The Oasis Reporters
February 11, 2019
A Press release said to emanate from the APC Presidential Campaign Council and purportedly signed by FESTUS KEYAMO, SAN, FCIArb (UK) Director, Strategic Communications, APC Presidential Campaign Council (Official Spokesperson), has accused the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP of a “desperate plan to launch a series of carefully choreographed fake news every single day till voting day.
According to the ruling party, this is “in a move reminiscent of how the PDP hired Cambridge Analytica in 2015 to scare voters from voting for President Muhammadu Buhari, we understand the PDP is at it again a few days to the actual voting day. This time, sources within the heart of the operations of the PDP and security sources have informed us of plans already concluded by the PDP and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s campaign team to roll out a series of fake news designed again to scare voters from voting for President Muhammadu Buhari. These fake news would consist of doctored videos and audio clips and fake news reports from fake news sites”.
The presidential campaign council says “two of such fake news in the series have already been released through their proxies and nameless individuals. The first is an audio clip of a supposed “nurse” of President Muhammadu Buhari telling voters that the President is sick and cannot govern for another four years. We understand that a Nigerian girl whose real name is Sandra and who used a fake British accent did the said recording somewhere in Maitama in a house belonging to a PDP chieftain. Security operatives are already on her trail.
The second fake news released is on the purported death of Leah Sharibu. This is a lie from the pit of hell as the Federal Government’s effort to set her free has reached an advanced stage”.
As alarming as the fake news problem would seem, Nigeria’s say many of them watched President Muhammadu Buhari in a media chat not looking as spritely as they would have loved to see him look, which is slightly unfair, as the president is said to be in his late seventies and has been in and out of hospital in the UK for much of his four year tenure.
In one of the live television programs viewed nationwide and world wide through You-tube channels, the president was seen struggling with the understanding of some questions that had to be repeatedly rephrased and some of his answers bore little correlation with some of the questions asked.
A Nigerian international television journalist, Adeola Fayehun in her program, Keeping It Real, showed video clips of the president slipping on the probably exhaustive campaign trail, in the ritual of having to face mammoth crowds, giving the impression of physical inability.
But any video from any nurse is bound to be greeted with scepticism, since medical personnel do not usually reveal records of their patients. Even the cost or nature of President Buhari’s ailment and treatment in London is not known publicly .
Rather than rely on such purported videos, Nigerians would most likely depend on live television images at interviews, receptions and campaign physical performances of the president they saw with their eyes and the facial expressions of people who were with him on each campaign podium.
On the issue of Leah Sharibu, the only girl still in Boko Haram Islamist captivity for her refusal to renounce Christianity, Nigerians see it as gladdening news that plans have “reached an advanced stage” to effect the release of the young teenage girl. President Muhammadu Buhari would gain a few more votes if indeed Leah Sharibu is released before voting day on Saturday, to join her Muslim counterparts in school, who were released earlier on. Nigerians seem to have gone beyond promises, as tortuous as negotiations with the Islamist insurgents go