From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Crisis seems to be brewing in the camps of the 2023 presidential candidates, as APC standard bearer Bola Ahmed Tinubu has warned his Labour Party counterpart, Peter Obi, to tame his supporters against falsehood and disinformation.
Making the appeal through his Campaign Organisation (TCO), Tinubu also charged the LP presidential candidate to allow the election circle to be specifically about issues that will advance the growth, progress and stability of Nigeria.
In a statement by the Director of Media and Communications, for the TSO, Bayo Onanuga, the APC candidate admonished the LP candidate to get his supporters to desist from spreading lies, malice and denigrating other candidates, especially Asiwaju Tinubu.
He also stated that Nigeria will be better for it and the electoral process enriched if the 2023 presidential campaign sticks to issues of good governance that will lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty rather than being dominated by the ravings of guttersnipes, who do not wish the country well.
The campaign organisation also appealed to Obi to rein in his supporters after investigating the origin of the fake report claiming that the Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo, wrote a letter to the APC presidential candidate, asking him to support Obi and take care of his health.
Akufo-Addo via his official Twitter account has vehemently debunked the fake news as a product of deliberate mischief with the intent to deceive the public.
Making reference to Akufo’s denial, he wrote; “I have written no such letter to the APC leader, and it will not occur to me to do so. Ghana and Nigeria boast of decades of cordial, strong and brotherly relations, and I am not going to be the one to interfere in the internal affairs and politics of Nigeria.”
According to the statement from TCO: “we have found that the fake news about Akufo-Addo’s letter was first published on June 22 by a rogue platform, whose url reads as worlsnews.space (sic) and site identity as World of News.
“A content analysis of the site clearly showed that it is a Biafra news platform. The fake news was reposted on Facebook by the Peter Obi Support Group, the same day – clear proof that Biafra campaigners and Peter Obi supporters are the same.
“Both the Facebook account and the website are replete with fake stories about Bola Tinubu, including a fake story credited to former governor Akinwunmi Ambode, alleging that Tinubu demanded N50 billion monthly payment from him.
“The spuriousness of the statement is in the evidence that Lagos did not begin to clock N50 billion revenue until after Ambode left office. Tinubu could not have demanded N50 billion monthly payment from Ambode when the state government didn’t make such in a month throughout the tenure of Ambode.
“The pirate website, which the Facebook account feeds on, also parades malicious fake news and headlines such as ‘I am old, but my blood is young, please vote for me – Tinubu begs youth’.
“There is also the most wicked of all headlines: ‘When I become president, I will build more prison (sic) for Igbo’s and IPOB members – Tinubu’.
“The big surprise in all of these is that all the headlines have no supporting stories, and clicking them may bring a virus to your computer.
“We have come to a point where it becomes imperative to tell Mr Obi to show leadership and disavow his supporters who are employing fake news and disinformation as deliberate tools to deceive and poison the minds of unsuspecting Nigerians,” Onanuga reiterated.