Sunday, 6 June 2010

Nigeria: Sorry?

Has there ever been a more baffling "clarification" by a newspaper than this from The Observer's Readers' Editor?
Two weeks ago a leader had quoted the Nigerian bishop, Isaac Orama, as saying homosexuals are "inhuman, insane, satanic and not fit to live" - it's a line that frequently surfaces in articles about Africa and homophobia.
But Emeka Samuel, the reporter who conducted the interview from where that quote came - quickly retracted it. This was three years ago.
"This is to inform the agency and the general public that the report credited to the Anglican Bishop of Uyo, Rt Rev Isaac Orama, was untrue. I wish to state here that the report was not a true reflection of the interview he granted journalists, while Bishop Orama never made any statement at any time to condemn perpetuators of such unbiblical acts to such an extent as was reflected in the report."
The Observer cites as a source the gay blog Akinolarepent which quotes an email from the official News Agency of Nigeria, and a posting on the Nigerian Church website.
Josh Indiana from Akinolarepent - who lives in the US, not Nigeria - reckons that the reporter's retraction "sounds like his 'confession' was obtained at gunpoint—or certainly at the risk of his government job."
But as to why it was retracted Fagburn is still none the wiser.
I've sent a message to Josh Indiana and will let you know the reply.

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