Atiku Group Sponsoring Fake News against Military, Says Buhari Media Team

Niyi Akinsiju

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has alleged that the avalanche of fake news, especially on social media, targeted at the Nigerian military is the handiwork of Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar and his media organisation.

The group stated that recent untrue claims of terrorists’ attacks on the military, desertion by police personnel, allegations of corruption scandals in the military hierarchy and the resurfacing of a 2014 claim by soldiers of lack of weaponry were sponsored fake news by Atiku.

In a statement signed by Niyi Akinsiju and Cassidy Madueke, Chairman and Secretary respectively, BMO stated that the Atiku Abubakar campaign, having no issues to bring forward, has resorted to sponsoring fake news items aimed at tarnishing the image of Nigeria’s Armed Forces and security personnel.

“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.”

It noted that “the PDP campaign, finding no fault in the leadership of the Nigerian Army, had began 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 also said a recent report by an American firm that the recently killed former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Vice Marshal Alex Badeh, was murdered 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 a cost of $90,000 per 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.”

“In addition to this is the hiring of foreign trolls to man their online handles in a way that is against national interest.

“The whole aim is to destroy national institutions including Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and cause confusion after realising that they have lost the contest even before the votes are cast.

“This goes to emphasise the fact that Mr. Abubakar does not have Nigeria’s interest at heart and must be kept far away from the seat of power”.

BMO also accused the PDP presidential candidate’s media handlers of lying when they claimed that President Buhari has a record of trafficking illicit funds.

“It is a blatant lie that Atiku Abubakar, as head of Customs at the Lagos airport in 1984 stopped the ADC of the then Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, from smuggling in 53 suitcases of looted money.

“This is a matter that was settled back then. The suitcases were the personal belonging of the then Nigerian Ambassador to Libya who was returning to the country after his tour of duty with his three wives and sixteen children.

“The late Ambassador was coming into the country at the same time as the Emir of Gwandu whose son was General Buhari’s ADC and his suitcases were falsely presented to the public as those of the Emir.

“So, from all indications, the suitcases which were cleared through Customs by soldiers had nothing to do with Buhari and there was nothing to suggest that illicit funds were being brought into the country.”

The group urged Nigerians to be cautious of the opposition party in the run-up to the 2019 presidential elections.

“Nigerians must be wary in the coming weeks. The party which has no agenda to sell would continue promoting lies on the social media,” the group added.