By EMMANUEL MOGBEDE
ABUJA- The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) has demanded an apology from ThisDay newspaper over an alleged campaign of calumny.
Bayo Onanuga,Director Media and Publicity, APC PCC, said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
Onanuga said that the newspaper carried a fake report about the death of a respected medical doctor, Kolapo Akande, who was the husband of Lola Akande, a Commissioner in Lagos State.
He said the report denigrated Lapo Akande and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, accusing them of being involved in drug trade, not caring a hoot about the need to respect the dead.
“The paper painted Akande as a drug lord, who had lived under the radar and had stayed aloof from people.
“Unknown to ThisDay, their imagined hibernating Kolapo was an Accord Party candidate for the House of Representatives some years back.
“But in the paper’s pursuit of its jaundiced, cash and carry journalism, it gleefully reported that Kolapo Akande was the same Mueez Akande mentioned in the shuttered 30 year-old drug investigation against our candidate in the United States.
“But it was all false. ThisDay wrote a mere fiction and had relied on a false tweet by one David Hundeyin,” Onanuga said.
He described Hundeyin as a hatchet writer and a so-called investigative journalist who identified himself as a Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate supporter.
He added that any reasonable publishing house ought to be wary of any information coming from such a biased person.
Onanuga said for Thisday newspaper, anything that portrays Tinubu in a very bad light was fair game, so long as money was involved.
He said the report had however, turned into a huge embarrassment for the paper and further dented its credibility and integrity.
“ThisDay should be truly ashamed of its ethical standards. It descended so low that even the David Hundeyin said to be desperate for asylum in the United Kingdom excoriated the newspaper for the report.
“Without sounding remorseful, Hundeyin recanted his tweet and wrote: Not sure why ThisDay published such a story without confirming it.
“We have waited for the past 48 hours, hoping the paper will show some remorse and apologise to Akandes and Asiwaju Tinubu over the malicious report.
“We are surprised it has not taken such a dignified step,we now formally demand a full apology from the paper and its publisher, Prince Nduka Obaigbena, for the utterly unprofessional report.
“We hope henceforth the paper will seek to be driven by the ethical ideals of journalism and not other material considerations.
“In view of the established evidence of violation of the core ethics of journalism, we demand that the Nigeria Press Council take appropriate disciplinary action against ThisDay,” ” Onanuga said.
He added that this was to save journalism at this sensitive period from the merchants of falsehood and abusers of the public trust that the press embodies.
He called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to invoke the relevant sections of the 2022 Electoral Act to sue Thisday and any other medium that commits flagrant violation of editorial rules to the courts.
Onanuga said these were the only remedies to the reckless journalism of ThisDay.
“They are the guarantees that the provisions of the Constitution mandating the press as the fourth estate of the realm shall be protected,”Onanuga said. (NAN)