Vanguard Furious Over Ochereome’s ‘Yorubas are Sophisticated Morons’ Talk

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By Dipo Olowookere

The management of Vanguard Newspapers has reacted to comments made by Chairman of its Editorial Board, Mr Ochereome Nnanna, describing the Yorubas as “sophisticated morons.”

In a statement issued on Saturday and signed by its Editor-in-Chief, Mr Gbenga Adefaye, the paper said the remarks made by Mr Nnanna do not reflect the position of Vanguard Newspapers on the Yoruba race, which is part of its readership.

Vanguard described the comment as “unwarranted but careless, private outburst,” promising to look into the matter.

“Our attention has been drawn to an offhand comment made by Mr Ochereome Nnanna , the Chairman of the Vanguard Editorial board.

“The comment, allegedly disparaging an ethnic section of the nation was ostensibly made as part of private conversation on a social media tread.

“While we are carefully interrogating the circumstance that led to that comment, with a decisive response to the author, we wish to acknowledge that the statement was made entirely as part of a private conversation.

“Vanguard dissociates itself totally from such unwarranted but careless, private outburst.

“But we also wish to stress that Mr Nnanna’s position (as indeed like that of any senior editorial staff at the Vanguard) must always reflect a circumspect conduct that takes into cognizance the sensitive nature of our responsibility, and in particular, the need to maintain decorum and decency in all conduct and dealings, whether private or public, formal or virtual.

“We will like to re assure our patrons, readers and stakeholders that Vanguard newspapers will always remain on the path of correct professional etiquette, practice responsible journalism and adhere to the highest ethics of fairness, objectivity and just conduct, as these are essential ingredient for peace and growth in a plural and multifaceted society such as ours.

“We will like to place on record that Vanguard newspapers will continue to do all within its power to ensure that we do not betray the trust that has been reposed in us by the public.

“Rest assured that we will continue to improve and fine tune our internal processes and adopt a fair dose of self-regulation to ensure that we remain truly focused to the ideals of conscientious journalism devoid of profiling, bigotry and prejudice,” the statement said.

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