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Herdsmen controversy in Oyo: Former Kogi PDP aspirant distances self, demands retraction of media report

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Former Kogi State governorship aspirant on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, Abubakar Idris has distanced himself from the controversy of Fulani herdsmen in Oyo State and other parts of South Western Nigeria.

The governorship aspirant who expressed surprise and disappoinment at the use of his still image by an online medium, News Express as one of the leaders of Fulani herdsmen demanded for a retraction immediately.

In a statement issued on his behalf by Mr. Yusuf Abubakar which was sent to CAPITAL POST on Wednesday, noted that he has never been part of the Fulani herdsmen leadership and was never involved in any negotiation or truce as published in the online report.

The news item erroneously or deliberately used the still photograph of Alhaji Abubakar Ibrahim, a politician of high repute and business mogul.

Alhaji Abubakar Ibrahim who is also the son of the former Govenor of Kogi state, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris said as a politician and business mogul, he has received worrisome calls from the public with regard to the said publication which was already bringing him opium, hence, the demand for a retraction.

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He advised the medium of communication to assist government in the restoration of peace, unity and development across the country, and not to serve as agents of destablisation through yellow journalism and sensationalism.

According to him, this will preclude them from needless litigation, distractions, embarrassments and wrath of the regulators.

The retraction reads:

“The attention of Alhaji Abubakar Idris has been called to a news item on youtube broadcast by News Express, an online medium in Nigeria.

“Captioned Fulani leaders beg for forgiveness in Oyo, the story line is on current peace efforts between Fulani Herdsmen in Igangan, Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State and their host community.

“The story erroneously mentioned Alhaji Abubakar Idris as “the Seriki Fulani of Igbo Ora” among those who participated in the peace parley.

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“To drive home the point, the medium imposed the still photograph of Abubakar, an Abuja based businessman and politician to illustrate the story.

“To say the least, this is Yellow journalism and character assassination at its lowest. Since the broadcast of the ill report, friends, family members and associates have inundated Alhaji Abubakar with calls, messages and even visits to ascertain its veracity. We now wish to State as follows:

“The hardworking and law abiding businessman whose photograph was imposed on the story, Alhaji Abubakar Idris does not have anything to do with Fulani herdsmen, let alone with the crisis in Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State.

“The photograph used is that of a frontline politician who once contested for the Governorship office of his home State, Kogi. Certainly, he is not and can not be the Seriki Fulani of Igbo Ora refered to in the video.

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“For the records we state categorically and without mincing words that our own Abubakar Idris has no links whatsoever with the security crisis in Oyo or anywhere for that matter.

“Like every patriotic Nigerian, Alhaji Abubakar Idris is concerned about the security challenges facing the nation at this time. His heart goes out to every victim of the crisis and he calls for caution on both sides. There is no substitute for peace

“We therefore call on all well meaning Nigerians to disregard the malicious report even as we demand for immediate retraction and an unreserved apology from the broadcast house over it’s collateral damages to the hard earned reputation of Alhaji Abubakar.

“We call on Journalists in the country to uphold their professional ethics and “leave out when in doubt to forestall a reoccurence.”

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