The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Plateau State, on Media and Publicity, Mr Mark Longyen, has dismissed the news making the rounds that his principal, Governor Simon Lalong, was recently lost N5billion in Dubai to cheats in an attempt to acquire a property.
Longyen, stated this in a statement while reacting to the allegation, describing the story as a “mere piece of thrash, that should at best be dismiss with a wave of the hand.
The Governor’s spokesman stressed that “ordinarily, the Governor would have ignored such malicious falsehood which, if read between the lines, is clearly the handiwork of his detractors and opposition political elements desperate to paint him black, but has chosen to respond to it in order not to give credibility to such a brazen falsehood and to clear the air for the sake of some gullible members of the public, who might innocently swallow this bait hook, line and sinker.”
He warned that running an obscure online media outfit was not a cover or outright licence for the said medium and opposition political elements to hide under and conspire to attack and malign the reputation of a serving Governor, adding that such defamatory and libelous stories carry legal consequences, which the culprits may soon face.
“The Governor, therefore, denies this wanton, malicious and mischievous report in its entirety and challenges the authors of the story to produce and publish documentary evidence, if any, from the records of their investigation and show proof as to when and where the five billion naira Dubai property transaction took place, which bank was used, as well as all the parties involved, failing which they will face the music as relevant security agencies will be called in to investigate the source of the story,” Longyen said.
The Governor’s media aide said that the online platform’s allegation “was most ridiculous and laughable and indeed the worst kind of armchair journalism, lacking in credibility, objectivity, balance and fairness, which are the basic ethical tenets or requirements for what can be passed as a story.
The statement further wondered what kind of a professional journalist would credit the source of his story to information he/she claimed to have only picked “from an open discussion at a public centre,” if the author was not a quack and a harbinger of a hatched job aimed mainly to impugn the integrity of the governor and bring him to disrepute.
He, therefore, admonished the general public to beware and not fall victims of such malicious reports emanating from such unregulated online media outfits that may be sponsored and disseminated by past government officials who were being investigated for corruption, whose sinister motive was to take the state back to the dark days of its recent past that was characterised by wanton corruption, intermittent chaos, conflicts and crises.