The Presidency has debunked reports that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said kidnapping is exaggerated in Nigeria.
Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, made the rebuttal in a statement issued on Tuesday in response to reactions by Nigerians over his principal’s comments.
The vice president has come under fire from individuals and prominent groups, including Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, for suggesting that some kidnapping allegations in the country were exaggerated and were fuelled by politics.
But Akande explained that Osinbajo, who made the disputed comments in the United States on Sunday where he is currently on a four-day visit, never mentioned exaggerated either directly or implicitly in his statement contrary to reports.
The statement read: “For the purpose of clarity, and the records, it is pertinent to state that Osinbajo was entirely misquoted and his words taken out of context in the said media reports especially those that quoted him as saying that ‘kidnapping in Nigeria is exaggerated and not entirely new.’
The statement also noted that Osinbajo’s comment on the social media being “hysterical” was in response to questions put to him by the Nigerian community in the US over the various accounts of kidnapping and insecurity in the country.
It added that the comment did not in any way imply that the government wants to attempt censoring social media usage in the country.