Popular cartoonist Mike Asukwo has apologized to the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi for using fake news as the inspiration for one of his cartoons which portrayed Abdullahi in bad light.
The said comment which has gone viral in the Nigerian social media falsely accused Abdullahi as saying “There is fuel scarcity because Buhari has managed the economy so well that Nigerians bought too many cars this year.” Abdullahi and the APC immediately debunked the statement as fake news and the handiwork of Lere Olayinka, a media aide to Ekiti State governor Ayodele Fayose, but the report had already traveled so fast and gained traction such that even Mike Asukwo, a respected cartoonist used it for one of his cartoons.
In his apology which was made known publicly on his Facebook page, Asukwo said “Mr Bolaji called me to draw attention to the falsehood in the cartoon where the ‘stupid statement’ in question was credited to him. I regret that my crazy mind lapped up that statement without confirming its veracity. He has denied making the statement and I regret any embarrassment the cartoon might have caused him.”
Meanwhile, the APC in a fresh statement Saturday signed by its Assistant Director, Publicity, Edegbe Odemwingie said at no time did Abdullahi make such statement or even implied it.
“The statement was a pure fabrication by one Lere Olayinka, a media aide to Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, who made the alleged tweet on December 19, 2017, without citing any source and was rightly ignored by right thinking people.
“The APC immediately issued a disclaimer, warning the general public to be wary of the said Olayinka for being notorious for peddling fake news.
“We have been compelled to issue this disclaimer yet again as there appears to be a deliberate ploy to soil the reputation of Mallam Abdullahi through the spread of this fiction.
“We also wish to note that Mallam Abdullahi has commenced legal action against Mr Olayinka as his lawyers have written to him to retract the said statement or be sued for damages.
“We once again appeal to the media to corroborate information attributed to us from our official media channels”, the statement said.
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