The Presidency on Friday denied reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had summoned the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari and the Head of Service (HoS) of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita over their disagreement on the reinstatement of former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Friday, Senior Special Assistant to the president on Media and publicity, Garba Shehu, also denied that an altercation took place between the two senior government officials over the issue at the Council Chamber of the presidential villa, Abuja as widely reported.
According to him, “Top government officials of that calibre see the President on a regular basis. To suggest that they were summoned to see him as a result of a so-called feud is just a fabrication, a conclusion that is below the level of responsible journalism that we expect from our State House correspondents.”
He castigated State House corespondents who he said had failed to exhibit a sense of responsibility in their reports.
The statement described newspaper reports of a fight between top government officials at the State House as fabrications that could only have been conjured by correspondents who would probably make better fiction writers than journalists.
Shehu added:“By tradition, the media organizations send their best reporters to the State House. This should reflect, at all times on the quality of reporting.
“I am a journalist myself, and in journalism, you are not supposed to report anything other than the facts of what you heard or observed directly, or what you were told by a firsthand or authoritative eyewitness,” he said. “You cannot add two and two to make twenty-two and present it to the public as news.”
Malam Shehu insisted that it was impossible for the conversation between the President’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, and the Head of Service of the Federation Mrs Oyo Ita to have been heard by any journalist, as the distance between he State House correspondents and the two government officials as they addressed the Vice President at Wednesday’s FEC meeting, would have made their conversation completely inaudible to the journalists.
“People can debate and argue over issues, but to suggest that there was a feud, a fight or a clash was to take matters beyond what they were,” the presidential aide said.
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