By Lanre Oloyede
Director, Media and Public Affairs and Official Spokesperson, of APC Presidential Campaign Council, Barr Festus Keyamo, has debunked a report circulating on social media suggesting that the APC presidential candidate is withdrawing from the 2023 presidential race on health grounds.
Keyamo, in a statement issued Monday said the post is false and misleading, alleging that the post was being peddled by supporters of the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria maintained that the APC presidential candidate is strong, healthy and fit enough for the coming campaigns, adding that the opposition will hear loud and clear from him soon.
Keyamo, who is the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, also debunked an allegation credited to supporters of Mr Obi accusing an amorphous and non-existent “Tinubu’s Group” of spreading a Whatsapp message calling on the Yoruba not to vote for him.
He said, “Our attention has been drawn to an offensive, hate-filled video made and circulated by the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, in which he accused an amorphous and non-existent “Tinubu’s Group” of spreading a Whatsapp message calling on the Yoruba not to vote for him. The purported message, according to Mr. Obi, forewarned the Yoruba that a vote for Peter Obi would be a vote for a seaport in South/South and South/East.
“For the avoidance of doubt, this is a transcript of the so-called message as relayed by Mr. Peter Obi:
“Yoruba shine your eyes o, if you vote for Peter Obi, it is automatically voting for seaports in South South and South East. The Igbos will stop coming to Lagos State to invest, rather they will go to Delta and Rivers States, they may even stop building houses in Lagos. It will affect a lot of Yorubas. Yoruba ro nu o.”
“Firstly, we vehemently deny the existence of any of such “Tinubu group” that made and circulated such a message. All groups supporting the APC Presidential Candidate and his running-mate have clear designations with well-known promoters. In addition, it is only messages released by the APC Presidential Campaign Council that are officially authorized and for which we take responsibility.
“We challenge Mr. Peter Obi to reveal the source and name(s) behind that nebulous Whatsapp message.
“We wish to state that it is obvious Mr. Peter Obi deliberately concocted that message and circulated that offensive video himself as a campaign strategy in order to come across as a victim of some kind of ethnic agenda, whereas in truth, he is the real agent provocateur of an ethnic agenda.
“As the take-off date for campaigns draw closer, Mr. Peter Obi has suddenly realised that Nigerians are beginning to burst his bubbles as his messages are bereft of ideas, depth and clear-cut solutions to our challenges. His messages are only full of false data and highfalutin jargons in what is clearly a disingenuous ruse to distract a scrutiny of his empty records as a Governor of Anambra State and nothing else, hence his easy recourse to playing ethnic card and fanning the ember of hate.
“We have it on good authority that part of the “U.S Strategy” (just like the failed “Dubai Strategy” his former boss and himself adopted in 2019) was to return to the country and spread ethnic hatred amongst the voters and cause chaos, then pose as the victim. They have just kick-started that plot by orchestrating and circulating the said video.