Oyedepo, The Media And The Power Of Irresponsible Journalism

Call it Satire or whatever you like, my first impression, reading Olatunji Oludare’s piece was not of laughter or comedy. What i read was a supposed “well laid, investigative” reportage. Till now i do not see the sattire or sarcasm in that post and i would easily be misled by that article myself.

The only dissonance that gave the post out for me was the supposedly unwarranted tirade against Nnamdi Kanu. But without that i could easily have attempted to ‘dig’ further.

I understand now that the majority of folks immediately termed the article sattire based on the antecedents of the writer. However, we need to ask the impact of a credible news outlet like The Nation irresponsibly mixing sattire and real journalism together.

Knowing fully well that the general public is fully aware that the Nation Newspaper is a credible journalistic outlet then it should be imperative to label or designate sattirical, sarcastic publications under the comedy section of the newspaper – whether online or offline.

The fact here is this, a leading religious influencer in Bishop Oyedepo was misled by the carelessness of The Nation newspaper and the clarity he sought for from the presidency has professed doubt that may have cascaded into the 5,000 church network of the Winners Chapel ministeries in Nigeria. Citizens and church members in Ogbomoso, Umunede, Ede and other rural hinterlands without access to Twitter, Nairaland have now heard from their revered pastor that their president may be a Jubril from Sudan.

Do we need this in a nation where distrust for the Federal Government is so rife that citizens would readily believe the worst from them? Worse even when such accusations are peddled by leading religious voices.

I have in numerous times called for sober reflection from Nigeria’s media houses and bloggers to ensure news dissemination is done with utmost respect. A news made by Vanguard, Linda Ikeji during the last election which cited Bishop Oyedepo claiming to open the gates of hell is another typical example of how poor journalism continue o divide us and threaten our peaceful existence. Till today, that news report is still being circulated and reechoed in social media circles despite the recall made by the various news outlet. We thank God there was no violence in reaction to that particular fake news, but make no mistake that particular fake news could have put the lives of many Christians in jeopardy.

To the clergy, i humbly plead that our pastors, priests, bishops should cease from meddling in political issues. Let us imbibe the character of Pastor Adeboye who has been a father to all and a bridge builder who refuses to make political statements. Let the Nigerian people make their decisions and live with the consequences! You are Nigerians and entitled to your opinions on the political situation of the Country but in respect of Christ and the safety of Christians
all over Nigeria please speak your opinions in the comfort of your rooms and not on the pulpit to avoid needless controversies.

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