Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), has urged the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, to caution his supporters against spreading fake news. The former Lagos State Governor who issued the warning through the Director of Media and Communications of the Tinubu Campaign Organisation (TCO), Bayo Onanuga, alleged that Obi’s supporters have been spreading fake news about him.
According to Tinubu, the fake reports are damaging his reputation. A few days ago, there was an online report alleging that the Ghanian President, Nana Akufo-Addo wrote a letter to Tinubu, asking him to step down and support Peter Obi. It claimed the purported letter also asked Tinubu to take care of his health. However, President Akufo-Addo had via his official Twitter page debunked the report, describing it as fake news.
According to the Ghanian President, the report was a product of deliberate mischief with the intent to deceive the public. Following Akufo-Addo’s denial of the report, the TCO media Director in a statement titled, “Mr. Peter Obi, Call Your Supporters To Order; Falsehood and disinformation will not win election,” called on Obi to caution his supporters to desist from using fake news in an attempt to tarnish Tinubu’s reputation.
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 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, on 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 N50billion 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 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.”
“There is also the most wicked of all headlines: When I became president, I will build more prisons 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 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.”