Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has distanced himself from a video purporting to be a formal declaration of his intent to contest the 2019 presidential election.
His media office said the video “is fake news.”
The statement by his office said the video is a “bad job of bad people with bad intentions.”
According to Atiku, who is likely to launch his presidential bid anytime from today, some mischief makers are using a video clip extracted from his 2011 presidential declaration to create a false impression that he formally declared for the 2019 presidential election.
He said such propaganda is being deliberately promoted by political opponents in order to create acrimony.
Atiku advised those involved in such “laughable and unintelligent propaganda of lies and intentional mischief to find something useful to do with their time instead of using his name to achieve their malicious political objectives.”
Describing those behind the fake video clip “as a group of incompetent and bumbling political novices who cannot see the loopholes in their own stories”, the former Vice President advised members of the Nigerian press to be wary of uncritically lapping up fake news materials from groups that don’t care about their own credibility.
He explained that, “While fake news merchants don’t bother about ethics and their reputation”, members of the press have more to lose if they take stories from such disreputable groups without verification.
The Waziri Adamawa added that spreading false stories about any individual politician is not within the protected boundaries of free speech, and that the traditional media should take the first step by not helping fake news merchants to promote their agenda.
Atiku however did not categorically rule out a bid for the presidency in 2019.
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