The presidential flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has countered accusations by critics who said his campaign team hired thugs to pose as Christian clergy at Wednesday’s unveiling of the party’s vice presidential candidate, Kashim Shettima.
TOS NEWS reported that the APC unveiled a former Borno State Governor, Senator Shettima as its vice presidential candidate for the 2023 general elections.
The event, which was held at the Shehu Yar’adua centre in Abuja, had in attendance the party’s presidential candidate and former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, party chieftains and religious leaders.
However, viral pictures and videos of the event accused Tinubu of hiring urchins to dress Christain clerics.
A communique by the Director, Media & Communication of his Campaign Organisation, Bayo Onanuga, described the event as an open affair, which allowed members of the public to attend, including the clergymen and some others now being derided by hirelings of the opposition.
The former governor of Lagos also alluded to the viral pictures and videos of the clergymen and women “as unwarranted distractions” by political opponents.
“We want to say that those clergymen were not fake, not mechanics or yam sellers as the purveyors of hatred have made Nigerians believe in the social media. They are not big names in Christendom yet, but they are gradually building up their missions,” it read.
“They are church leaders who genuinely believe that Nigerians must eschew politics of hatred and religious bigotry and rather embrace politics of peace and nation building.”
Tinubu stressed that his social media gathering and buzz was a calculated ploy by those seeking his downfall to distract many from the success of the unveiling.
“The orchestrated social media sensation over the presence of the men is needless and all calculated to detract from the huge success recorded at the momentous event on Wednesday,” he said.