Plot to smear Osinbajo as an exposed religious fanatic ― Media Council
A plot to smear Vice President and presidential candidate under the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as a religious fanatic has come to light.
It comes just as the media office of former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu also alleged that the presidential aspirant was the target of profanity campaign material.
A statement issued Tuesday by the Osinbajo for the Presidential Media Council described the plot as fraudulent and intended to slander the vice president through false testimonies of discrimination against women wearing the hijab.
According to the statement, the plot was attributed to a cell of militants led by a Nigerian based in the United States.
He alleged the plan was to use fake audio recordings of faceless individuals with fictitious names to cast the vice president as a religious fanatic who, as a Christian, discriminated against staff of another faith while serving as Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State. during the tenure of former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
While alerting Nigerians to the plot, the council claimed that Osinbajo, even as a Christian, has always shown tolerance as he believes in interfaith harmony and freedom.
The statement read: “The Osinbajo for President Media Council has uncovered another fraudulent scheme aimed at damaging the reputation of Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria and presidential aspirant on the platform of the APC.
“The plan is to use fake audio recordings of faceless individuals with fictitious names to portray the vice president, who is a Christian, as a religious zealot, who discriminated against staff of another faith while he was Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State during the tenure of former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“In the fake video, a woman is seen crying and making frantic allegations that she was discriminated against by the then Attorney General because she was not allowed to wear the Muslim head covering. for women, otherwise known as hijab, to work.
“As observed by someone who was in the same ministry when Osinbajo was attorney general, no such incident has ever happened and it is only a malicious and perverse attempt to sully the excellent qualities of Professor Osinbajo because of his presidential aspirations.
“Indeed, as Attorney General, Secretary of Professor Osinbajo, a Muslim, Alhaji Abdul Gafar Bakare had already testified that the Lagos AG at the time ‘not only encouraged me to continue my education even at my age relatively advanced, he personally sponsored my BSc in Accounting. Program.’ He added that the vice president also sponsored his overseas trip at the time.
“It should be recalled that similar smear campaigns were launched against President Muhammadu Buhari, particularly during the 2014-2015 presidential campaigns, when it was alleged that he was violently anti-Christian. The attempt, however, ended in failure.
“Even though he is a Christian pastor, Prof. Osinbajo has always proven himself to be a tolerant Nigerian who believes in interfaith harmony and freedom of worship as enshrined in the 1999 Nigerian Constitution as amended. During his career as a university professor, he taught both Muslims and Christians in a friendly atmosphere.
“He also had excellent working and private relationships with Muslim patrons over the decades, including Justice Bola Ajibola, former Governor Tinubu and President Muhammadu Buhari. Osinbajo remains a staunch supporter of Nigeria’s diversity and a staunch defender of Nigerian unity.
“For these reasons, the Media Council feels the need to alert the general public to the odious campaign strategy of Osinbajo’s critics and to urge everyone to ignore it when it becomes public.”
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• Activists targeting Tinubu with blasphemous material ― Media Office
In a separate statement, the Tinubu media office warned that a poster seeking to use the biblical story of Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus was an attempt to drag the APC national leader into a storm of blasphemy. .
He said the intention of those who created the campaign was to provoke anger against Tinubu and his presidential ambition.
According to the statement, the campaign failed because Tinubu, a known Muslim, showed words and deeds, religious tolerance and accommodation.
The statement read: “The orchestrated setting up of a poster campaign seeking to use a literary application of the biblical story of Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus Christ to embroil Asiwaju Tinubu in a storm of blasphemy is buffoonery. the most desperate of anti-tinubu propagandists. lately.
“Our investigations revealed that those who created the offending poster were the same people who created the counter-campaign alleging blasphemy. Their design is to use both to cause anger against the person and Asiwaju Tinubu’s aspiration.
“This campaign has failed. This is clearly irresponsible and callous political propaganda that seeks to exploit religious sentiments to manipulate public perception against Asiwaju Tinubu, who is apparently the most formidable presidential aspirant in this race.
“It is well known that Asiwaju Tinubu is married not only to a Christian but to an ordained pastor, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, and has developed a very deep brotherly relationship with Christendom at all levels, a fact recognized by many bishops , pastors and parishioners over the years. .
“A well-known Muslim, Asiwaju, in word and deed has shown religious tolerance and accommodation. He believes in that cardinal principle of the Nigerian Constitution that no one should be discriminated against on the basis of creed or opinion.
“Furthermore, as a former Governor of Lagos, a state which is a microcosm of Nigeria in terms of religious diversity, his matured management of religion as a way of life ensured inter-religious harmony in the state the most industrialized in Nigeria.
“It is therefore impudent to envisage that a statesman of the stature of Asiwaju Tinubu will tolerate biblical allusions which could denigrate his person or his status. These basic facts were ignored by those desperate to pit Muslims against Christians through deliberate misinformation to the general public.
“While we will continue to call on the people of Nigeria to ignore these slander campaigns, we reiterate our commitment to prioritize our political communication over exposing the truth and spreading our views with decency and consideration. feelings of Nigerians.
“It’s an irreducible minimum for us. We urge others to join us in this patriotic mission avoiding desperation and verbal abuse in the campaign for the nation’s highest office. »