The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council, on Tuesday morning, denied issuing a statement to apologise to a former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, over the use of his photograph in a documentary on the party’s presidential flagbearer, Bola Tinubu.
At a roundtable with editors organised by the Front Fort Media Initiative and the MacArthur Foundation in Lagos recently, Duke had called out the APC for using his image in Tinubu’s documentary.
The former Cross River governor said the APC and its campaign team allegedly used his photograph as a 12-year-old as that of Tinubu in a documentary titled ‘The Nation Builder.’
The APC presidential council in statement issued last night disowned the earlier statement, saying it is a fake news meant to create confusion and mislead the public.
The statement allegedly credited to the PCC Director of Media and Publicity, Bayo Onanuga, exonerated the campaign council of blame, while admitting that the mix-up of Duke’s picture with Young Tinubu was a “honest mistake”.
It read, “We have taken note of the video in circulation where former Rivers State Governor, Mr. Donald Duke, said his picture as a 12-year old boy and student of the Federal Government Secondary School in Sokoto was used in a documentary to celebrate Asíwájú Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“Our investigation further revealed that the picture in question has also surfaced in some of our campaign materials, on websites and Twitter accounts of Asíwájú supporters, along with a similar photo of besuited Asíwájú donning an Afrohair popular in the 70s and 80s.
“No one, and not even Asiwaju’s personal photographers and the artists who designed the materials, have been able to explain how the photo was mixed up with the other photo, that represents Asíwájú’s teenage years. They all said they got both photographs in Google search.
“We have called Governor Donald Duke to apologise for the unintentional mix-up and the error. The usage was a honest mistake for which all involved have accepted responsibility.
“We want to make it abundantly clear that Asíwájú Tinubu did not authorise the appropriation of another person’s image as his own.
“We also want to absolve the presidential campaign council of any blame.
“To the traducers, who have been attacking Asíwájú Tinubu for what he knew nothing about, we want to appeal to them to be reasonable over this matter.
“We are in a campaign season where many supporters go out of their ways to produce jingles, documentaries, posters, billboard materials and other promotional materials without the approval of candidates across political parties. The campaign council has in the meantime established a process for clearance and approval by individuals and support groups who seek to produce campaign materials for media use.”
“We urge the media and members of the public to disregard the statement as a fake news designed to create confusion and mislead the public.”
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