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Tinubu, Peter Obi In Verbal War Over Fake News Allegations

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The presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and his counterpart on the platform of Labour Party, LP, Mr Peter Obi, were yesterday locked in verbal war over the former’s accusation of the latter’s supporters of mudslinging and spreading fake news against other candidates, especially him, ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Tinubu’s campaign organisation had called on the LP candidate to rein in his supporters, who it accused of spreading fake news about its candidate, but Obi’s camp in a swift reaction dismissed insinuations of his supporters spreading fake news about any candidate, saying it was in line with Tinubu camp’s plan to run a campaign based on issues.

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Tinubu in a statement by his Campaign Organization yesterday, had urged Obi to caution his supporters and allow the election circle be about issues that will advance the growth, progress and stability of Nigeria.

Director, Media and Communications at the Tinubu Campaign Organization, TCO, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, who signed the statement, also admonished the Labour Party presidential candidate to get his supporters to desist from spreading lies, malice and denigrating other candidates, especially Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

TCO further stated that “Nigeria will be better for it and the electoral process will be 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 statement added.

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Onanuga noted that the TCO saw the need to appeal 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 All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, asking him to support Peter Obi and take care of his health.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Elections: Peter Obi Group Sues INEC Over Voter Registration Halt

According to him, the Ghanaian president via his official Twitter account has vehemently debunked the fake news as a product of deliberate mischief, with the intent to deceive the public.

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“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,” the Ghanaian President had said via Twitter.

Continuing, Onanuga said: “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 Peter Obi Support Group, same day – a clear proof that Biafra campaigners and Peter Obi supporters are the same.

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“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 N50billion monthly payment from him.

”The spuriousness of the statement is in the evidence that Lagos did not begin to clock N50billion revenue until after Ambode left office. Tinubu could not have demanded N50billion monthly payment from Ambode when the state government didn’t make such in a month throughout the tenure of Mr. 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.’

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“There is also the most wicked of all headlines: ‘When I become president, I will build more prison (sic) for Igbos 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 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.”

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But reacting to the allegations by the Tinubu Campaign Organisation yesterday, the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, threw his weight behind the call by Tinubu for the campaign, whenever it starts, to be based on issues and not personality.

A statement signed by Obi’s Media Adviser, Mr. Valentine Obienyem, said the statement by the APC advising candidates to “desist from spreading lies, malice and denigrating other candidates,” exactly mirrored what Obi had propagated over the years.

He said if supporters were mindful of this, some articles published in some newspapers against Obi would not have been published, including those with offensive titles.

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On the alleged fake letter from the President of Ghana and the alleged request of N50 billion monthly payment, Obienyem said that while Obi was not bothered about their authenticity, it was wickedness to link them to his supporters, insisting that any publication from Obi’s group was always properly signed and the source clearly spelt out.

Obienyem, who also described as the height of mischief, the attempt to link Obi’s campaign to IPOB, said: “We know that things are not well in Nigeria.

We know of the agitations in different parts of the country, our principal has always said what he would do with such organizations to stop their agitation and bring them back to Nigeria as one happy family.

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READ ALSO: Peter Obi Reveals What He’ll Do If War Breaks Out In Nigeria

Instead of others saying what they will do, they are here creating more problems by trying vainly and wickedly to link their fellow contestants to some of those organisations.”

He expressed happiness that Nigerians knew the truth and that such gimmicks used to deceive them would no longer fly.

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Obienyem said that right from Obi’s position as governor of Anambra State, he was not known for the habit of attacking people or building lies against others, adding that his disposition was contrary to those of some of his opponents, whom, he said, actually originated most of those fake news, published them under false names and turned round to ascribe them to Obi or his supporters.

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APC Plots To Shortchange Christians, Ex-SGF Lawal Alleges

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Christian politicians in Northern Nigeria would remain steadfast in their stand for justice, equity and fair play in the 2023 political dispensation in the overall interest of the nation, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, has said.

According to him, any nation or political dispensation built on injustice would crumble because justice and equity settle all other disputes.

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Lawal in a statement he sent to The PUNCH in Abuja on Sunday titled, “Why we are doing what we are doing”, was pleading with Nigerians to understand the position of the Northern Christian politicians on the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the All Progressives Congress in the 2023 presidential election.

He said neither the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu, nor his running mate, Kashim Shettima and the political party has ever seen anything wrong in their choice of same faith ticket for 2023 to make peace or assuage the feelings of Northern Christian politicians.

READ ALSO: Muslim-Muslim Ticket Suicide Mission, Says APC Christian Group

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The statement reads, “Quite a number of Nigerians have reached out to Rt Hon (Yakubu) Dogara and I and to some of the leaders in our eminent group of Northern Christian politicians to sheath our swords and instead go for negotiations with the APC.

