In a dangerous sign of the times, the Management of THISDAY Newspapers Limited has raised the alarm on a fake version of its digital edition making the rounds on some social media platforms.
In a statement signed by the Managing Director, Eniola Bello, disclosing the fake online publication, the respected media company said: “With the headline: “Shocking: Uzodinma Declares Free Marriage Between Fulani Settlers and Imo Ladies”, this fake version of our digital edition is being circulated on WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media platforms. We wish to state that THISDAY at no time published the said story. Our lead story on Friday, August 27 was, “Buhari Elated As NNPC Breaks Jinx, Declares N287bn Profit, First In 44 Years.”
“Sadly, these merchants of fake news have chosen to leverage on the credibility and integrity of THISDAY to ply their trade. We completely reject this poor attempt by some unscrupulous people at impersonating our brand and identity in pursuit of whatever agenda they may have, by seeking to disseminate fake news to members of the public as emanating from THISDAY.
“For the avoidance of doubt, readers can easily verify our Friday publication from the print edition or online (www.thisday- live.com). We, therefore, call on members of the public who unwittingly fell for the cloned digital copy to disregard it and treat it with the utmost contempt it deserves.”
The media company called on security agencies to expeditiously unmask the counterfeiters behind the forgery and bring them to book.
Meanwhile, the Imo State government in a swift and strong condemnation of the fake online report, dismissed it as the hand- work of “desperate elements” and said the clone showed the extent that the perpetrators “can get in trying to destroy the society, thinking that Governor Uzodimma is the issue.”
In a statement, Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to Governor Uzodimma, Oguwike Nwachuku, explained that the originators of the fake publication had two things in mind: “To tarnish the image of the Governor and to destroy the credibility of THISDAY as a brand.”
He described the effort as a woeful failure.