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Ekiti Group Chides Saharareporters Over Sponsored Stories Against Oyebanji

By Omolade Adegbuyi

A group of eminent citizens of Ekiti State origin, under the auspices of Ekiti Patriotic Front(EPF), has upbraided an online publication, Saharareporters over what it described as unsubstantiated reports against the Governor of the state, Mr Biodun Oyebanji .

The group said the last two reports on the Governor and government of the state were nothing, but a calculated attempt to distract the Governor and scuttle governance in the state.

The EPF National President, Dr. Timothy Adewale, gave the condemnation, in a statement on Monday, expressing the group’s resentment to Sahara Reporters’ unwarranted criticism of the oversea trip of the Governor.

The university teacher stated that every Ekiti man, regardless of political affiliations and religious leanings, are contented with Governor Oyebanji’s superlative policy direction and delivery , which he earned through spartan self- discipline, receptive politics, and display of honesty in the handling of all financial matters.

He maintained that the Ekiti citizens are happy with the leadership styles of the Governor, especially the inclusion policy which has brought everybody together to participate in the developmental efforts.

Dr. Adewale said the Governor has been making frantic efforts at wooing both local and foreign investors to the state, adding that the current overseas trip of the governor is in line with the administration’s effort at forging partnerships with investors and development partners to further growth and development rin the state.

“We condemn every attempt to discredit the Governor over the US trip, which was embarked on officially. We take exemption to Sahara Reporters’ spurious allegations against the governor and. The Governor has the right to travel and conduct business on behalf of the people of the state , following laid down procedures”, he stated.

Dr Adewale branded the sudden and pathetic twist in the operations of Saharareporters as not only odious and disappointing, but was against decency and professional ethics guiding journalism, lamenting that the medium has become a willing tool to highest bidders to harass perceived enemy.

In his firm opinion, the academic added that no government could claim absolutism or island of knowledge in its operations under 21st century economy, which he said substantially justified why Governor Oyebanji traveled abroad to woo investors to Ekiti to further raise the bar of governance and upscale infrastructural facelift and boost the economy.

The Group’s leader found it preposterous and demeaning, that Saharareporters that couldn’t decipher the exact location of the Governor in his first ill-intentioned write-up that cunningly branded Governor Oyebanji as a “runaway” governor, could be making wild accusation that a staggering sum of $500,000 was expended on same foreign trip.

Scoffing at the media outfit, Dr. Adewale said it sounded unfathomable that a media outfit of Saharareporters standing could be criticizing a governor for embarking on a working visit abroad to woo investors and market the state’s areas of comparative advantage now that the entire global community is deemed to be at a point.

“We find this highly ridiculous. We wouldn’t have joined the fray in defence of Mr Governor if financial infractions had been committed in government and were being unearthed or queried by the media outfit.

“Going by the contents of the two publications by Saharareporters, We realized that nothing was amiss with Governor Oyebanji embarking on a foreign trip to woo investors to Ekiti two years after assuming office.

“Some governors have embarked on such trip thrice within a spate of three months, and nothing happens. Why is Ekiti different in the scheme of things? This was a calculated attempt to trigger unrest as witnessed in the past.

“As a group of intellectuals, who are discerning and could read between the lines, we perceived this as a desperate attempt to cripple governance in Ekiti. Most pathetically, the Saharareporters that ought to be a mirror of the society, had been corraled into this unwarranted enmity against a performing governor”.

He added further, “All Ekiti indigenes, home and abroad, relished Governor Oyebanji’s strong and inseparable fraternities with former Governors Kayode Fayemi, Ayodele Fayose, Niyi Adebayo and Segun Oni. This is in spirit of inclusivity. The government of Ekiti is for all and not an exclusive right of the ruling party. Whatever goes wrong in government affects every facet and stratum of the society, so everybody must be involved.

“Besides entrenching peace-building culture, We are also dazzled by Governor Oyebanji’s people- oriented policies and programmes which have helped in developing the state. We believe all hands must be on deck to support the administration to remain focused.

“The sooner the Saharareporters and other fifth columnists retreat from this wild goose chase, the better because the people of the state are solidly behind this government” the group added.

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