A sportsman, Phillip Ayobami, who was seen posing with a diminutive lady, Ruth Innocent, at the Bayelsa State orientation camp of the National Youth Service Corps in photos that went viral on social media, has denied being in a relationship with her as she claimed.
Innocent had on March 14 posted photos showing her posing with a tall male colleague during their orientation programme as corps members in Bayelsa in 2021 and claiming that they fell in love with each other.
The photos were published by several online media while Facebook users congratulated her for finding love despite her small stature.
In an interview, the makeup artist, who claimed to be three feet tall (not verified), said she and her alleged lover, who she identified only as Phillip, started as friends, later they began a serious relationship, and had been in touch since they completed their national service.
When asked to confirm whether she and Phillip were engaged, Innocent had said, “We are keeping that confidential till the right time. The relationship is serious.
“Even if it doesn’t work out, it is fine, at least I will know that I had a man who loved me and discussed a future with me.
“I will feel the way a woman feels when she is loved by a man. I will feel fulfilled that a man once came for me.”
Although Innocent promised to make her alleged lover’s phone number available when our correspondent requested an interview with him on Tuesday to share his side of the ‘love story,’ she had yet to do so as of the time of filing the report.
But Ayobami, in a post on his Facebook page, said he never had any relationship or “business in common” with the lady, describing her as a “clout chaser”.
“Sequel to the viral posts on social media platforms ignited by one Miss Innocent Ruth on the 12th of March, 2023 about a fake engagement with me, I hereby disclaim the viral post and want the general public to note that I have no business in common with her as she’s just a clout chaser.
“In view of the above, I want to categorically state that I and Innocent Ruth met in the year 2021 at Kayama NYSC orientation camp (Bayelsa State) where we were brought together as the tallest and shortest corps members as part of activities by the NYSC to create fun in camp.
“We never had any relationship during and after the orientation camp. It been two years those photos were taken and I haven’t set my eyes on her for over two years now (sic).
“I hereby advice Innocent Ruth to take down the post from all her social media platforms else face legal action (sic),” he said.
However, when our correspondent contacted Innocent on Saturday to react to her alleged lover’s rebuttal, she maintained that she did not make the claims without his knowledge.
“I wasn’t in a relationship with him. We both agreed. After I made the post on social media and everything, I called him and told him what I had in mind and he then was playing along. I wasn’t going against his will. Two persons were involved (sic).
“I told him I made a story about the two of us; he said it was okay. I asked whether he had a girlfriend, and he said he doesn’t (sic). I told him I had a boyfriend who would not be aware of it,” she added.