By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – Days after the opposition Peoples Democratic Party PDP accused the ruling All Progressives Congress APC of being the originator of fake news in Nigeria and elevating it as a statecraft, the APC has now reacted, accusing the PDP of behaving like a “crybaby”, and spewing falsehoods daily.
In a statement Wednesday in Abuja, National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu said the ruling party supports ongoing global media attention and efforts to check the proliferation of fake news particularly as the country gears up for campaigns ahead of the 2019 elections
APC said the consequences of fake news are often dire as it inflames perceived divisions in communities, fuels hate speech, leads to violence and distorts democratic processes, among others.
“Disturbingly”, APC said “the country’s main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its discredited agents, have continued to deploy the loathsome strategy of fake news, misinformation and distortion of facts as focal campaign strategies for the 2019 elections”.
Speaking further, the ruling party said; “While the APC is not surprised at the PDP’s typical theatrics in an attempt to evade scrutiny for its 16 years of misgovernance, it is instructive to the electorate that no lessons have been learnt by the prodigal party. It is indeed clear to the electorate that the PDP is not a party to either be trusted or taken seriously as it has missed out on the opportunity to apologise and show remorse for the cruelty it wrought on our country while in power.
What we witness instead is its weekly disgraceful and embarrassing shadow chasing through fake news and spurious allegations. PDP cannot pull the wool over the eyes of the good people of this country. It can cry wolf for all it cares, Nigerians won’t be deceived. PDP remains a damaged product showing no regret for its retrogressive old practices which brought the country to its knees in terms of our infrastructure, economy, security, values and standing among nations of the world.
“Instead of engaging the electorate on serious issues of development such as health, education, economy, foreign policy, security, corruption, pension, job creation, infrastructure development among others, the PDP and its agents have chosen to populate the mainstream and social media space with ludicrous fake news and infantile conspiracy theories, moving from one absurdity to another.
“While the PDP ups its game as a crybaby, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration is busy building a new Nigeria for our collective progress, peace, unity and prosperity.
We are restoring our country to its deserved standing among the comity of progressive nations; fighting corruption and repairing our value system, diversifying our economic revenue base, creating jobs and economic opportunities for Nigerians, particularly the poor; bringing succor to the insurgency-ravaged North-East; reforming the oil industry, power, defence, pensions, and other critical sectors; creating a world-class transportation system, amongst others”.
The PDP had recently asked the APC to apologize to Nigerians for riding to power using propaganda, accusing the ruling party of being the harbinger of fake news.