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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

‘Hatchet job’ – Atiku tackles BBC over report on Tinubu’s CSU certificate saga

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, Wednesday night faulted the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) report on President Bola Tinubu’s Chicago State University saga.

The BBC had in a report published by its Global Disinformation Team said there was no evidence the president altered the information in the documents he presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the February 25 election.

The British media organization said the Social Security Number in the transcript from CSU matched what it had in other documents in which Tinubu’s gender was marked as male, among other discoveries that cleared the president on the forgery allegation.

However, in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Public Communications, Phrank Shaibu, the PDP candidate described the report as part of “a hatchet job,” aimed at turning the tide in Tinubu’s favour.

The former Vice President stressed that the BBC report confirmed his earlier warning on the Tinubu administration’s plans to unleash its full propaganda programme on Nigerians.

The statement read: “Sometime last week when the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) issued a final warning to Arise News TV, we pointed out that the Tinubu administration was on the verge of launching a full-blown propaganda and also intimidating ‘uncooperative’ media houses into discrediting and downplaying the CSU scandal. Sadly, we never imagined that it would be the BBC that would become the willing tool.

“It is unconscionable, appalling, and preposterous that in this current information age, a foreign medium of repute could try to bamboozle Nigerians with a jaundiced report when the details are clear for everyone to see. Thank God, young Nigerians have begun filing complaints against the hack writers who decided to soil their names for a bowl of porridge.

READ ALSO: Atiku accuses Tinubu’s aides of twisting facts on his academic records

“We are not ignorant of the machinations of the BBC and its bias towards the current government. It is unfortunate that the BBC is not upholding the same standards as they would uphold in the UK where a Prime Minister was forced out of office for hosting a party during COVID-19. In 2009, columnist Mehdi Hasan wrote in the New Statesman that the BBC was biased ‘towards power and privilege, tradition and orthodoxy.’

“It is no wonder that in the last year, the only news medium that was given exclusive access to interview Tinubu was the BBC. It is sickening that the BBC has decided to surrender its platform to a man who was accused of illegal drug trafficking in the United States.

“In the so-called fact-check report, the BBC decided to bury in the last paragraphs the fact that Tinubu claimed to have attended Government College, Lagos in 1970 when the school was established in 1974. Why didn’t these so-called fact-checkers reflect it on their headline?

“What is the essence of the report when it failed to uncover the most critical questions? If this report was aimed at fact-checking, it should have mentioned the year the certificate was obtained by Tinubu from CSU and if the one he submitted to INEC is the same one he received from CSU.

“Tinubu said at Chatham House that he had received a replacement from CSU when the school said in unambiguous terms that he had not done so. What was the date he applied for his INEC replacement certificate from CSU, and when was it issued to him?

“The investigation was clearly carried out with a predetermined goal, which was to clear Tinubu. But let us ask the BBC if they would employ anyone who has had a case of drug trafficking in the US before and if he had three dates of birth in his official records as well as two different genders as well as attending a secondary school before it was established.”

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