Labour Party’s Presidential Candidate for the 2023 General Elections, Mr. Peter Obi, has strongly refuted a photo circulating online that purportedly shows him alongside Mr. Simon Ekpa, a pro-Biafra agitator based in Finland.
The denial came through a statement issued by Mr. Diran Onifade, the Head of the Obi-Datti Media Office, on Thursday in Lagos.
The photo in question, according to Onifade, has been doctored to mislead the public and damage Mr. Obi’s reputation. He explained that the manipulators inserted Aisha Yesufu, a well-known supporter and rights activist, to add credibility to the false narrative.
In addressing the situation, Onifade highlighted the advancements in digital technology, emphasizing that photos can now be easily manipulated to create deceptive stories. He expressed concern about the growing trend of using such tactics to spread false information.
The statement clarified that the original photo was taken on a Virgin Flight, showing Mr. Obi with an admirer on Friday, July 21, 2023, unrelated to Mr. Simon Ekpa. Additionally, Mr. Obi had already discredited the sit-at-home actions orchestrated by certain elements in the region, which have led to loss of lives and property.
Onifade called for a thorough investigation into such malicious acts, as they pose a threat to public discourse and undermine the credibility of genuine political discussions. He urged the nation’s parliament to consider studying and addressing the handling of these crimes.
In a separate incident, Mr. Onifade highlighted another scam where Mr. Peter Obi was falsely portrayed as providing free data and airtime to celebrate his 62nd birthday. He warned the public to be cautious and not fall victim to such fraudulent schemes.
Onifade expressed dismay that some individuals with vested interests are attempting to tarnish Mr. Obi’s political reputation by associating him with Mr. Ekpa. He stressed that Mr. Obi’s primary focus is on transforming Nigeria and addressing the prevailing economic challenges to uplift the nation from poverty.
Rather than indulging in baseless attacks on Mr. Obi, Onifade urged the country to pay attention to his visionary leadership and explore his ideas to shape a better future for Nigeria. He emphasized the need for constructive engagement and genuine efforts to address the nation’s pressing issues.