Presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has responded at critics who accused his team of hiring street urchins and dressing them as Christian clerics during Wednesday’s unveiling of his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima in Abuja.
The former Lagos state governor, however, denied the claims.
In a statement through his campaign organization, Tinubu said the event was open to all, including clergymen.
Accusing the opposition of cashing in on the development to stir unnecessary attacks on APC, Director, Media and Communication of the TInubu Campaign Organization (TCO), Bayo Onanuga, also described as “unwarranted distractions” the viral pictures and videos of some clergymen and women at the unveiling.
Onanuga, said, “the event was an open affair, which allowed members of the public to attend, including the clergymen and some others now being derided by hirelings of the opposition.
“We want to say that those clergymen were not fake, not mechanics or yam sellers as the purveyors of hatred have made Nigerians to believe in the social media. They are not big names in Christendom yet, they are gradually building up their missions.
“They are church leaders who genuinely believe that Nigerians must eschew politics of hatred and religious bigotry and rather embrace politics of peace and nation building.
“We therefore deplore the hysterical twisting of the presence of these men and women in cassocks and the false accusation against our candidates, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Shettima.
“The orchestrated social media sensation over the presence of the men is needless and all calculated to detract from the huge success recorded at the momentous event on Wednesday.
“We believe Nigerians are too wise and discerning to see through this shenanigan. Asiwaju Tinubu and his running mate and our great party are working very hard to provide purposeful leadership and good progressive governance that will improve the quality of life of Nigerians.
“We are well aware that the opposition parties and the sponsors of the social media charade are jittery and threatened by the intimidating political credentials of our candidates. The only way they hope to shift attention of public scrutiny away from their uninspiring candidates and credentials is to create social media distraction.
“Our campaign is determined on focusing on core governance issues that affect all Nigerians with a view to confronting them and make the desired improvements in the standard of living of our people.”