- Punch Newspaper has sacked its longest serving editor Martin Ayankola, following outrage over a controversial cartoon published last Thursday.
Ayankola, who was appointed on December 2012, is the longest-serving editor in the 46 years history of The PUNCH. 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. Punch had apologised after the cartoon was greeted with backlash. 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. According to reports, Punch management had been shopping for Ayankola’s replacement for a while.