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RSG threatens to sue erring Media Houses over fake news


Ugochukwu Iwuchukwu

The Rivers State Ministry of Education says legal actions may be taken against media houses that peddled falsehood of protesting students of Olanada Junior Secondary School.

The State Commissioner for Education, Professor Kaniye Ebeku, while speaking to journalists when he visited the school wondered the intent behind the viral fake news.

He said investigation reveals that no such protest held in the school on the said date and none of the media houses who reported the story had a firsthand coverage of the said protest, nor bothered to visit the school to verify any information received before publication.

He said: “infact the picture of the students that have been put out does not represent the true uniform of the students of this school presently.

“There is nothing like shortage of teachers even in the core subject areas. On the contrary, this Junior School has 82 teachers on record. In fact, on the day of the alleged protest 68 teachers reported for duty at the time the time-book was closed for the day”. This is a veritable fact.

“I wonder from where those who pushed out that information got the information from. It is most unfair and it is unacceptable.

“Enough of this kind of journalism, it’s acceptable. It will not go for free this time. The law will answer. We will not allow those who peddled the fake news to go scot-free.”

Professor Ebeku frowned at the growing level of Fake News within conventional media practice.

“Frankly, it is saddening that we have journalists who are themselves junk and they peddle junk journalism.”

“There was no such incidence as protest in this school on Monday, the 15th of February or anytime this year,” he said:

Also speaking, Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, Ven. (Dr.) FyneFace Aka expressed disappointment on the actions of the media houses that peddled the false protest story.

“It is disheartening that people sit down in their houses and come up with very destructive ideas and things that can destabilize the peace of communities and misinform parents,” he said

Venerable Aka also dispelled claims of a non-functional water facility in the school, revealing that a new school building was constructed less than two years ago and has all facilities required in a school complex.

He challenged media houses that aired the story to provide facts on the alleged protest or face appropriate sanctions of the law. “We’ll take legal action against erring Media houses.”