By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
Former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, yesterday, told Nigerian politicians to stop using her name to advance their objectives.
She said through a statement by her Media Adviser, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, that fake newspaper articles, quotations and audios were being circulated in her name and that the public should disregard them.
According to her, such materials can only be genuine if they are directly from her Twitter handle.
The statement read: “In spite of several rebuttals and clarifications that we have issued over the past months, some groups and individuals are still misusing the name of former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to further partisan political objectives.
“We would like to alert Nigerians that this unfortunate practice has increased significantly in this political season.
“This misuse of the minister’s name comes in many forms. There are fake newspaper articles published under her name. Fake quotations canvassing certain views which are falsely attributed to her. Even fake audios in which someone pretends to be the former finance minister have been going round. Most of these are typically disseminated on WhatsApp and other forms of social media.
“In one recent example, a video of the minister was cleverly edited, leaving out crucial information and context to give a totally false impression.
“These shenanigans are designed to give the impression that she supports one particular political interest or position or the other. We urge Nigerians to ignore these mischievous antics by political peddlers of fiction.”
“Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is very capable of speaking for herself if and when she wants to and does not need the help of anyone to do that.
“In this political season of forged and fake news, we urge the media and the public to crosscheck the authenticity of any quotations, articles, audios and videos attributed to Dr Okonjo-Iweala before giving them credence or going public with them. If it does not come directly from Dr Okonjo-Iweala’s twitter account, then kindly discount it.”