By Onyebuchi EzigboÂ in Abuja
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has distanced himself from a fake video purported to be a formal declaration of his intent to contest the 2019 presidential election.
Reacting to the fake video now in circulation, the former Vice President said the video was a bad job of bad people with bad intentions.
In a statement issued on Friday by his media office in Abuja, Atiku said some mischief makers were using a video clip extracted from his 2011 presidential declaration to create a false impression that he formally declared for the 2019 presidential election.
Â He said such propaganda was being deliberately promoted by political opponents in order to create acrimony.
Atiku advised those involved in such “laughable and unintelligent propaganda of lies and intentional mischief to find something useful to do with their time instead of using his name to achieve their malicious political objectives.”
Describing those behind the fake video clip “as a group of incompetent and bumbling political novices who cannot see the loopholes in their own stories”, the former Vice President advised members of the Nigerian press to be wary of uncritically lapping up fake news materials from groups that don’t care about their own credibility.
Â The statement reads:, “While fake news merchants don’t bother about ethics and their reputation, members of the press have more to lose if they take stories from such disreputable groups without verification.â€
The Waziri Adamawa added that spreading false stories about any individual politician was not within the protected boundaries of free speech, and that the traditional media should take the first step by not helping fake news merchants to promote their agenda.