Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu has accused oppostion Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) of being behind the forged letterhead of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The oppostion parties were also accused of forging the signature of a national commissioner of INEC, Festus Okoye.
The claims are contained in a statement issued on Sunday by the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of the APC and signed by the Director of Media and Publicity, Bayo Onanuga.
“The opposition Peoples Democratic Party and its subsidiary Labour Party having realised they have no sure path to victory in the February 2023 presidential election upped their campaign of calumny, disinformation and misinformation on Saturday by sponsoring fake news against the All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” the statement reads.
“They did it by forging the letterhead of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the signature of its national commissioner, Festus Okoye.
“The forged statement purportedly issued by INEC was disseminated to deceive the gullible public that INEC was investigating allegations against Asiwaju Tinubu that, they desperately hoped, will ultimately lead to the disqualification of the frontline APC Presidential candidate.
“We are not in any way surprised by the antics of the sinking opposition parties. What we found shocking was how quickly some compromised media organisations gulped the falsehood, hook, line and sinker, without attempting to verify.
“We understand why they did so: the forgery and its narrative fit their mindset of throwing overboard every known virtue of ethical journalism and professionalism, as they work in cahoot with the opposition to defame Asiwaju Tinubu.
“This inglorious path has been taken before since 2003 and in the run-up to the primaries of the ruling APC that produced Asiwaju Tinubu as the presidential torch bearer. Those who took this damned path of infamy lost their bet because Asiwaju Tinubu stands rock solid and indestructible.
“Our candidate has consistently said he will make this campaign about issues that affect the lives of Nigerians and how to proffer workable and enduring solutions that will improve quality of life of our people who are looking for leaders at all levels to improve their lives and sow them seeds of prosperity in our country.
“He has demonstrated this resolve by publishing an 80-page manifesto tagged Action Plan for a Better Nigeria, which he has been selling to strategic sectoral groups in the country.
“We had hoped anyone aspiring to lead our country at this time will be a natural subscriber to this noble and higher goal.
“It is clear the opposition parties and purveyors of fake news have other negative ideas: they want to make this election cycle more about muckraking and mudslinging.
“While we want to stay above the fray and stand by our commitment to inspire our people and restore their faith and confidence in the immense goodness and greatness of our country, we want to serve notice to all the agents of disinformation and their collaborating media platforms, that our campaign organisation stands ready to confront and fight all libellous and defamatory publications against Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“We shall no longer allow the prevailing recklessness and utter disregard for professional judgment to continue unchallenged.
“We also call on the police to investigate the circulation of the forged INEC statement and serve justice to those responsible.”