2023: Tinubu accuses Atiku, Obi of sponsoring fake news against him

Presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has accused his main rival, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi if Labour Party (LP) of being behind a purported fake press statement credited to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against him.

Tinubu said the forged statement purportedly issued by INEC was disseminated to deceive the gullible public that INEC was investigating allegations of drup trafficking in the United States of America (USA) against him that, they desperately hoped, will ultimately lead to his disqualification from the presidential race.

INEC at the weekend issued a statement to denied such statement which went viral at the weekend.

But reacting to the development through a statement signed Sunday in Abuja by the Director, Media and Publicity of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Bayo Onanuga, Tinubu called on the police to investigate the circulation of the forged INEC statement and serve justice to those responsible.

The statement reads in parts: “The opposition Peoples Democratic Party and its subsidiary Labour Party having realised they have no sure path to victory in the February 2023 presidential election upped their  campaign of calumny, disinformation and misinformation on Saturday by sponsoring fake news against the All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. 

“They did it by forging the letterhead of the Independent National Electoral Commission and the signature of its national commissioner, Festus Okoye.

“We are not in any way surprised by the antics of the sinking opposition parties. What we found shocking was how quickly some compromised media organisations gulped the falsehood, hook, line and sinker, without attempting to verify.

“We understand why they did so: the forgery and its narrative fit their mindset of throwing overboard every known virtue of ethical journalism and professionalism, as they work in cahoot with the opposition to defame Asiwaju Tinubu. 

“This inglorious path has been taken before since 2003 and in the run-up to the primaries of the ruling APC that produced Asiwaju Tinubu as the presidential torch bearer. Those who took this damned path of infamy lost their bet because Asiwaju Tinubu stands rock solid and indestructible. 

“Our candidate has consistently said he will make this campaign about issues that affect the lives of Nigerians and how to proffer workable and enduring solutions that will improve quality of life of our people who are looking for leaders at all levels to improve their lives and sow them seeds of prosperity in our country. 

“He has demonstrated this resolve by publishing an 80-page manifesto tagged Action Plan for a Better Nigeria, which he has been selling to strategic sectoral groups in the country.

“We had hoped anyone aspiring to lead our country at this time will be a natural subscriber to this noble and higher goal. 

“It is clear the opposition parties and purveyors of fake news have other negative ideas: they want to make this election cycle more about muckraking and mudslinging.”

While warning those he called agents of disinformation, the statement said: “that our campaign organisation stands ready to confront and fight all libellous and defamatory  publications  against Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. 

“We shall no longer allow the prevailing recklessness and utter disregard for professional judgment to continue unchallenged. 

“We also call on the police to investigate the circulation of the forged INEC statement and serve justice to those responsible.”

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