Ben peters, Abuja
Mr. John Mayaki, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State, has accused agents of the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, of deliberately misrepresenting President Bola Tinubu’s written address submitted to the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
Mayaki expressed concern that this deliberate misinterpretation of President Tinubu’s submissions, contained in his final written address against the petitions of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP), could potentially fuel unrest in the country. He called on law enforcement agencies to track down those involved.
In a statement in Lagos, Mayaki highlighted the unfortunate collaboration between major newspapers and online platforms in amplifying the misrepresentation of President Tinubu’s final written address. He also clarified that the President’s statement actually mentioned that misinterpreting the law on 25% FCT votes could lead to anarchy, rather than suggesting nullifying the presidential election would result in chaos and anarchy.
According to him, “The difference between the two statements lies in the emphasis and perspective of each statement. For the records, what the written address suggests is that a wrong understanding of the law on 25% FCT votes could result in anarchy, and not the potential outcome of nullifying the presidential election.”
He described this deliberate misrepresentation and misinformation as unfortunate and unpatriotic and called for the reprimanding of the newspapers involved for promoting this fake news wile urging the National Assembly to implement significant legislation to curb the prevalence of fake news.
Mayaki stressed the implications of this deliberate misinformation and misrepresentation, particularly on public perception. “That false amplification of President Tinubu’s statements can shape public perception, leading to misunderstandings, confusion, and a potential impact on people’s trust in political figures and the media”.
Mayaki expressed awareness of the intention behind this unfortunate misrepresentation, stating, “It can only serve the interests of the PDP, Labour Party, and those who don’t wish our country well by spreading false narratives and influencing public opinion in their favor.”
He regretted that misinformation, when amplified by major newspapers and online platforms, contributes to the spread of fake news, undermining the credibility of the media and making it difficult for people to distinguish between accurate information and falsehoods.
He also pointed out that misrepresentation can deepen existing social divisions, as different groups interpret and react to misrepresented statements in different ways, potentially leading to further polarization and conflict within society.
The statement concluded by highlighting how misrepresentation undermines trust in institutions, including the media, political figures, and the justice system adding that “if people believe information is intentionally distorted, it erodes their confidence in the democratic process and governance as a whole”.