Following the demise of Alhaji Aminu Adisa Logun, former Chief of Staff to Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq in July, a large vacuum has been created in the cabinet of the AbdulRazaq-led administration.
Logun, according to official sources, died as a result of COVID-19 complications and has since been committed to earth in accordance with Islamic principles.
As chief of staff, his main role was to coordinate and supervise all other staff members of the governor.
Men and women of weights have since been speculated over the months to fill the hot seat. Amidst the controversy, wealthy businessman, Ambassador Yahya Seriki-Gambari and Senior Special Adviser on Special Duties, Hon Yinka Aluko were also reportedly mentioned.
Incidentally, a report broke out in the tail of last week that Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has appointed Alhaji AbdulKadri Mahe, Ilorin-born prince as his new chief of staff.
According to the report, he has, in fact, received his appointment letter and is to resume work immediately.
The news was first sent to various social media platforms as a brief statement, without details.
Soon, some online media like Sho Pen Online, Just Event Online, Fresh Insight ran the story on their websites and shared on their various social media handles.
Greetings and congratulatory messages addressed to Prince Mahe have also perfused the social media, even from a Senator, Sadiq Umar representing Kwara North.
The Ravens launched an investigation into this claim to measure its veracity and authenticity.
Our correspondent understands that the Ilorin-born prince was only among the few ones consulted and being considered for the most-coveted position, and has not been appointed yet.
We also spoke with three top government officials who dismissed the report.
Speaking, one of them who sought not to be named said, “I am certain there has been no such appointment as at this minute. Nothing of such was mooted by the Governor throughout last week. Only heaven knows where those online media got such fake news. It is fake news. One of the platforms even said the new CoS would assume office on Monday. Has this day not come now? Let’s see what happens by the end of Monday.
“I’m sure they are just dropping names every week to satisfy their own curiosity. Ask them to substantiate their claims. I think this particular story will again tell Kwarans to be wary of purported exclusives from such platforms.”
Another official who craved anonymity also said that the governor has not concluded on anyone, and may not even be appointing anyone soon.
He added, “I was baffled when I read the news on social media. It is a curious move attempting to prejudice the choice of the governor. Many people, even high-ranking politicians, have been misled by the report, taking it to hook, line and sinker. More pathetic is that some of them were even authoritative on falsehood and hearsay. I hope they bring down the story, re-inform the misinformed and apologize to the public.”
The third official also told The Ravens that the report was fake and unfounded, adding that it was the wildest imagination of those peddling it.
“The said prince did not receive any appointment letter. He has not been appointed. Did you see anything of such on official media handles of the government? How will such an important appointment be made without a press release from the government media handlers?” he queried.
Kwarans react as ‘new’ Chief of Staff, Mahe yet to assume office
Meanwhile, Kwarans have also started reacting as the supposed ‘new’ Chief of Staff, Prince Mahe is yet to assume office and be declared formally by the government.
Speaking with The Ravens, Samad Olohundare who lives in Adewole, expressed worries that since the news was peddled, the government has not formally acknowledged the appointment.
“I expect that the media should now be awash with pictures showing the scene of his (Prince Mahe) assumption of office today. This is Monday, and the report has been flying since Friday. I’ve learnt to always choose what to believe henceforth.”
On her part, Fatimah Sulaiman, a lawyer, said she was not surprised an inch that the report turns out to be fake, noting she had warned people against it.
“I am not surprised at all. Most of the online mediums that published the report are not new in the trade of spreading unconfirmed and baseless news. I have had enough of their indecency and unprofessionalism. Remember, some of them reported that N17.3 million was spent daily on COVID-19.
“I think the cause of all these is the rush to publish without investigation. Some just copy and paste. I am only concerned that many people would have been misled by the report. But as for me, I never believed. I hope, though, to see them sit tight and do responsible reporting.”
Also commenting, Mr Habib Fatai whom our reporter met at a newsstand at Challenge, said he had come to, among other things, confirm the news from mainstream media.
According to him, “I was highly disappointed that I didn’t find anything of such. This is not the first time some of these online mediums will be misleading me. I urge the government and other stakeholders to bring about sanity to this craze of publishing fake and unfounded news, that’s fast becoming the trademark of a section of online media in the state. It doesn’t speak well at all.”
Saka Rasheed, though, called on the government to confirm the appointment on time if it was true.
“It is strange. Honestly, it is strange how the news just spread across the state. If it is true, anyway, and the government has taken days to confirm it, that is bad. They cannot keep us in darkness. Let’s see what happens tomorrow, ” he submitted.