RE: OGUN COLLEGE SUSPENDS LECTURER FOR IMPREGNATING NURSING STUDENT: PUNCH’S DELIBERATE MISINFORMATION AND MALICIOUS MISREPRESENTATION OF THE NOBLE PROFESSION OF NURSING: WHAT SCORES DO SAMSON FOLARIN AND THE PUNCH NEWSPAPER HAVE TO SETTLE WITH THE NURSING PROFESSION?
The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Ogun state chapter has once again observed with dismay the above titled publication by a supposedly renowned newspaper, The Punch newspaper, and we are disappointed that both the correspondents and editors of a news outfit of such repute will descend so low to propagate outright misinformation to the unsuspecting public with a deliberate attempt to smear the image of the noble profession of nursing. The Punch newspapers has at different times published stories wherein persons who are neither registered nurses nor student nurses have been mischievously referred to as either nurses or student nurses with the malevolent intention of defaming the good image of the noble profession of nursing. Some of such unscrupulous publications include stories about a student of the college of health technology, Ilese Ijebu and her lecturer involved in a pregnancy scandal titled “Lecturer impregnated me, rejects pregnancy, says nursing student. It wasn’t me, I used condom – Lecturer” on the 22nd day of May, 2017 by one Samson Folarin (@childofdkingdom).
It is pertinent to note and inform well-meaning members of the public that the school, the student and the lecturer have nothing to do with the nursing profession as the school does not have the requisites to train nurses and neither the lecturer nor the student have anything to do with the nursing profession. The misinformation was thought to be an honest mistake when the story was initially published and attempts were made to correct the misinformation by contacting correspondents and officials of the newspaper outlet including the agent behind the story, one Samson Folarin, both in person and via phone calls but such efforts were rebuffed,as the same author using the platform of the outlet published three (3) different follow ups to the story using headlines that malign the appellation “nursing student” despite the fact there is nothing about the nursing profession remotely or closely associated with the stories.
It is disturbing to note that this will not be the first time that The Punch newspapers have done similar publications wherein persons who are not nurses have been reported as nurses especially when such persons are involved in scandalous or disreputable acts. It is highly unfortunate that the editors and correspondents of the Punch newspapers; who are expected to be conscience of the nation and as such has been saddled with the responsibility of searching for the truth and disseminating correct information; have demonstrated deviance from such responsibility and have chosen to take the ignoble path of spreading misinformation and half-truths.
Other such irresponsible publications include the story of a maid who stole a baby in a private hospital in Abeokuta who The Punch wrongly referred to as a nurse and that of a birth attendant who pulled off a baby’s hand in the process of delivery also in Ogun state inaccurately described as a nurse by The Punch newspaper now rapidly gaining notoriety in such matters. It is expected that for an organization of such reputation, the least qualifications for employing correspondents and editors should not be less than that of professionals and as such these calibre of persons are expected to not only know but also correctly inform the general public about the difference between professionals and non-professionals in the health and indeed all other sectors.
However, the likes of Samson Folarin of the Punch newspapers and their editors obviously being quacks within the profession of journalism, have demonstrated their mental laziness by being unable to correctly identify who nurses or nurses in training are as differentiated from allied health professionals whom they erroneously portray to the general public as nurses.
One would expect professional journalists to join in the fight against quackery in the health sector by playing the role of educating the public on the need to and how to identify qualified, registered and licensed professionals and patronizing only such while seeking health services but these ones (Samson Folarin and co) being quacks themselves have chosen to promote quackery in the health sector through their numerous publications targeted at confusing the public about the identity of nurses and maliciously denting of the image of the noble profession of nursing. NANNM, Ogun state on behalf of the dutiful, hardworking and immaculate nurses of this country hereby calls on well-meaning Nigerians to beware of the antics of these lots who have chosen to follow the ignoble part of unprofessional journalism and wants to drag the esteemed profession of nursing in the mud. We appeal to goodhearted Nigerians to identify them as mere mischief makers and ignore them. We further appeal to Nigerians to help us summon Samson Folarin and his cohorts with The Punch newspapers to be bold enough to come out straight if they have any scores to settle with nurses and the nursing profession rather than employ these infantile and irresponsible strategy of maliciously portraying nurses and nursing in bad light.