Mr Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, has denied negative social media comments attributed to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Akande, who made the clarifications on Thursday in Abuja, said purported comments on the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), farmers-herders conflict among others were fake news and deliberate deployment of falsehood.
According to him, the vice president is not known for making derogatory remarks about any ethnic group in the country.
The aide said that such comments attributed to the vice president in that regard should be ignored.
He said Osinbajo was focused on supporting President Muhammadu Buhari in creating opportunities for young Nigerians such as the 20,000 yearly jobs fellowship-the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Programme (NJFP), soon to be inaugurated by the president.
“For quite a long time, there has been the deliberate deployment of falsehood against the vice president.
“I have seen, a number of times they put out stuff on WhatsApp, Facebook that says the vice president has said something to attack a particular group in the South-East, and this is what he said about the farmers-herders conflict, all of it untrue.
“What the vice president said about our brothers in the South East is that they are people of industry and that though there may be issues from different parts of the country, the whole essence of a union is to find very transparent, open ways to resolve the differences.
“And that he knows that people and leaders across the country whether from the South-East, South-South, South-West, North-East, North Central, all support the unity of this country.”
On the issue of justice, Akande said that the vice president, just like the president, had said very clearly that anybody that violated the law or engaged in violent conduct must face the law.
According to him, justice is an important requirement for humanity.
“The vice president is someone whose voice is very clear about the issue of Justice.
“So, when you read that hogwash about what he said about the herders-farmers clashes and all that, just know that it is just a lie.
“He is the one that said there must be justice and that we must live together, and that there is strength in our unity, there is unity in diversity.
“If you read anything that runs contrary to the virtues he espouses, just know straight away that it is not true, it is fake news and don’t pay any attention to it,’’ he said.
He said such fake news had become a recurring problem, adding that the people in the profession had a duty and responsibility to ensure that there was sufficient professional regulation aside government regulation.
On the NJFP, the presidential aide said it was in line with the job creation agenda of the Federal Government which was being implemented across different sectors.
He said that the scheme which was designed for fresh NYSC graduates would provide the enabling environments for them to develop job skills in important sectors.
Akande said the programmes would also enable them to garner the necessary experience required to get better paying jobs at the end of the scheme.
He said there were quite a number of other programmes being implemented at the moment under the Social Investment Programme and the Economic Sustainability Programme.
Akande also listed the Nigeria Innovation Programme, Nigeria Investment Fund, Public Works Programme as schemes geared toward creating job opportunities for young Nigerians.
On security, Akande said the Federal Government understood the challenges and was working toward overcoming them.
He said the president and vice president, alongside other leaders in the country, were working together to ensure that security agencies were properly resourced, and given clear mandates.