By Brenda Agba
Reports making rounds on some media platforms that the Governor of Benue State, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia was attacked by Ugondo Youths has been described as fake, fictitious and misleading.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Tersoo Kula, who made this known in a statement made available to newsmen, said the information was probably designed to undermine, demean and cast the governor in a negative light.
According to the statement: “We have read a report in the media with a caption, “Gov Alia escape(sic) unhurt as Ugondo Youth Haul Objects on Convoy ” and we wish to make it abundantly clear to the public that nobody hauled any object(s) on Governor Alia or his convoy anywhere in Benue State;
“Governor Alia went to Vaatia College, Makurdi where there was a reported case of house breakage, thievery, desecration of tomb and vandalism even as traditional rulers of the host community, including Ter Makurdi, Mue Ter-Masev among others with some very prominent elders like Sen. Fred Orti, Sen. Daniel Saror, Chief Akange Audu amongst others were present.
“While addressing them, Governor Alia made it clear that those who perpetrated the nefarious acts of breakage, thievery vandalism and desecration of tomb must be arrested and brought to book to serve as deterrent to others.”
The statement further explained that, “Some youths of the host community on the orders of their elders quickly mobilized and arrested some suspects and handed them over to the security operatives that were present at the meeting.
“Governor Alia went to Vaatia College undisturbed, held the meeting and came out undisturbed.
“Governor Alia is loved by the people. He is the only Gov in the history of the state that has been walking the streets and markets to ascertaining reports including monitoring progress of works himself without being harassed by anyone.
Kula in the statement, advised media professionals to adhere to the principles and ethics of the profession in plying their trade saying credibility should be the watch word adding that consciously propagating fake news should be avoided.
“The necessary principle of verifying news sources before going to press should remain sacrosanct.
“If journalists become more excited about copy and paste journalism, then, it will be difficult to be given the desired respect of “Watch Dog” of the society.
This report is ill intended, to say the least.
“It is advisable that we learn and adhere strictly to the principles and tenets of journalism. Let us learn to be investigative and always verify the truthfulness of any report we give. We can do better than copying news stories and pasting, otherwise, there are tendencies of copying a malicious and mischievous story like this one all the time”.
Recall that there were reports making the rounds that no fewer than six Ugondo youths of Makurdi Local Government Area of Benue State were arrested by the police for throwing objects at Governor Alia’s convoy when he visited Vaatia College to assess the level of arrangement for the burial of the late Engr. Michael Vaatia, the proprietor of the college who died recently.