GOVERNOR Yahaya Bello has reassured supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of his unalloyed support for the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
He condemned a Sunday publication claiming that he has withdrawn support for Tinubu, describing it as fake news. He demanded that regulatory bodies regarding journalism practice live up to their responsibilities.
Speaking to Channels Television, Bello who is the National Youth Coordinator of the Tinubu/Shettima Campaign Council, also reminded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that they are empowered by the 2022 Electoral Act to investigate and prosecute election fake news peddlers.
“I woke up to see that fake news in the air today. It’s most unfortunate and I am urging all the law enforcement agents and all regulatory bodies regarding journalism and media practitioners that are practicing in Nigeria to please live up to their responsibilities.
“The current electoral empowers even INEC to investigate things like this and prosecute the liars, those who perpetrate fake news, especially as far as this election is concerned.
“Let me further reassure millions of Nigerian youths and Nigerians, our followers and supporters across the world that I remain a very supportive, ardent supporter, mobilizer, campaigner, and driver of votes for our leader and president in the waiting Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the flag bearer of our great party the All Progressives Congress and my own brother, His Excellency Kashim Shettima,” Bello said.
He said it is incumbent on law enforcement agencies to take action against those behind the publication, while also demanding that the publication be retracted within 24 hours. He threatened legal action should the publishers fail to retract the publication.
MEANWHILE, a statement issued on Sunday by its director of media and publicity, Kingsley Fanwo, the APC Presidential Campaign Council said the publication was made with the intention of undermining Bello’s support for Tinubu and was in bad faith.
The council insisted that the governor has effectively mobilized the people of the state to deliver at least 95 votes to the former Lagos State governor in the election.
The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to a spurious, malicious, and badly delivered hatchet job on the front page of the Sunday Tribune of January 22, 2023, saying Governor Yahaya Bello has withdrawn his support for the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“The publication was done in bad faith to create distrust, acrimony and chaos in the party by people who are desperately trying to disparage the unbending commitment of the Governor to the success of the All Progressives Congress in the presidential election.
“Governor Yahaya Bello’s unflinching commitment to the campaign is not in doubt among committed stakeholders of the APC at all levels. He is constantly on the drawing board, galvanizing Kogites and youths across Nigeria to massively support the man he calls the President-in-Waiting, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“This will definitely not go down well with open and veiled detractors of our Presidential candidate, who would go to any length to paint a picture of crisis where there is absolutely none.
“Governor Yahaya Bello will continue to work assiduously for the resounding success of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the February polls to the consternation and disappointment of those who are desperately working to create a storm in a teacup for selfish reasons.
“We, however, wish to call on the media to avoid being tools in the hands of desperate politicians in their efforts to assassinate the characters of well-meaning Nigerians.”