All Progressives Congress presidential Campaign Council says it will be unfair for anyone to label the act of compassion shown by its flagbearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, as bribery.
On Tuesday, Tinubu and Shettima were captured in a two-minute video doling out crispy naira notes to a physically challenged man at a meeting with people with disabilities in Abuja.
The video clip, which went viral and was circulated all over social media, has some critics and opposition members including Reno Omokri, former aide to President Goodluck Jonathan and Emeka Obasi, media aide to Labour Party presidential candidate, labelling it as a brazen act of corruption.
But reacting to the development on Wednesday, Deputy Spokesperson of Tinubu/Shettima PCC, Hannatu Musawa, said there was no wrongdoing in the gestures by his principal.
Musawa, in a statement titled, “Misrepresentation of a harmless video I, Hannatu Musa Musawa, posted of my principals giving alms and charity to a poor and disabled elderly gentleman,” cleared the air on the controversy surrounding the matter.
Musawa expressed concerns that instead of praising the act of kindness shown by Tinubu and Shetima towards a disabled man in need, she was shocked to discover that the narration was deliberately misinterpreted by the opposition as an act of bribery and corruption.
According to the statement, “My attention has been drawn to the dishonest, erroneous and incorrect narrative spun by unctuous, dissipated, debauched and desperate elements within the opposition to turn a perfectly innocent video I posted of a kind act I witnessed my Principals carrying out into something mendacious and devious.
“A few days ago I attended a gathering with the Presidential candidate of the APC Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his running mate, Alhaji Kashim Shetima where they had a robust engagement with persons with disability. During the event, our principals had the opportunity to interact with a poor and disabled elderly gentleman. Borne purely out of compassion, my principals spoke to this gentleman, listened to him and performed the tenant of charity and alms giving towards him.
“As I watched this tender moment between the three men, I wanted to capture it and show the world the empathy that organically runs through the veins of my principals, and that raw spirit of charity that they both imbibe.”
Musawa, who stated that the clip wasn’t shared out in error, disclosed that she shared the viral video to tell a compassionate and compelling story of leadership as shown by both the APC presidential candidate and his running mate.
She stated that while it is unfortunate that the opposition refuses to put up issue-based campaign and manifestos, she said it is clear that they are grasping at straws and adopting extreme methods to stay relevant.
She stated, “I posted the video, not out of mistake, but with the intention of telling the compassionate story of the empathetic leadership that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, supported by Alhaji Kashim Shetima will surely give to Nigeria after they emerge victorious in the upcoming election, by the grace of The Almighty.
“As I watch the negative chronicle being spun by the opposition Svengali’s, trying to enforce a specific negative narrative on the public, it is clear that the falsehood being spread stems from the devious imagination and wicked machinations of a desperate and self combusting opposition.
“I would have dismissed the musings as the rantings of an inconsequential opposition. However, I am compelled to make this response because of innocent Nigerians that may be misled by such devious rhetoric.
“On Monday the 19th December 2022 at approximately 4:48 pm, I watched with appreciation and approbation as my two principals, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Alhaji Kashim Shetima performed an act of kindness towards a poor and disabled man who was truly in need. After watching them, I was further convinced that these were two men of precious faith that have the heart of kindness, empathy and compassion. And I believed it was a story that needed to be told.
“In the Bible under Psalm (112:5-9), it is written “It is well with the man who is gracious and lends; He will maintain his cause in judgment. For he will never be shaken; The righteous will be remembered forever. He will not fear evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”
“In Islam we are taught that The prophet (PBUH) says the following in a hadith: “Muslims help each other only by passing the bridge of almsgiving. Almsgiving by virtue of the two holy teachings, giving charity and alms specifically to help the poor becomes a core tenant for Muslims and Christian to abide by.
“That 2 minute video clip was a visual reflection of my principals compassion towards the needy. Rather than commend Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Alhaji Kashim Shetima, for a kind act towards a man that was clearly in need, the opposition have regrettably decided to put a negative spin on a story of good will and sheer kindness.
“With the trajectory of the upcoming election showing that the pendulum is swinging to the benefit of an APC victory, there is no question that the opposition is behaving like the proverbial “drowning man” determined to pull others down with them. And while there is hardly any purpose in joining issues with a losing opposition, it is important to highlight their diversionary rhetoric and tactics.
“Even though I do understand the despondency and misery of the PDP, who have been hit worse than the Titanic racing towards the iceberg with their loss of 5 ‘brightly shining’ governors and the anguish and despair of the Labour party who have a ‘Constitutional Impossibility’ of winning the next election based on Section 134 of The Constitution, it would be advisable for them to remain on the issues while they try to sort out their in-house complications.
“I have thorough confidence that, come February 25th 2023, Nigerians will exercise their constitutional right and resoundingly vote for the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the 17th President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“I urge Nigerians to disregard any fabrication attached to my video of an act of kindness and compassion, and rather concentrate on collectively working to move our nation forward by making the upcoming voting exercise the freest and fairest elections Nigeria will ever have.”