The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun has dismissed claims in the media that he told supporters of the party to retaliate if they were attacked by members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), The Cable reports.
In a statement released on Friday, by his chief of staff, Edwin Ikhinmwin, Oyegun, said he “consistently advocated for peaceful, free, fair, transparent and credible elections”.
“The attention of the Office of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is drawn to the Nation Newspaper’s libellous misrepresentation of the National Chairman’s comments at Thursday’s mega rally the Party held ahead of Saturday’s legislative re-run elections in Rivers State,” it read.
“The Newspaper in its front page report (published Friday, December 9, 2016), titled:“Rivers rerun: APC tells supporters to fight back” falsely quoted the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun as calling for a ‘fire for fire approach’ and calling on APC supporters to ‘shoot’ an ‘kill’ during the Rivers re-run election.
“The libellous comments are clearly a most wicked fabrication and are also at odds with the party’s zero tolerance policy for violence. After a thorough review of all news reports from the mega rally which was transmitted live on television, it is curious that only the Nation Newspaper quoted the APC national chairman as having made the fabricated statements.
“The media and general public are advised to disregard the fabricated statements. The statements are false, ill-motivated, mischievous and irresponsible. The party’s legal department has since written the Nation newspaper requesting a retraction.
“The journalism profession across all platforms – online, print and electronic – has a duty to adhere strictly to ethical standards expected of the journalism profession. No news medium is exempted from these ethical standards.
“The comment by the national chairman at Thursday’s mega rally was clear. The APC is on a rescue mission in Rivers state to save the people from the bloodthirsty and oppressive regime in the state.
“He called on APC supporters to protect their votes. He expressed the determination of the federal government to ensure a peaceful, transparent and credible Rivers state rerun election on Saturday through the massive deployment of security, so that voters do not stay away out of fear.”
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.