“I now want to respond to this. We have so far not taken the road to reconciliation because, in the first instance, neither the APC as a party nor its presidential candidate has bothered to seek us out for reconciliation even though early on, our doors were left open for such.

“We only get to learn of their views through vile propaganda in the media courtesy of their rabid attack hogs whom they have procured in abundance.

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“There are of course some “Christian” turncoats and “Judases” who, driven either by moral turpitude, poverty or greed, have hired themselves out as agents and spoilers of this noble Christian course.

“To this group, I wish to recommend the study of the biographies of Judas Iscariot and Ahithophel in the Bible. Be careful to note how their lives ended.

“It seems that Bola/Shettima’s preferred approach is to attempt to counter our position through insults and sponsored fake Christian organizations in order to create the impression that there is a division within the Christendom on this matter.

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“Needless to say, this tactic has failed woefully. They are now the but of jokes in church gatherings all over the country. Unknown to them Church history emphatically records that Christians are more united in terms of adversity and persecution as now being propelled by this Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC.

READ ALSO: APC Group Protests Muslim-Muslim Ticket, Seeks Shettima’s Replacement

“This approach has also portrayed the duo as arrogant and pitiable people while also exposing them to the public as people with unimaginable deficiencies of noble character.

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“The reality is that for each minute that this same-faith ticket duo have spent on their goebellsian propaganda, they have ended up spending several hours more trying to rebut the controversies that they themselves create in the process.

“Everyone, including some notable Christian haters are now inviting false “Bishops” and “CAN” Leaders to meetings. They are busy fabricating overnight “Christian” organizations that churn out falsehoods to the public.

“It is such a pity that people who intend to lead our country could descend to such low levels of morality and deficiency of conscience.

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“But belying this posture is the reality of their true intentions not to have any roles for northern Christians in their government.

“The unarguable fact is that they intend to offer nothing of significance to any northern Christian in an APC government anticipated to be led by Bola and Kashim.

“The reality of their zoning arrangement is that the North East region is already out of the equation for any other posts because it has the Vice Presidency while the North Central too is out because they have the party’s National Chairmanship.

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“The other key positions, the Senate President, Speaker, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chief of Staff to the President, have been zoned to the North West, South South, South East and South West regions, respectively.

“Besides, we all know that there is and will be no ranking christian Senator or House of Representatives member from the North West that could occupy the seats of Senate President, Speaker or even their deputies.

“In any case, it is an open secret that they never allow Christians to occupy such positions in the North West Zone even if there is a qualified Christian.

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“Who then do they think they are fooling with this their “there are other positions in government that could go to the northern Christians” mantra?

“If Kashim Shettima worked determinedly with Bola Tinubu’s acquiescence to deny the northern Christians the Deputy National Chairman (North) position during the party’s National Convention, what magic will then compel them to give a northern Christian any significant posts in their government?

“Let us make no mistake; these guys will persecute us to no end. They are very well practiced in this.

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READ ALSO: Don’t Vote Muslim-Muslim Ticket, Northern APC Christians Tell Nigerians 

“My dear Christians, it has been clear to us from the onset that APC, Bola and Kashim never had the intention or plan that offers the Northern Christians any sense of inclusion through any tangible roles in their government.

“Those with major political influence on them are mostly religious bigots of the hegemonist flavor and some self-centered sycophants of the evil kind.

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“So instead of reconciliation which would involve offering some important positions to Northern Christians, they have decided to go for broke and ignore the interests of Christians of the north.”

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LP Rejects Defecting YPP Chairman Over Corruption Allegations

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The Labour Party in Nasarawa State has refused to accept the suspended State Chairman of the Young Progressives Party, Bishop Namo, into its fold over corruption allegations.

It was gathered that Namo was suspended by the National leadership of the YPP for allegedly taking a bribe from a desperate politician to illegally substitute the name of one John Mark, who was the party’s candidate for the Akwanga/Nasarawa Eggon/Wamba Federal Constituency, in the 2023 general election.

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The move by the national leadership of the YPP could be the reason Namo declared his support for the Labour Party on September 21, 2022, and claimed that he had been received into its fold.

But the Nasarawa State chairman of Labour party, Alexander Emmanuel, during a press conference in Lafia on Sunday, said Namo will not be accepted into the party until he is declared innocent of the allegations leveled against him in the YPP.

READ ALSO: Why INEC Omitted Our Lagos Candidates’ Names –LP

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He said, “Labour party is a peaceful-loving political party. Our members here in Nasarawa state are known as peaceful people because we do not like trouble.

“We heard that Bishop Namo was suspended by the YPP over some corruption allegations. We do not know if they are true or false at the moment, but we will only accept him into the Labour party when we are sure that he is innocent of the allegations.

“On September 21, so many people called me on phone and said they read on social media that Namo has joined the Labour Party and I told them that the information was not true because none of LP’s electoral ward or local government chairmen across the state has intimated me about such development. So, the general public should disregard that information because it is not correct.”

