Presidential campaign council of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has cleared the air on a video showing the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and his running mate, Kashim Shettima, giving out money to a disabled elderly gentleman, saying it was a show of kindness and not bribe as being peddled in certain quarters.
In the two-minute video which went viral on social media, Tinubu and Shettima were seen giving crispy naira notes to a physically challenged man during a meeting with people living with disabilities (PLWDs) in Abuja.
The video sparked negative reactions, with members of the opposition, including former presidential aide, Reno Omokri and spokesperson of Labour Party presidential candidate, Emeka Obasi accusing Tinubu of brazen act of corruption.
But explaining the content of the video, the APC campaign team described as “dishonest, erroneous and incorrect narrative” the claim that it was an act of bribery, whereas Tinubu and Shettima were merely extending a cloak of kindness to the young man in the video.
The deputy spokesperson of the APC presidential campaign council, Barrister Hannatu Musawa, yesterday, absolved her principal of any wrongdoing saying the negative comments trailing the video are misrepresentation of a harmless clip she posted of her “principals giving alms and charity to a poor and disabled elderly gentleman.”
According to Barrister Musawa, instead of commending the act of kindness demonstrated by Tinubu and Shetima towards a disabled man in need, the opposition chose to spin the narrative to reflect an act of bribery and corruption.
She said, “My attention has been drawn to the dishonest, erroneous and incorrect narrative spun by unctuous, dissipated, debauched and desperate elements within the opposition to turn a perfectly innocent video I posted of a kind act I witnessed my Principals carrying out into something mendacious and devious.
“A few days ago, I attended a gathering with the presidential candidate of the APC Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his running mate, Alhaji Kashim Shetima where they had a robust engagement with persons with disability.
“During the event, our principals had the opportunity to interact with a poor and disabled elderly gentleman. Borne purely out of compassion, my principals spoke to this gentleman, listened to him and performed the tenant of charity and alms giving towards him.
“As I watched this tender moment between the three men, I wanted to capture it and show the world the empathy that organically runs through the veins of my principals, and that raw spirit of charity that they both imbibe.”
Noting that she did not share the video clip in error, Musawa explained that she shared the video to tell a compassionate and compelling story of leadership as depicted by Tinubu and Shettima.
She regretted that the opposition has refused to engage in issue-based campaigns and are now grasping at straws by adopting extreme methods to stay relevant.
The deputy spokesperson said, “I posted the video, not out of mistake, but with the intention of telling the compassionate story of the empathetic leadership that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, supported by Alhaji Kashim Shetima will surely give to Nigeria after they emerge victorious in the upcoming election, by the grace of The Almighty.
“As I watch the negative chronicle being spun by the opposition Svengali’s, trying to enforce a specific negative narrative on the public, it is clear that the falsehood being spread stems from the devious imagination and wicked machinations of a desperate and self combusting opposition.
“I would have dismissed the musings as the rantings of an inconsequential opposition. However, I am compelled to make this response because of innocent Nigerians that may be misled by such devious rhetoric.”
“I have thorough confidence that, come February 25th 2023, Nigerians will exercise their constitutional right and resoundingly vote for the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the 17th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Urging Nigerians to disregard any fabrication attached to the video, she implored them to “rather concentrate on collectively working to move our nation forward by making the upcoming voting exercise the freest and fairest elections Nigeria will ever have.”