By Umar Muhammad Puma
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has alleged that the slew 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 fake claims of terrorists’ attacks on our 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 are sponsored fake news by the opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar.
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.
According to BMO, “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 current 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 highlighted that a recent report by an American firm making un-backed claims that the recently slain former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Vice Marshal Alex Badeh, was killed 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 $90,000 a 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 INEC, and cause confusion after realizing that they have lost the contest even before the votes are cast.
“This goes to emphasize the fact that Mr. Abubakar does not have Nigeria’s interest at heart and must be kept far away from the seat of power.
“The PDP has nothing to sell to Nigerians. It has a candidate who is notorious for corruption allegations and is distrusted across the globe; asides being the candidate of a party responsible for the pillage of Nigeria’s treasury.”
The group called on Nigerians to be wary of Atiku and his party as they would begin promoting fake news items in attempts to compare the Buhari administration to their horrid past.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 BMO 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 media. It would, like one of its recent converts, begin to trivialise the impact of corruption and even attempt to normalize it. Nigerians must fight and reject this.”