The attention of the Ondo State Government has been drawn to the subject matter in which allusions were made and erroneous conclusions reached.
Without doubt, TRACE Magazine indeed, sought reactions to the issues in reference. In line with our response protocols, I considered it very necessary that certain technical details were required and deeper insights desirable in respect of the issues raised.
That informed the need to refer the Magazine to the Ministry of Health. Our long established communication synergy since the COVID-19 pandemic wherein intricate medical issues are first determined and processed before dissemination, strengthened my decision to refer the Magazine to the first point of our prescribed communication protocol.
Coincidentally, the Health Commissioner was said to be briefing Mr. Governor on the latest development when the Magazine made efforts to confront him with the issues raised. To underscore Government’s commitment to transparency in the face of the current challenges, Mr Governor wasted no time in disclosing the case in question to the public.
As of right, TRACE Magazine had a choice to either revert, after a fruitless attempt to get the attention of the Commissioner for Health or go ahead with an unsubstantiated copy. We conceed the choices to the writer; but the consequences of a misleading enterprise in respect of COVID-19 are shared by all.
While Government considers the said ‘investigation’ a brazen act of blackmail, the general public is urged to ignore this slight pen slip by TRACE Magazine.
The paper missed the point to the extent of its availability to enrich insinuations spiked by certain interests. From all indications, the motive behind the publication unpretentiously, overshadowed the possible harmful impact of distorted information on the public that is faced with the daily challenge of COVID-19 anxiety than the target-Ondo State Government. It’s another missed point.
To insinuate that the Ondo State Government, under the present circumstances of an undeterminable pandemic, ‘imported’ a corona virus victim to shore up economic sympathy is nothing but a perfidous walk along a strange trajectory.
Nonetheless, the Government is open to suggestions as it battles this pandemic. The media, as always, remains a veritable partner in this regard. It, therefore, becomes distasteful if any component of such partnership willingly opens its flanks for manipulation.
We hold no grudges; but our collective efforts, especially those whose professional calling has placed in the frontline, deserve support.
Commissioner for Information and Orientation
April 25, 2020.