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Amaechi didn’t insult Buhari in audio tape – Wole Soyinka

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Nobel Laureate , Prof . Wole Soyinka , says he has read several reports of the trending audio clip depicting the Minister of Transportation , Rotimi Amaechi , insulting President Muhammadu Buhari but he has not been able to spot any insults as insinuated by the media .Soyinka said this in Abuja on Wednesday at a symposium on fake news organised by BBC News .

The playwright , who was a panellist at the event tagged , ‘ Nigeria 2019 : Countering Fake News ’ , urged the traditional media not to act like the electronic media by spreading unfounded allegations .

He said , “ Just two or three days ago , I read an item where a minister was supposed to have insulted the President and it was carried in some media and I checked the statement and of course there was a video and so on and I looked through it , I read the text again and again and I said I have to relearn the English language because I didn ’ t see where the insults were .

“ So sometimes , print media feels compelled to compete with the electronic

media and this is a great mistake because there is a reputation , there is an expectation and you should not be embarrassed to show yourself superior to a medium which is accessible to the lowest , the very dregs of society . ”

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According to audio released by Phrank Shaibu , an aide of Atiku Abubakar , presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Amaechi , said this in a conversation with some journalists .

In the clip , Amaechi , who is the Director -General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation , purportedly said Buhari neither reads nor listens to anyone .

In one of the clips , Amaechi purportedly said , “ The President is not listening to anybody . He doesn ’ t care. You can write anything you want . The President doesn ’ t care. Does he read ?”

In another part of the audio , the minister threatened to bar journalists from events if the audio is leaked .

He said , “ These are not things you publish ooo . If you publish them , you will never sit with me any day .

“ Three years of Buhari oo , everybody is crying , crying … pressmen are crying , farmers are crying , workers are crying , politicians are crying , students are crying , three years oo !

“ The rate of poverty is very high . The people are hungry . Nigeria will divide !”

Amaechi was heard saying , “ This country can never change , I swear . The only way this country can change is in a situation where everybody is killed .

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“ This country is going nowhere . When Magnus ( Abe) was secretary to the Rivers State Government , I told him that this country is hopeless and helpless and he told me , ‘ Oga, stop it ’ . This cannot be coming from a governor .

“ But two months in Abuja, Magnus came to meet me and said , I agree with you ; this country is hopeless and helpless . All they do in Abuja is to share money .

Members of Buhari ’ s media team as well as close associates of Amaechi have confirmed the authenticity of the clip but said it was edited out of context .

The Minister of Information and Culture , Alhaji Lai Mohammed , said on Tuesday that the controversial audio would not affect the ruling All Progressives Congress ahead of next month ’ s elections .

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