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READ ALSO: APC Irresponsible, Doesn’t Deserve Re-election, Says Peter Obi’s LP

On the 2023 general election, the LP State Chairman said the party was prepared to take-over power both at the federal and state levels, adding that citizens of the country were tired of bad governance, and are ready to vote out corrupt politicians with their permanent voter cards.

It is a known fact that Nigerians are tired of bad governance in the country, and we are all going to use our PVC’s to vote out bad and corrupt political leaders in 2023. So, I am optimistic that candidates of the Labour party will emerge victorious in the coming elections,” the LP Chairman added.

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APC Irresponsible, Doesn’t Deserve Re-election, Says Peter Obi’s LP

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The Labour Party has discribed the re-election bid of the ruling All Progressives Congress as an attempt to further plunge Nigeria into the abyss of economic disaster.

It said Nigerians who have been on the receiving end of this corruption-ridden administration which has visited nothing but misery on the Nigerian populace, can ill afford to queue behind the APC that has failed on all indices of governance.

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National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Comrade Arabambi Abayomi, said this in Abuja, on Sunday.

He said it remains an undisputed fact that in the first four months of 2022 by the Buhari administration’s revelation through the Budget and Planning Ministry, the cost of debt servicing by “the same stealing Govt has surpassed its revenue in the 4 months under review.”

Abayomi further said, “Remarkably, the clueless and confused APC Govt spent a total of N4.2 trillion between January and April 2022 from the earmarked N17.32trillion for the whole year.

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“In these same four months, a sum of N285bn was earned as oil revenue, this represents a shortfall of 60.9% of the prorated figure of N730.12bn, this is even in spite of the marked rally in crude oil prices in these four months when the Government unabashedly retarded APC Govt casually mentioned that oil production declined to let the oil revenue fall short of the projection.

READ ALSO: Why INEC Omitted Our Lagos Candidates’ Names –LP

“It sounds very irritating, painful and annoying to keep hearing this dying and failed APC Govt repeatedly claiming that the untenable, questionable & unverifiable oil subsidy deductions were responsible with the twin criminal excuse of the inability to increase oil production was responsible for the failure at meeting the projected target of revenue growth in the 4 months.

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“The dishonest and lying APC probably forgot that in 2021 it spent N4.22 trillion on debt servicing which was an increase of 29.3% over the sum of N3.27 trillion spent for the same purpose in 2020 while the revenue only increased by a marginal 9.3 % to N4.39 trillion revenue and in the last 16months APC led Buhari Administration has spent a whooping sum of N6.16trillion. “

He further noted that the Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Mrs Patience Oniha confirmed that Nigeria’s total public debt stock representing domestic and external debt stock profile as of March 2022, stood at N41. 60 trillion and N42.84TRN ($103.31billion as of June 30, 2022. “

This, he said, if divided by 200 million Nigerians including 50 million yet unborn totalling 250m population explicitly confirmed that every Nigerian as of June 30th 2022, is indebted to the tune of N170,000 naira each.

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READ ALSO: 2023: Peter Obi Supporters March In Abuja

Abayomi noted that it is worth putting on record that though its Presidential Candidate, Peter Obi has for a long at many forums held that the Govt’s borrowing must be at a statutory 5% of the previous year’s revenue but “the highly clueless and grossly incompetent APC confused and rudderless Government at every juncture ignored this wise counsel.“

The LP spokesperson enjoined Nigerians to demand the immediate resignation of the APC from the seat of Government now that it is not in doubt that it has finally ruined a substantial part of the future of Nigeria with its avoidable act of running the Country into insolvency.

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He further said, “The growing cluelessness of the APC in its incompetent management of the Country’s economy is easily observed from the silly and unending oil subsidy deductions choreographed calculated scam

“One can simply ask how much it cost Dangote to establish the about to begin operation oil refinery was built at a cost of $15bn.

“The Pacific refinery in Ecuador cost $12bn with a capacity to refine 500,000 barrels per day (bpd).”

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“AL ZOUR REFINERY in Kwait was built at a cost of $16bn with a production capacity of 615 ,000 barrels per day.

“ Compare the foregoing against Nigeria with two / three refineries and a refining average capacity of 1.2 million of crude oil per day, how comfortable are you fellow Citizens?

“Presently, these same thieves in Governance, APC are yet proposing #6.7 trillion to fund the carefully hidden agenda called a subsidy.

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“In exchange the $6.7 trillion is equivalent to $15.6 bn This is against the 2023 Budget. However, what will blow your mind is that the Government is planning to yet borrow #11 trillion to support the 2023 Budget expenses.

READ ALSO: Peter Obi Identifies Areas Nigeria Must Tackle For Greater Economy

“LP has chosen to advise APC to immediately withdraw all it’s Candidates from the 2023 elections and safe itself the embarrassment of repeated public lies and falsehood that has become its main character in Government.“

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