The Media Campaign Council of All Progressives Congress, APC, for the Edo Governorship election has apologised to the Benin Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, BENCCIMA, over a report that misrepresented the proceedings of a meeting between the Chamber and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
The council, in a retracted report, had erroneously quoted the President of BENCCIMA, Dr Helen Atekha Odemwingie, to have endorsed its candidate at an event organised by the associations that make up the Organised Private Sector, OPS in Edo State last week.
In an apology released on Sunday, Chairman of the Media Campaign Council, Mr John Mayaki, clarified that the debunked endorsement claim was reported by an overly enthusiastic communication campaign staff, who has since been queried for the miscommunication.
He apologised to the President, Mrs Helen Atekha Odemwingie, and the Chamber for any embarrassment caused by the erroneous report.
He said: “On Tuesday, August 18, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu met with associations that make up the Organised Private Sector, OPS, in Edo State, including the Benin Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, BENCCIMA.
“At the meeting, he discussed plans and programmes in his election manifesto, the SIMPLE agenda, to revive the industrial sector of Edo State and boost trade and commerce, especially in communities neglected by the incumbent administration despite their economically viable resource potentials.
“Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu characteristically made a dazzling presentation and earned the commendation of the representatives of the associations based solely on his highlighted plans and his thorough understanding of the issues related to the state’s economy and surrounding data.
“It was this commendation, made without any partisan consideration as it is a well-known fact that the OPS does not adopt candidates or display political bias, that the campaign communication staff assigned to the event misunderstood, and consequently misreported, as an endorsement.
“Based on the goodwill of our party and the intellectual and political strength of our candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, our campaign has been satiated with endorsements, almost on a daily basis, from local and international groups of great repute.
“We, therefore, have no reason to deliberately manufacture one.
“The error, though unfortunate, was unintended. The staff in question has been queried and asked to repeat the training offered at the start of the campaign to all communication staff on ethical and factual reporting, in line with the high standards of our campaign.
“We tender unreserved apologies to Rev. (Dr.) Mrs Helen Atekha Odemwingie and the Benin Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, BENCCIMA.”