FAKE NEWS! Busy Buddies apologises to LMC, Dikko, suspends reporter
An online platform, Busy Buddies NG that published a story on Thursday that the Chairman of the League Management Company, LMC, Mallam Shehu Dikko, is considering concluded the suspended Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, season in China, has apologised to the board and readers saying the story is untrue.
The Athletic NG reported a disclaimer issued by the LMC on the said story, flagging it as “fake news” and urged fans to disregard the report.
Busy Buddies in a statement published on their website on Thursday apologised to the LMC and Dikko with indefinite suspension of the reporter, Azu Umeh.
The statement reads, “The Busy Buddies Team would like to retract the statement attributed to the Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC) Shehu Dikko published on its website on Thursday, 7th May 2020.
“The statement claimed Dikko and the LMC are exploring the possibility of concluding the current Nigeria Professional Football League season in China. This is untrue.
“The story was not published with any malicious intent to lie or misquote Mallam Shehu Dikko.
“We completely retract the false information and apologise for the error and we have taken in-house disciplinary action(s) including the indefinite suspension of the writer and website editor as we seek to ensure this unfortunate situation doesn’t repeat itself ever again.”
Subsequently, the reporter Azu Umeh has also tendered his personal apology to LMC and Mallam Dikko, stating it was a misinterpretation of statement which was not to ridicule the board.
“First, let me start by apologising for my story on Thursday which claimed that the LMC is considering completing the current NPFL campaign in China. This is not true.
“While it is true that LMC Chairman Mallam Shehu Dikko did indeed refer to China in answering a question about concluding the season, his reference was to the EPL and not the NPFL.
“I mispresented his statement not out of spite or to ridicule him but in genuine error.
“This error, however uncharacteristic, is grievous and inexcusable and I apologise once again.
“I have apologised in person to Mallam Dikko and the story has since been taken down. Also, my organisation has issued a formal retraction and apology to Mallam Dikko and our esteemed readers.
“Personally, I take great pride in my work and try to hold myself to the highest standards.
“I have never knowingly published a false story or set out to impugn the reputation of anybody.
“This episode will forever serve as a reminder to me that there can be no substitute for professionalism and factual reportage in journalism.
“I would like to thank Mallam Dikko for his kind words and my colleagues who stood up for me knowing that this error is completely out of character.
“I have drawn a line under the matter and hope that we all can move forward as well,” Umeh concluded.
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