Certificate forgery saga: Civil society laments increased media attack on public office holders

THE Coalition of Civil Society Groups CCSG on Monday lamented what it described as an incessant sponsored media attack on public office holders.

It said the attacks which are recently targeted at lawmakers in the National Assembly (NASS), was capable of unsettling the polity.

President of the group, Etuk Bassey, stated this while addressing newsmen at a media roundtable on the State of the Nation in Abuja.

He alleged that the new trend is a new strategy adopted by politicians to;”spread falsehood and blackmail.”

Citing instances of the recent certificate forgery allegations levelled against Senators Andy Uba and Dino Melaye, he said; “What is worrisome and fast becoming a trend, is the constant sponsored blackmail against public office holders, which in recent times has been targeted at members of the National Assembly. We recall the recent case of Senator Dino Melaye which was eventually cleared by the Vice Chancellor who confirmed his status as an alumnus of the University.

“It is however sad that this trend doesn’t seem to be abating anytime soon as the recent attack on Senator Andy Uba by some unscrupulous elements using mushroom media outfits to spread falsehood is to say the least wicked.

“It is good to note that baseless criticisms bereft of facts targeted at public office holders by self-centred, callous and corrupt politicians who explore the ignorance of unsuspecting Nigerians to sow the seed of deceit in order to destroy the image of these individuals are capable of unsettling the polity,” he said.

As part of its social responsibility, he said the group made efforts to verify the recent certificate forgery allegation against Senator Andy Uba.

According to him, the group found his certificate to be authentic after an exchange of correspondence with all concerned institutions including the California State University, America, adding that the resulting responses attested to the authenticity and validity of same.

He said: “Some desperate, greedy and self-serving politicians have been found to be behind the shenanigan aimed at placing on Senator Andy Uba the burden of proof in a bid to ultimately destroy his image,” he said.

He further lamented that despite the achievement of the current administration, the group is;”worried at the incessant rift between the executive and legislature and the increasing rates of sponsored media blackmail against public office holders by some mischievous elements.

“It is not uncommon that misunderstanding may arise from time to time between these two arms of government especially on matters that borders on national interest and development but making a drama over issues which could have been easily resolved is fast becoming a norm and should be condemned in strong terms.”

Bassey, to this end, called on security agencies to investigate, arrest and prosecute these corrupt politicians with penchant for sponsoring media propaganda against political office holders

“It is on this note that we want to implore all Nigerians to always be vigilant and continue to see beyond the clandestine motives of these desperate politicians. Also, we call on security agencies to investigate, arrest and prosecute these corrupt politicians with penchant for sponsoring media propaganda against political office holders in order to blackmail and unsettle the polity as their action is not any different from those sponsoring the now decimated Boko-Haram sect,” he urged

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