The creation of a fake WhatsApp group has led to the exchange of words between the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom State.
Report revealed that the group page was created to misinform the public about the activities of APC and to portray top officials of the party in bad light.
The APC also accused the PDP-led state government of stealing and attempting to implement one of the agenda in the manifesto of its governorship candidate, Nsima Ekere.
The chairman of APC in the state, Ini Okopido, while speaking in a press conference at the party’s secretariat in Uyo, alleged that PDP created a fake APC account where key APC leaders were framed to have engaged in dubious and criminal conversations just to mislead the Akwa Ibom people.
Okopido said that APC would not have dignified such act with a response but since it was falsehood bordering on criminality and intellectual theft, the party would not keep quiet.
He said, “I have called you here today to bring to your urgent attention a number of unwholesome activities reportedly carried out by the campaign organization of Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, Divine Mandate. For a long time, the Akwa Ibom State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has ignored a lot of the shenanigans of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state. But when it borders on criminality, assumption of the intellectual property of the APC and the dubious implementation of the manifesto of our candidate for the forthcoming gubernatorial elections, Obong Nsima Ekere, then we feel compelled to respond as a party.
“A few days ago, our attention was drawn to the screenshot of a WhatsApp group, ‘Udom Till 2023,’ where Ini Ememobong, the state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, instructed his people to create a fake APC Account, using key leaders of our party, the APC, to create a fake, dubious and criminal conversation, purporting our party leaders to be engaged in criminal activity.
“Indeed, we have also witnessed the growing spate of blackmails and character assassination which has become a stock-in-trade among the PDP media handlers. We have in our possession another screenshot of this fake WhatsApp group chat, ostensibly signed by PDP agents, but purporting same to have been a conversation between two APC elders, where they claimed that APC gave NANS president and NANS N600,000 to protest against the state government. This is pure criminality.”
On the alleged theft of manifesto. Okopido said, “Few weeks ago we unveiled our manifesto. It was well received by all and sundry, because it contains detailed prescriptions on how APC is going to heal our land and bring prosperity. The governorship candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, Obong Nsima Ekere, had in his speech at the presentation of the manifesto, amongst others declared that he would ensure the immediate reactivation of the Akwa Palm Industries as one of his priorities.
“He also stated that, within the first one hundred days in office as Governor, he would give life to the plantation to immediately throw up thousands of direct and indirect jobs. The place, he said, was a low hanging job creation fruit that would set the tone for massive employment and sustained industrial empowerment of the state.
“Today, what do we have? Governor Udom has rushed to inaugurate a taskforce for the reactivation of that palm project. He gathered students, which he promised N31 million, to march in Uyo for him, promising to start paying bursary after all. We all know how that so called solidarity rally dissolved into fiasco, leading to mayhem, vandalism, injuries and breakdown in law and order. If officers and men of the Nigerian Police Force had not intervened to bring peace, we don’t know what would have happened to Uyo and it’s residents.”
“Only last week, our attention was drawn to the fact that the PDP has also started using the slogan, coined and authored by First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, Future Assured, as their campaign slogan. While I will not speak on behalf of the First Lady, because she has very qualified assistants, including lawyers, I believe it is important to investigate the rightly owner of the copyright of “Future Assured.”
The publicity secretary of PDP, Ini Ememobong, will reacting to the allegation described the allegation by APC chairman as an act of “descending to worse lower levels and a beer parlour conversation”.
Ememobong pointed out that the WhatsApp chats referred to by Ini Okopido were fake and absolutely useless, saying that even a cursory look at the said WhatsApp ‘leak’ will reveal numerous convincing reasons why no reasonable or intelligent person should take the material seriously.
According to him, “Clearly, Ini Okopido has shown the world that he is neither reasonable nor intelligent and this is most pitiable.
“No such WhatsApp group exists (to our knowledge) and never has such imaginary instructions been issued by the State Publicity Secretary. Akwa Ibom people do not need any instigation to reject the APC. When they see what their evil political coven has turned our country into, in addition to the anti-people policies propagated by a party which values the life of cows above human lives.
“The future assured combo is an English construction available in the lexicon for use by all, except where it has been limited by copyright assignment. There is no evidence of such copyright engagement as we speak. However, it must be stated that while the First Lady’s future assured programme is an organization, ours is a commitment and a focus to assure the future of every Akwa Ibom child. We are therefore not in breach of any law, except that promulgated by Ini Okopido and his intellectual misfits.
“On the issue of the reactivation of Akwa palm industries, it is most unfortunate for Ini Okopido to allege that the setting up of the task force for the reactivation of the failed company was an execution of the manifesto of his party’s Governorship candidate. The drive has been the fulcrum of the current administration, which has been religiously pursued since her inception, using a two pronged approach of reactivation of failed industrial concerns and establishment of new industries. In the early days of his administration, the Governor reactivated Peacock paints and has gone on to attract countless industries to the state. This disposition is aptly captured in the five point agenda of the Governor, as published in 2014.
“We challenge Ini Okopido to a debate on governance issues and his party’s proposed solution. Let us engage in an intellectually enriching exercise, instead of this incongruent spasms, which has become Mr. Okopido’s hobby.”
Ememobong also expressed disaffection with the APC Chairman for describing Governor Emmanuel as “clueless”.