Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 election, has raised the alarm over alleged plans by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to unleash a regime of propaganda as a policy of the state in the coming days.
Atiku’s Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, said in a statement on Sunday that the fake news regarding the lifting of the visa ban by the United Arab Emirates was just a “tip of the iceberg”.
Shaibu noted that Tinubu had already appointed numerous media aides allegedly with the aim of pushing misinformation as a policy of the state and distracting Nigerians from the deep pains his administration has caused them, adding that this has always been Tinubu’s style from his days as governor of Lagos and leader of his party.
“From information available to us, Bola Tinubu is set to push propaganda to overdrive as he heads out for the United Nations General Assembly,” noted Shaibu. “He will claim to have attracted foreign investments amounting to $100bn but will fail to provide key details. It is all propaganda.
“It is all a load of baloney. In India, he claimed they had received pledges of over $14bn just as his predecessor, President Muhammadu Buhari, claimed in 2018 that he had secured pledges of up to $6bn. This is nothing but audio investments.
“Last month, the NNPC claimed to have obtained a loan of $3bn with which it would help stabilise the naira. We raised the alarm that it was all a ruse to deceive Nigerians. Now, we have been justified as the naira is now approaching $1 to N1,000 on the black market.
“After his trip to the UAE, Tinubu claimed the visa ban had been lifted immediately. Now, they have shifted the goalpost after the UAE authorities revealed that the news was false. This is the sort of embarrassment Nigeria will continue to attract in this season of balablu.”
He added: “The report by FTSE revealed that Tinubu’s so-called FX unification policy was failing and Nigeria was degraded from frontier market to unclassified. Having failed to bring economic rebirth, he has now recruited over 15 media aides instead of recruiting more economic experts.
“His list of media aides include: Ajuri Ngelale (Special Adviser Media and Publicity); Tunde Rahman (SSAP Media); Tope Ajayi (SSAP Media and Publicity); Abdulaziz Abdulaziz (SSAP Print Media); Otega Ogara (SSAP Digital/New Media); Segun Dada (SAP Social Media); Nosa Asemota (SAP Visual Communications); Sunday Moses (PA Videography); Taiwo Okonlawon (PA State photography); Moremi Ojudu (SAP, community engagement southwest); Tanko Yakasai (SAP, community engagement northwest); Chioma Nweze (SAP, community engagement southeast)., Abiodun Essiet (SAP, community engagement north-central); Abdulhamid Yahaya Abba (SAP, community engagement northeast); Emmanuella Eduozor (SAP Multimedia content production). This is apart from the minister of information and others appointed in the ministry to drive the propaganda agenda.”
Shaibu said it was laughable that Tinubu, who vowed to hit the ground running from the first day, had held only one cabinet meeting since his inauguration nearly 120 days ago.
He asked Nigerians to remain patient as the Supreme Court prepares to commence work on the election petition appeal.
“Tinubu removed the petrol subsidy without any plan whatsoever and decided to hand over a few bags of rice to millions of poor Nigerians. Till date, the minimum wage remains N30,000 or $31 per month based on the parallel market exchange rate,” he said.
“This is the punishment Nigerians are facing because the election management body failed to do its work on February 25. This is a manifestation of the words of the Holy Book, which says when the righteous lead, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people suffer.
“In the meantime, we ask Nigerians to remain patient as the judicial authorities do their job in righting the electoral fraud that has brought Nigerians to their knees.”