Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate and former vice president Atiku Abubakar of hiring an American lobbyist Brian Ballard to spread fake news against Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari capable of threatening national security.
“Atiku Abubakar’s desperation knows no bounds; his recent move to sponsor narrative through fake news that paints Nigeria’s security personnel as weak and incapable of carrying out their duties is an example of the PDP candidate’s desperation and lack of patriotism,” BMO said in a statement signed by its chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and secretary, Cassidy Madueke
“It is shameful that a former vice president of Nigeria would procure the service of an American lobby firm to sponsor fake news aimed at attacking the morale and credibility of Nigeria’s armed forces.”
Prior to BMO’s claims, Abubakar had denied hiring a foreign media consultant, David Pride, who claimed to have been contracted by the Atiku Campaign.
But Buhari media team named Brian Ballard as lobbyist employed by Abubakar to work against national interest for $90,000 a month.
Ballard worked for the United States president Donald Trump during the election in 2017.
BMO alleged that trending fake news on social media, targeted at the Nigerian military was the handiwork of Ballard through Abubakar’s media organisation.
“In addition to this is the hiring of foreign trolls to man their online handles in a way that is against the national interest. The aim is to destroy national institutions, including the INEC and cause confusion after realising that they had lost the contest even before the votes are cast.”
“This goes to emphasise the fact that Mr Abubakar does not have Nigeria’s interest at heart and must be kept far away from the seat of power. The PDP has nothing to sell to Nigerians,” BMO said.
BMO alleged that Abubakar is “a candidate, who is known notorious for corruption allegations and is distrusted across the globe; aside from being the candidate of a party responsible for the pillage of Nigeria’s treasury.”
Abubakar, a former vice-president under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration for eight years has been a suspect of corruption allegations in Nigeria and reportedly abroad.
Obasanjo, whom Atiku served as vice-president had once labelled Atiku as a corrupt person.
But, Abubakar has consistently dismissed the allegations.
“I have challenged everybody publicly or otherwise, that if you have any evidence of corruption against me while I was in public office or as a politician, feel free to go to EFCC or the court, but nobody has come,” Abubakar said.