Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s President, has accused Atiku Abubakar, the 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of sponsoring fake news against his government.
Messrs Buhari and Abubakar are presidential candidates of the two major political parties who are participating in next year’s election.
The president is the flag-bearer of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) while the PDP flag-bearer, a former vice president popularly known as Atiku is his major challenger.
The duo recently engaged themselves in accusation and counter-accusation of smuggling looted funds into the country.
In this latest accusation of sponsoring fake news, the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) says the act shows the PDP candidate is desperate for the exalted office.
BMO said since Atiku have no issues to put forward in his campaign he has resorted to sponsoring fake news items aimed at tarnishing and frustrating the efforts of the government and its agencies.
“Atiku Abubakar’s desperation knows no bounds; his recent moves to sponsor narrative through fake news that paint Nigeria’s security personnel as weak and incapable of carrying out their duties, is an example of the PDP candidate’s desperation and lack of patriotism,” the group said in a statement jointly signed by Niyi Akinsiju and Cassidy Madueke, respective Chairman and Secretary.
“The PDP campaign, finding no fault in the current leadership of the Nigerian Army, had begun sponsoring old videos from 2014 with the aim of selling a narrative that suggests that the military under President Buhari has not been well-taken care of like it was during their 16 year rule of malfeasance.”
The group said further that a recent report by an American firm making unbacked claims that the recently slain former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Vice Marshal Alex Badeh, was killed to hide corruption under the current Defence leadership was fake news and the handiwork of Mr Brian Ballard, the United States lobbyist Atiku procured at $90,000 a month.
“It is shameful that a former Vice President of Nigeria would procure the service of an American lobby firm to sponsor fake news aimed at attacking the morale and credibility of Nigeria’s Armed Forces.
“This goes to emphasize the fact that Mr Abubakar does not have Nigeria’s interest at heart and must be kept far away from the seat of power. The PDP has nothing to sell to Nigerians; it has a candidate who is notorious for corruption allegations and is distrusted across the globe; asides being the candidate of a party responsible for the pillage of Nigeria’s treasury,” BMO said.