2023 Presidency: Campaign Group Raises Alarm Over Plot To Malign Osinbajo
The Osinbajo for President Media Council has raised an alarm over an alleged plot to malign the reputation of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who is in the race for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the coming general elections.
In a statement on Tuesday, the council explained that the purported plan had been traced to a group of smear campaigners led by a Nigerian based in the United States.
It also identified the said leader of the group as a former Students Union President at the University of Lagos who is currently a lecturer at the University of Ohio, US.
According to the council, the group plans to use fake audio of faceless individuals to portray Osinbajo, a Christian, as a religious fanatic who discriminated against staff of other faith while he served as the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State.
It said no such incident occurred and described the video as a malicious and wicked attempt to tarnish the qualities of the Vice President because of his presidential aspirations.
The council, however, stressed that Professor Osinbajo has always demonstrated himself to be a tolerant Nigerian who believes in inter-faith harmony and Freedom of Worship, as enshrined in the Constitution.
Read the full statement below:
The Osinbajo for President Media Council has uncovered yet another fraudulent plan to malign the reputation of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria and a Presidential Aspirant on the platform of the APC.
The plot has been traced to a cell of smear campaigners, led by a US-based Nigerian who was formerly a Students Union President at the University of Lagos. The same individual is currently a lecturer at the University of Ohio in the USA.
The plan is to use fake audio of faceless individuals with fictitious names to cast the Vice President, who is a Christian, as a religious fanatic, who discriminated against staff of other faith while he was Attorney-General & 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 cover for women, otherwise known as the hijab, to work.
As observed by someone who was in the same Ministry at the time Osinbajo served as Attorney-General, no such incident ever occurred, and this is just a malicious and wicked attempt to sully the sterling qualities of Prof. Osinbajo because of his Presidential aspirations.
Indeed, as Attorney-General, Prof Osinbajo’s Secretary, a Muslim, Alhaji Abdul Gafar Bakare, had testified before now that the then Lagos AGF “did not only encourage me to further my education even at my relatively old age, he personally sponsored my BSc Accounting Program.” He added that the VP also sponsored his foreign travel then.
It would be recalled that similar smear campaigns were unleashed against President Muhammadu Buhari, especially during the 2014-15 Presidential campaigns, when it was alleged that he was virulently anti-Christian. The attempt, however, met with failure.
Even though a Christian Pastor, Prof Osinbajo has always demonstrated himself to be a tolerant Nigerian who believes in inter-faith harmony and Freedom of Worship as enshrined in the Nigerian 1989 Constitution as amended.
During his career as a university teacher, he taught Moslems and Christians alike in a convivial atmosphere. He also had excellent working and private relationships with Muslim bosses over the decades, including Judge Bola Ajibola, Former Governor Tinubu, and President Muhammadu Buhari. Osinbajo remains a firm believer in Nigeria’s diversity and an ardent proponent 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 detractors and urge everyone to ignore the same when released to the public.
Signed: Media Council
April 19, 2022