Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has discredited a viral audio clip on social media claiming that he and Governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State planned to rig the presidential election. Atiku’s statement, issued by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, denounced the clip as baseless propaganda, and a confirmation of his earlier warning about increased propaganda as the election approaches.
Shaibu noted that the audio clip had manipulated and stitched together various speeches delivered by Atiku, Tambuwal, and Okowa to falsely create an impression that they planned to rig the election. He further clarified that Atiku, who had contested in two previous presidential elections, had never been accused or prosecuted for election violence or vote buying.
Atiku noted that the audio clip is easily identifiable as fake, even from the tone of the supposed discussants. He condemned the tactics used by those seeking power and urged his supporters not to engage in such propaganda wars.
Atiku emphasized the importance of rebuilding the country’s broken system, revitalizing the economy, and improving security, all of which require a united Nigeria. He called on security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remain neutral and ensure a fair election.
Atiku further urged them to go after the perpetrators of the false audio clip in line with the Electoral Act. The Act prescribes a fine of up to N100,000 or a six-month jail term or both for publishing false statements calculated to prejudice a candidate’s election chances or to promote another candidate’s chances.