PREMIUM TIMES pulls story on alleged Instagram comment by Ajimobi’s daughter, apologises

Gov Ajimobi

PREMIUM TIMES has announced that it was pulling from its website a January 15 story on an alleged Instagram comment by Ajibola Ajayi, a daughter of Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi.

The story titled “Ajimobi’s daughter labels protesting LAUTECH students ‘Generation of Mannerless Students'” was based on a post by Instagram account @conceited_csj, which described protesting students of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology as “Generation of Mannerless Children.”

A similar story was published in several other Nigerian publications. The Instagram account, which was initially made private, has since been deleted.

But after the story was published, Mrs. Ajayi circulated a press statement denying ownership of the Instagram account.

Her complaint prompted the management of this medium to commission an internal inquiry on the publication.

PREMIUM TIMES Managing Editor, Idris Akinbajo, said his website decided to remove the controversial publication due to “gatekeeping error in the treatment of that story.”

Mr. Akinbajo said, “We commissioned an internal enquiry and it was clear that the handling of that story by the editor on duty fell far short of our standard.

“Our gatekeeping process is pretty rigorous and if it had been followed, the ownership of the Instagram account should have been ascertained and more documentary evidence collected before publication.

“Before publishing the story, our reporter tried to find out the authenticity of the post from the governor’s spokesperson as reflected in the story, but by our standard, that is clearly not enough.

“We offer Mrs. Ajayi sincere apologies, and assure her that we meant no malice to her and her family, and that this was clearly an avoidable editorial error.”

Meanwhile, Mrs. Ajayi delivered a letter to PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday reiterating her denial of the ownership of the account.

She, through her lawyers, described the report as false, libelous and malicious, saying it had caused her and her husband grave reputational damage and untold psychological and emotional hardship.

“Our client has never addressed the students nor made such statements towards the students whether on her Instagram page or anywhere whatsoever,” she said.

“Since the date of publication attributed to our client, our client and her immediate family have been subjected to opprobrium, public ridicule, backlash, intimidation, violent threats and hatred within and outside Nigeria.”

The governor’s daughter therefore demanded apology and withdrawal of the story.

LAUTECH students had on January 9 protested the closure of their university since June last year.

The Oyo governor, whose state jointly owns the university, peeved by the outbursts of the protesting students, chastised them for their reaction.

“Your school being locked for eight months is no big deal. Is your school the first to be locked, if this is how you will come to talk to me, go and do your worst, I dare you,” he said.

In her letter to PREMIUM TIMES, the governor’s daughter said she could not have disparaged the protesters because she is sympathetic to their plight and empathizes with them.


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  • Haba mallam

    Now PM should issue a similar apology to lt General Tukur Buratai before your so called editors start attending courts sessions to explain to this country how you come to possess highly classified military documents.

    • thusspokez

      PT sort of being apologetic to this nobody is a BAD mistake. It is an invitation for all and sundry, no matter how slight the offence, to demand apology from PT. It is for this main reason that most newspapers are often very reluctant to apologise even where they are clearly wrong.

      • Gary

        To err is human. Whether as an individual or or organization, whenan error is brought to your attention, you apologize if there’s no malice involved.
        Her lawyers wrote, the medium reviewed how the story was processed and admitted that enough due diligence was not followed. And apologized, as any organization with integrity should. End of story.

        • thusspokez

          To err is human. Whether as an individual or or organization

          I detest preachers, moralists, and people who have a tendency to appeal to emotional sensibilities in discussions when others are trying to be sensible and logical.

          Heads of states, leaders, politicians, newspapers, businesses often avoid issuing apologies even for their own wrongdoings. Surely, it is not because they lack integrity or don’t know wrong from right. I suggest that you go and ask yourself why, then perhaps you might understand my earlier comment better.

    • Eze

      I guess this is a satire? otherwise, I am short of words for you.

  • thusspokez

    Her complaint prompted the management of this medium to commission an internal inquiry on the publication.

    What is with Nigerians and commissioning committee, team, etc., as Buhari does.

    Anyway, who is this woman to deserve the formation of a committee presumably, led by Chairman PREMIUM TIMES, and Other members of the committee including: Chief Operating Officer, Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director, Managing Editor. No Nigerian committee would be complete without a Abba Kyari or Babachir Lawal or both.

    But seriously, daughter of the head of a local [oops! state] government? Even the governor is not important enough let alone his daughter.

    The Instagram account, which was initially made private, has since been deleted.

    That is what she thinks. It is not too time consuming to find an archive copy on the Internet.