Internet, Lies And Character Assaination

Internet, Lies And Character Assaination
  • PublishedMay 24, 2021

By Fola Olugbemi

Since the invention of the Internet, the creators have battled to see it used for more good than evil. It seems that they, and ultimately, humanity, have lost the battle and wickedness has completely taken over the space. Today, a disproportionate portion of what is found on the Internet is untrue, unclean, unhelpful, unwanted, unwarranted and corrupting. You can hardly tell what is fact and what is fiction. Evil rules the space and we are almost helpless to correct this

Lately, the scourge of fake news has surfaced again, this time, around the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire. This admirable lady, who has served in several capacities,  including as the first female Lawmaker in Lagos State far back in 1992 (Third Republic) and many other offices to the Deputy Governor of Lagos State without blemish, is being made to clear her name for no just reason. In one of the most irresponsible journalism rags ever to be found on the Internet, she was said to have been queried by the Secretary to the Federal Government and recommended for dismissal. This is not only untrue, it is also devious and appaling.

On 21st May, her office vehemently denied being queried on any aspects of their operations. In a strongly worded statement, they refuted the claim by some online media that it had been queried by the Presidency as false and a calculated attempt to create confusion.

The statement said, “We wish to state categorically that the allegation as contained in a poorly written story, smacks of attempt at blackmail which ordinarily is not worth responding to as it is bereft of any form of fact whatsoever.

“But for the sake of the general public, we wish to state empatically that the leadership of the OSSAP SDGs or indeed, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs was not at any time querried or invited by any constituted authority as insinuated in the publication.

This event further adds fuel to the calls for the regulation of the digital space. Nobody should be allowed to make false claims without facing grave consequences. It is especially wrong that a lady like Princess Orelope-Adefulire,  who has done more for Nigeria via the SDGs, should be forced to bare such ignominy. And this begs the questions… “Why the lies? Who wants her gone?”

And this is not the first time either. On June 15, 2020, the Punch newspapers published a news item titled, “No missing N23bn in my office, says Orelope-Adefulire.” In it was a statement where her office was denying yet another story alleging misappropriation of funds. It is a shame that these transducers are neither interested in facts or probitity. They keep throwing mud at her, in the hope that some will stick. Haven’t they learnt yet?!

It was the brilliant decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to create her office because of the importance of the SDGs to development of the country. It was also his choice to entrust Princess Orelope-Adefulire with the onerous task of implementing and monitoring the projects. That faith in her have been repaid as she ensure that all the SDG projects earmarked since she was appointed have been completed, commissioned and handed over to the host communities.

The only time this record was ever matched was when Amina J. Mohahmmed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, served as the Senior Special Assistant to the Nigerian President, Millenium Development Goals between 2002 and 2005. She did so well at the role, which prepared her for the role she currently occupies. Since then, the office has been used to fleece Nigeria of funds by the past administrations. It is that culture of malfeasance that these crooks wish to extend to Princess Orelope-Adefulire. They have failed.

My advice to these Internet trolls is simply… back off Princess Orelope-Adefulire! You have failed in the past and you will fail again. President Buhari knows those working assiduously for the country’s success. The SSA on SDGs is on that revered list. Your propaganda has been punctured.

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