If you’ve been paying attention to the news these past few days, you will no doubt be aware of the numerous controversies surrounding Senator Abiola Ajimobi, Deputy National Chairman (South). From rumours of his being in a coma as result of COVID-19 to his appointment as Acting National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and rumours of his demise, the former Oyo Governor has become a topic of interest.
What appears most doubtful however, is the true state of his health. At first, he was reported to have been in critical condition as a result of complications from COVID-19. Barely 48 hours after, a number of journalists and social media users tweeted about his death, although family and close sources have debunked same. There were reports afterward that he isn’t dead but in terrible condition. For some, he is on life support.
Fisayo has insisted that according to his source, Ajimobi is indeed dead.
The former Oyo State Governor’s Family has insisted that he is alive.
We await proof from any of the parties above. The difference between life & death is so great that neither should be hard to prove.
— ROUVAFE (@IamRouvafe) June 19, 2020
It is important to note that some of the journalists who reported the former governor’s death have so far in their career, been nothing short of reputable. They have been our go-to sources for news, especially before such reports are made public. So we know that they are almost always right. “Almost” being the keyword here, not always.
Cut the Fisayo guy some slack. He was not even the first person to break the news and he shared it like everyone else. The situation around the news is certainly controversial as no one can say with all certainty this is what is happening. So why scape goat the guy?
— TA (@tope_bisade) June 19, 2020
While they may have a history of credibility, the importance of actual facts should never be disregarded. For Fisayo, he has remained adamant about his report, refusing to delete the posts on grounds that, he is not wrong.
UPDATE: My source insists the late Governor is gone even though he still hasn’t been disconnected from life support.
I understand that other than placing him on life support, First Cardiology Consultants is “currently not doing anything else” on him.
— 'Fisayo Soyombo (@fisayosoyombo) June 19, 2020
It is not in Fisayo's place to announce the death of one he isn't related to. That duty solely is with the family and who are we do decide if someone is dead or not? Ajimobi is still on life support which means it is not over until it actually is. Fisayo is just a clout chaser
— ? IGWE OF AFRICA ❁ (@KamsiOfficial_) June 19, 2020
We have had issues in the past when those in power hoard information about the health status of their principal or a politically exposed person, leaving the public in a state of uncertainty. So, two things are fundamental here.
Even in foreign climes, journalists cannot work without sources and can make mistakes. Death is also a very sensitive issue and traditionally, the family of a ‘supposed deceased’ has the responsibility to report same. It behooves on us therefore, that we confirm from multiple (trusted) sources before reporting same. Fisayo, other journalists and indeed, all of us should learn the lessons.
Here’s how people are reacting to Fisayo’s report:
You see what Odanz and Fisayo are doing over the rumoured death of Ajimobi… If one of Ajimobi's relative decides to physically attack them over it, they'll say they're being violent. Do you actually understand what they might be going through in all of these?
— KING KUKUTE (@Ade_Nurayn) June 19, 2020
Fisayo Soyombo is an exuberant young man. Not surprised he is doubling down on this foolishness. Why is it difficult to respect the family by allowing them announce Ajimobi's death, if true? He is 70 years old for God's sake. pic.twitter.com/lDTdaSU62F
— Bankole Akintunde Adebayo (@AdeBanqie) June 19, 2020
Fisayo is one of the good Journalist I respect but this is really ridiculous. He doesn't have to always feel the urge to always break the story. Journalism is never about what story you break but how credible the story is.
— ICON (@StephenAdedigba) June 18, 2020
If Fisayo’s call is accuarate, his ratings surges above Kemi Olunloyo’s.
If he gets it wrong, he may have to provide his source because he sounded so sure.
— Feral Jack Phoenix. (@Letter_to_Jack) June 19, 2020
Fisayo Soyombo will be dragged if it turns out that Ajimobi is alive . That his source that has never failed him in six years will be given a certificate of failership
— Bàbájídé Blunt (@CRawkeen) June 18, 2020
Overall, it seems a lot of people are not down with the idea of Fisayo taking away the right of the Ajimobi family, to announce the death of their own, if that truly is the case.
For Chinedu Okafor, its all about making an impact with words, creating a profound impression on the audience with the intended narrative.