A front-page publication of THISDAY newspaper, on Friday, which alleged that Hope Uzodimma, governor of Imo, has declared “free marriage” between Fulani settlers and Imo ladies is fake.
The fake news accredited to the newspaper is currently being circulated on WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media platforms.
Reacting in a statement on Saturday, Eniola Bello, managing director of THISDAY, said the newspaper never published the story in question.
He said “unscrupulous people” manipulated the digital copy of the newspaper’s Friday publication.
“The attention of the Management of THISDAY has been drawn to a fake version of our digital edition making the rounds on some social media platforms,” the statement reads.
“With the headline: ‘Shocking: Uzodinma declares Free Marriage Between Fulani Settlers and Imo Ladies’, this fake version of our digital edition is being circulated on WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media platforms.
“We wish to state that THISDAY at no time published the said story. Our lead story on Friday, August 27, was, ‘Buhari Elated as NNPC Breaks Jinx, Declares N287bn Profit, First in 44 Years’.
“Sadly, these merchants of fake news have chosen to leverage on the credibility and integrity of THISDAY to ply their trade.
“We completely reject this poor attempt by some unscrupulous people at impersonating our brand and identity in pursuit of whatever agenda they may have, by seeking to disseminate fake news to members of the public as emanating from THISDAY.”
For the avoidance of doubt, the newspaper urged Nigerians to verify its Friday publication from the print edition or online.
It also called on members of the public, who may have unwittingly fallen for the cloned digital copy, to disregard the publication.
“We also use this opportunity to call on security agencies to help unmask the counterfeiters behind this forgery and bring them to book,” THISDAY added.