The All Progressives Congress has described as false, a report that the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has withdrawn his support for the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
A front-page story in a national daily (Not The PUNCH) stated that the governor had “tactically” withdrawn his support over imagined permutations in the Kogi State governorship election scheduled for November this year.
In a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Felix Morka, the party described the story as “maliciously false and a figment of the imagination of its author and sponsors.”
The statement further read, “Governor Yahaya Bello, who serves as the National Youth Coordinator of the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, is a solid, resourceful, and committed campaigner for our party’s candidate, leading a massively successful outreach to youth voters across the country.
“This fake news ostensibly intended to float an imagined rift between Governor Yahaya Bello and Honourable James Faleke, Secretary of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, is the desperate and disgraceful conjecture of opposition elements unsettled by our party’s giant campaign strides. Both loyal party men are unquestionably committed and working tirelessly for the resounding victory of Bola Tinubu in next month’s presidential election.
“We urge our party compatriots and all Nigerians to disregard this fake news.”
In a separate statement, the Kogi State Commissioner for Information and the Director of Media and Publicity, Kogi State APC Campaign Council, Kingsley Fanwo, tagged the report as one done in bad faith, saying the story was “spurious, malicious, and a badly delivered hatchet job.”
Fanwo, however, assured the public that Bello’s commitment to the campaign was not in doubt among committed stakeholders of the APC at all levels.
He said, “GYB is constantly on the drawing board, galvanising Kogites and youths across Nigeria to massively support the man he calls the President-in-Waiting, Senator Bola Tinubu.
“This will not go down well with open and veiled detractors of our presidential candidate, who would go to any length to paint a picture of crisis where there is absolutely none.
“Aside from winning and sustaining the support of the majority of Nigerian youths for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Governor Yahaya Bello has effectively mobilised Kogites to deliver not less than 95% of Kogi votes to the presidential candidate of our party. It is therefore not a surprise that those who want to share in the glory of the impending landslide victory without contributing to the efforts are hiding behind “the evils of journalistic anonymity’ to cause disaffection,” he noted.