Oby Ezekwesili, former Minister of Education and Vice President of the African division of the World Bank, has warned media organizations to expect legal action from her if she is defamed.
The warning was issued on Tuesday via her Twitter account. It came in the wake of three separate apologies she received from Vanguard, Daily Trust and Nigerian Tribune, which published a falsehood about her.
“I shall sue and not accept any more apologies next time any libels/slanders me [sic],” she tweeted.
Mrs. Ezekwesili added that she has been the subject of false stories because of her agitation for an equitable society.
She condemned the newspapers, saying they prefer praising dubious figures in the society to promoting people with good name.
“Since the role of the media in a progressive society is to push the frontiers of accountability by those who govern, what do we make of ours? This 3rd apology within three weeks from three separate malicious and slanderous publications by Nigerian newspapers is revealing of decay in the media. Is the decay in our media not obvious to the Guild of Editors? Is it not obvious to Nigerian Union of Journalists? How about publishers? The broken values on which Nigeria hobbles can’t be fixed without a highly professional, competent and ethical media. We’re in a conundrum,” she wrote.
And when faced with a conundrum, Mrs. Ezekwesili reasoned, “a disruption is the best force that can help create a new normal.
“Our media need that new normal quickly. A society that disdains the greatest assets of a good name but celebrates wealth-grabbing ignoble conduct can never make progress,” she concluded.