COVID-19: Kwara Gov't Replies Lukman Mustapha, Says His Allegation Is False


The attention of the Kwara State COVID-19 Technical Committee has been drawn to a statement by Mallam Lukman Mustapha, Chairman of Sobi FM, in which he accused an official of the government’s committee Mrs Modupe Joel of spreading falsehood that he tested positive to the virus.
 
The allegation by Mallam Lukman Mustapha is false and an unfortunate misrepresentation of what happened. As a media owner, the government expected him to have done some due diligence before going ahead to impute negativity to the innocent civil servant. That moment required him to see beyond politics. 
 
Earlier today (Thursday), the official received a message (now discovered to be a broadcast first published at 11:59p.m. on Wednesday on Nairaland) claiming that the SOBI FM chief had tested positive to the virus. That same message had apparently trended on social media. She did not author it. As one of the COVID-19 committee officials whose specific role is to receive communications from members of the public and send same to the general COVID-19 Committee and the medical subcommittee for immediate response, she forwarded the message to the two platforms at 10a.m. with a message that she had just been alerted of same. Notably, she neither shared the message on any other platforms nor authored a statement to make such announcement. 
 
Her action was guided by abundance of caution and that falls within her duties as an official of the committee. She did no wrong especially because she forwarded the message only to relevant government committees for appropriate response. 
 
Contracting COVID-19 is no crime. There is no stigma to having it. The committee had since conducted its due diligence to find out that it was a hoax broadcast concocted by whoever for whatever reasons. It is on record that the committee has never mentioned any patient’s name except with their consent.
 
Mallam Lukman Mustapha was clearly a victim of fake news first published on Nairaland— the danger of which the government has constantly warned against. We urge members of the public to join hands with the government to fight fake news and its purveyors.
 
Rafiu Ajakaye
Spokesman, COVID-19 Technical Committee/
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor. 

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