From Tunde Rahman, Lokoja
The Centre For Democracy and Development (CoD), says Dr Tom Ohikere of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is guilty of distorting and spreading ‘false’ information about the person of Mr. Musa Wada, the governorship candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 16 governorship election in Kogi State.
The organisation on Saturday said it arrived at the decision after launching a thorough investigation into a claim by Ohikere in a Facebook post, alleging that the candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Engr Musa Wada in an interview on Kakaaki Morning show on Africa Independent Television that Kogi East can singlehandedly decide who governs the state.
CoD said, “Dr. Ohikere further claimed that Kogi East constitutes only about 40 per cent of the state population while Kogi West and Kogi Central constitute about 60 per cent.
“Fact checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CoD) conducted a thorough review and analysis of the recorded AIT show, which was aired on October 2, 2019.
“The two hours, 24 minutes video was a comprehensive Kakaaki show presented by Salamatu Ibrahim and Peace Chikodinaka Eze.
“Engr Musa Wada was introduced at about 56 minutes into the show. The interview which last over an hour generally focused on the candidate’s vision for the state.
“At 1:16:00 hours, Engr Wada was asked on the perception of the people of Kogi East Senatorial District, about the governorship seat.
“In response among others, Engr Wada said, ‘Democracy is about number …. It is not right for the people of Kogi East to lay claim to the seat, since it is about numbers, Kogi East is about 49% of the voting population.’
“Given the foregoing, claims by Dr. Ohikere, a known supporter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), that the PDP candidate, Engr. Musa Wada said, ‘Kogi East Senatorial District can singlehandedly decide who governs Kogi State’ is false.
“The distortion of the facts by Dr. Ohikere has the capacity to ‘disinform’ and misinform the people of Kogi state and ignite ethnic rivalry before, during and after the election scheduled for November 16, 2019,” the statement said.
Further investigations revealed that Dr. Ohikere has a direct audience of 10,900 Facebook users, which is made up of 5,000 friends and 5,900 followers. The contentious post on Dr. Ohikere’s Facebook account garnered 78 comments, 34 shares and 51 likes.
Speaking further, CoD alleged that Dr Ohikere seems to have an history of promoting unconfirmed information.
“In an interview Ohikere had with Daily Trust on October 3, 2019, he accused the PDP candidate of igniting violence in the state.
“Ohikere was said to have falsely stated that ‘this weekend has been tumultuous for the people of Kogi State as a result of the violence orchestrated and perpetrated by PDP thugs and miscreants.’
“Also, on April 4, 2019, Ohikere posted on his Facebook profile that ‘Ebira Agenda is still virile and potent. The end justifies!’”
On the voting population, CoD said they found a 2011 record online which showed that Kogi East has 51.4 per cent, Kogi Central 24.32 per cent, while Kogi West is 24.25 per cent.
It, however, said that the record of 2011 cannot be sufficiently used to determine the voting population in 2019.
“We would monitor this progress and report appropriate, whether Kogi East constitute 40 or 49 per cent as claimed by Dr. Ohikere and Engr Wada.
“CoD admonish political gladiators and supporters to desist from spreading fake news and disinformation, because it threatens our electoral integrity and puts our democracy in grave danger.”