done is done.

“They (the media) pretended not to know how violent and anti-democratic the election was in many parts of Edo State, including Egor Local Government Area in Benin City.

“So, they (the media) reported that the election was free and fair. Going forward, let them (the media) verify all news before passing it on. It is the basic ethic of the profession.”