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The Independent Television owned by a PDP chieftain, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, has apologized to the Governor of Edo state, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for airing a false report on both its Television and Radio stations that the Governor?s aides allegedly beat up a Catholic Priest at Ujogba.

In a retraction and apology aired on Friday, the Television station said ?we hereby tender our unreserved apology for the embarrassment the broadcast must have caused the Governor and Government of Edo State. We want to reassure the Government and the people of our commitment to the peace and stability of our dear state.?

The TV station which had been adversarial to the Government had aired a fabricated report on January 12 that the Governor?s aides allegedly beat up a Catholic Priest for refusing to yield the way for the Governor?s convoy.

The station reported that the incident happened at Ujogba, Esan West Local Government Area of the state where the Governor had gone to commission a project. However, the Governor neither went to Ujogba nor commissioned a project there, rather the Governor had commissioned the Amedokhian-Ugboha road in company with his Lagos State counterpart and no such incident took place.

The Governor had refuted the report in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary and asked the Television station to retract same and issue an apology on same station.

According to Okhiria, ?the said report is not only callous, malicious and wicked, but clearly portrays ITV and its proprietor as the devil?s advocates who churn out falsehood to denigrate the Oshiomhole administration.

?While we state that the Governor was never at Ujogba as reported by the TV station, the Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is known to be proudly Catholic and has boasted about his faith at many fora.

?It is a fact that the Governor enjoys a robust relationship with the Catholic Church moreso as a baptized practicing Catholic. He is also in good standing with the Archbishop, Priests and Laity of Benin City Archdiocese, Auchi Diocese and Uromi Diocese. To the best of our knowledge, the ITV report was deliberately fabricated to promote hate sentiment against the Governor by the Catholic faithful.?

The Catholic Church also refuted the report in a statement issued by Reverend Father Andrew Obinyan, the Parish Priest of St Albert?s Catholic Church, University of Benin while giving a homily.

According to the Church, the ITV report ?was a tale concocted to drag the Holy Catholic Church into the fray of politics of the APC and the PDP?, adding that ?what is happening is a sad reflection of the intensity of the wave of political sentiments and the length to which some parties would go to paint the opposition black.?

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