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Tolu Ogunlesi denies being behind The Economist magazine’s ”ineffectual buffoon” report

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Tolu Ogunlesi denies being behind The Economist magazine’s ”ineffectual buffoon” report

An online publication alleged on Friday that award-winning journalist, Tolu Ogunlesi, co-authored the controversial piece which appeared in the print and online editions of The Economist magazine, that described former President Goodluck Jonathan as an ”ineffectual buffoon”. Ogunlesi has however refuted the claims, saying, ”while flattered to be associated with the Economist, whose literary style I immensely admire, I cannot claim ANY credit for that piece.”

The well-read piece titled, Crude Tactics, which first appeared online two days ago, became a trending topic in Nigeria when the respected publication which usually publishes its stories without including the bylines of the authors, said, ”The government has cracked down on corruption, which had flourished under the previous president, Goodluck Jonathan, an ineffectual buffoon who let politicians and their cronies fill their pockets with impunity.”

There was a lot of fixation on that one paragraph even though the meat of the story was the magazine’s perception that current President Muhammadu Buhari is responding to today’s challenge in exactly the same way he responded to the challenges he faced as military head of state in the 1980s. ”Today, as in the 1980s, the president is making a bad situation worse,” the magazine concluded.

Ogunlesi denied the allegations by the online publication that he has ”been working as a ‘ghost-writer’ for The Economist.” According to the online blog, ”An informed source who did not want to be named disclosed… that Ogunlesi has authored many of The Economist’s articles focused on Nigeria, including the one last year in which the magazine endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari shortly before the elections of March 28, 2015. Ogunlesi is also a regular contributor to foreign newspapers like the Financial Times.”

However, Ogunlesi, whose name was touted last year as a possible new media assistant to Pres. Buhari said the reports of his involvement ”surprised” and ”amused” him. ”I am not and have never been one to be anonymous when making journalistic comments about people. I do not hide behind anonymity,” he said.

Ogunlesi also disclosed that he will be sending a ”letter to the online publication that fabricated the allegation, asking for a retraction and a public apology.”

See his tweets below:

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