Our attention has been drawn to a report in an online blog, Daily Post, titled ‘Aregbesola allegedly received 96-month salary arrears in secret, claims he did not’ written by Sikiru Obarayese.
The author falsely claims that the Minister of Interior and immediate past governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, towards the end of his tenure, secretly received the backlog of his full salary for the entire period he was governor, contrary to his asserting that he never did.
The report is entirely a piece of fiction, a good exemplar of fake news and disreputable journalism.
Let me state categorically again, that Ogbeni Aregbesola did not receive any salary in the entire duration of his eight-year stint as governor in Osun.
His reason being that the state government provided accommodation, security, transportation, food and other conveniences for him and would not need to pay for these from his pocket.
He also explained that all his children are grown up and have graduated and he would not need to pay school fees again. He therefore donated his salaries to the state government.
The author of the report claims to have got the information from some anonymous government officials. He provides no evidence. The report fails basic journalistic ethical requirement that only truth and verifiable fact should be reported as news. Reading through it, one is not in doubt that the evil intention behind the piece was to smear and cast aspersion on the integrity of Ogbeni Aregbesola.
However, when I spoke with the state Accountant General, he categorically affirmed that indeed, former Governor Aregbesola did not collect any salary and so no document could have existed to back up any claim that he was paid. He challenged the author to produce any document that backed his claim.
It is appalling and most regrettable that charlatans parading as journalists continue to bring the noble profession to disrepute.
The public should therefore discountenance the entire mendacious report and treat it as the handiwork of mischief makers.
I urge the cowards behind the report to show their ugly faces, instead of sullying the professional integrity of some youths trying to survive in a challenging economic environment.
Media Adviser to the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola