The Vanguard media organisation has announced that it is carefully interrogating what led the Chairman of the Vanguard editorial board, Ochereome Nnanna, to refer to the Yoruba people of the south west as sophisticated morons in a Facebook post.

Nnanna had made the comment while responding to a post by another journalist, Areh Sunday, who called people in the region 'gullible' in reaction to President Muhammadu Buhari's decision to confer a post-humous award of Grand Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (GCFR) on the late Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.

Sunday posted, "I used to think the south-west was very sophisticated. I was wrong. They are the most gullible. They fall for every poisoned carrot dangled before them."

Replying to the thread, Nnanna replied, "Sophisticated morons, more like."

Nnanna's comment has generated a lot of strong reactions online as many have called for his dismissal from the Vanguard organisation.

In a statement released by the Vanguard on Saturday, June 9, 2018, the organisation dissociated itself totally from such "unwarranted but careless, private outburst."

The statement further revealed that it is interrogating the circumstance that led to that comment while also promising to adopt a fair dose of self-regulation to prevent a future recurrence.

The statement read, "Our attention has been drawn to an off hand comment made by Mr Ochereome Nnanna , the Chairman of the Vanguard Editorial board.

"The comment, allegedly disparaging an ethnic section of the nation was ostensibly made as part of private conversation on a social media tread.

"While we are carefully interrogating the circumstance that led to that comment, with a decisive response to the author, we wish to acknowledge that the statement was made entirely as part of a private conversation.

"Vanguard dissociates itself totally from such unwarranted but careless, private outburst. But we also wish to stress that Mr Nnanna's position (as indeed like that of any senior editorial staff at the Vanguard) must always reflect a circumspect conduct that takes into cognizance the sensitive nature of our responsibility, and in particular, the need to maintain decorum and decency in all conduct and dealings, whether private or public, formal or virtual.

"We will like to re assure our patrons, readers and stakeholders that Vanguard newspapers will always remain on the path of correct professional etiquette, practice responsible journalism and adhere to the highest ethics of fairness, objectivity and just conduct, as these are essential ingredient for peace and growth in a plural and multifaceted society such as ours.

"We will like to place on record that Vanguard newspapers will continue to do all within its power to ensure that we do not betray the trust that has been reposed in us by the public.

"Rest assured that we will continue to improve and fine tune our internal processes and adopt a fair dose of self regulation to ensure that we remain truly focused to the ideals of conscientious journalism devoid of profiling, bigotry and prejudice."

Nnanna told Premium Times on Saturday that his comment was taken out of context and said he would cooperate fully with Vanguard's investigation into the matter.