President Goodluck Jonathan has come out in strong term to condemn all media that announced his illness in negative ways, especially Sahara Reporters, the New York based online blog.
In a statement signed by his S.A on media, Dr Reuben Abati, he delivered a thank you message to Nigerians who conveyed their sympathies and solidarity with Mr. Jonathan through various means, following the announcement of his sudden indisposition while on a mission to London.
He singled out the traditional newspapers and broadcast media who he believed were factual, objective, fair-minded and supportive in reporting the president illness.
The Presidency frowned at the popular online media who he described as “highly unprofessional and unethical antics… who persist in seizing every opportunity to unjustifiably malign and impugn the character and integrity of the elected leader of their country”.
It decry reports by some section of the media who reported separate statement from the state house on the president sickness, despite the compliance of not keeping Nigeria in the dark about the state of his health. “The suggestions by Sahara Reporters that president Jonathan took ill following a “heavy birthday thrown to celebrate the President’s 56th birthday at his presidential suite in the InterContinental Hotel in London” is fictitional nonsense as there was definitely no party in London to celebrate President Jonathan birthday on Wednesday night. The truth is that President Jonathan observed his 56th birthday anniversary quietly. For part of the day, he was airborne, in transit between Abuja and London. On arrival in London, he spent the rest of the day in the privacy of his hotel room”
Condemning Sahara Reporters, the presidency stated that they are not beyond the frame of being sued for defamation and libel. “As unregulated as they are, Sahara Reporters and their ilk are not beyond the bounds of legal action for libel and defamation of character and reputation of a President who has courageously stepped forward to serve his country. The Presidency will like to reiterate the trite point that no human being is beyond health challenges irrespective of their station in life. Sadly, this commonplace fact appears to be beyond the understanding of the publishers of Sahara Reporters who seem to have lost all sense of propriety, decency and human compassion”, the statement read.