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I’m a victim of misinformation, says journalist whose picture was wrongly used in Sokoto incident

I’m a victim of misinformation, says journalist whose picture was wrongly used in Sokoto incident
May 20
07:35 2022

Ayodeji Rotinwa, a journalist and deputy editor with African Arguments, a media platform, says his picture has been wrongly used to represent another individual who made some comments about the recent event in Sokoto state.

Reacting to the murder of Deborah Emmanuel, a female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto state, one Christopher Uche-Ayodeji was said to have taken to social media to confess how he harmed some northern residents while he worked in the region as a doctor.

In a statement on Thursday, Rotinwa said his picture was published by some blogs and used on social media to represent Uche-Ayodeji, the purported doctor.

According to Rotinwa, he doesn’t know any Uche-Ayodeji, while he also dissociated himself from the comment allegedly made by the individual.

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“I am currently the victim of dangerous misinformation. Last week, a mob attacked and killed a young woman in Sokoto on accusations of blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.),” Rotinwa said.

“After this attack, a yet to be identified doctor named Christopher Uche-Ayodeji, based in Bauchi, claimed he harmed northerners during his NYSC year to avenge past attacks against Christians. He also claimed to be in the employment of University Hospital, Birmingham, which has since denied this claim. The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria have also established they have no member by this name in their records.

“Someone — who I don’t know — has now run with the story using my photo and claiming I am the said Christopher. I am not CHRISTOPER UCHE-AYODEJI. My name is Ayodeji Rotinwa, a journalist and deputy editor, African Arguments, a pan-African publication on African politics, business and culture. I have been a journalist for over 10 years starting my career in THISDAY newspapers and going on to be published by several prestigious international publications.

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“I have no ties whatsoever to this name/person. Yet, despite multiple reports to Facebook, Twitter, posts bearing my picture are still spreading. A local newspaper has echoed this misinformation. Other newspapers even while intending to “debunk” this “news” continue to attach my photograph to the story, further spreading it. There have been calls and comments on these social media posts for me to be located and brought to book. I am being endangered by this misinformation: my safety, reputation on the line.

“All for something I have absolutely nothing to do with. My face may be forever attached to this. As they say, the internet never forgets. This is all coming at a very tense time in this country where religious intolerance, conflict are at an all time high. Lives are at stake, have been lost. And mine, inexplicably has been drawn into it.”

Rotinwa asked media platforms to vet sources and materials before circulating the information for public consumption.

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