SWITZERLAND, JULY 10 – Martin Ayankola, reportedly the longest-serving editor at renowned Nigerian news publication, Punch has been fired after an offensive cartoon in the publication received heavy backlash from Nigerians.
The newspaper had on July 4 published an article on its back page by Abimbola Adelakun with the title “What Does Mrs. Fatoyinbo Know”.
The article, which examined the rape allegations against Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) was illustrated with the cartoon of a man desecrating the bible with urine. Such depiction is very sensitive to Nigerians, who are predominantly a culturally and religiously conservative people.
Following a heavy backlash on the offensive post, Punch apologized to the public over the cartoon, which has angered Christians across Nigeria.
An emergency meeting was convened by the board on Monday where Ayankola was directed to resign before the close of work.
The editor had only returned from a one-week suspension before the cartoon saga.
It is also suggested that the columnist and the chairman of the editorial board could be affected by the board’s decision.