Social media platforms were Friday, May 22, awash with posts of accolades to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, on what has now been termed “misinformation” regarding his purported appointment by Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to lead a post-COVID-19 pandemic committee in the country.

Posts on Okowa’s appointment were widely circulated by some members of his media team on Monday May 22, 2020, and was also posted on the official facebook account of the State Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, same day.

The facebook post reads, “Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has appointed Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa as head of a seven-man committee to explore ways Nigeria can experience economic growth, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“His appointment was sequel to a virtual meeting by members of the National Economic Council NEC which Osinbajo presided over at the presidential villa, Abuja.

“His appointment was sequel to a virtual meeting by members of the National Economic Council NEC which Osinbajo presided over at the presidential villa, Abuja.”

The story however changed on Monday, when on the same facebook account, the state government denied the appointment saying, “Mr Olisa Ifeajika, Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, has debunked media reports that the governor has been appointed to lead National Economic Council (NEC) sub-committee on post-COVID-19 economic growth.”

The Manager Communications to the governor, Jackson Ekwugum, in a widely circulated template post on whatshap, “RE: “Osinbajo Appoints Okowa to Lead Sub-Committee on Post Covid-19 Economic Growth” Our attention has been drawn to the above titled story, which has been circulating in the national news media and social media for some days now. Consequently, there have been avalanche of comments, inquiries, and goodwill messages from well-meaning Nigerians regarding this “appointment”.

“His Excellency, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, is mindful of the earnest desire of Nigerians for life to return to normal as quickly as possible. However, it has become necessary to set the record straight and correct the wrong impression that has been created by this story. It is not true that Governor Okowa was appointed to lead a Sub-Committee on post COVID-19 economic growth.”

The purported appointment of Okowa had elicited thunderous goodwill and congratulatory messages mostly from the governor’s media aides and PDP politicians in the state.

Some mainstream media in the country further gave credence to the appointment by reporting on the said Okowa’s appointment.

Realtime24 gathered that keen observers of political developments in the state have accused some of the governor’s media aides of sycophancy and unhealthy rivalry in the media management of the governor, thereby resulting to an embarrassing and misleading information to the public.

When contacted the CPS to the governor in a phone chat confirmed to Realtime24 that reported appointment of Dr Okowa by the Vice President was untrue, blaming some media aides for not verifying before going public on the matter.


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