As Kogi state prepares for the November governorship election, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), has warned against spreading of fake news by stakeholders.
The organisation also faulted the claim by a former commissioner for information in the state, Tom Ohikere, of the All Progressives Congress (APC) about the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Musa Wada.
The organisation in a report on its website said it arrived at the decision after launching a thorough investigation into a claim by Ohikere in a Facebook post, alleging that Wada claimed in an interview on Kakaaki Morning show on Africa Independent Television that ‘’Kogi East can singlehandedly decides who govern the state”.
The CDD said, “Dr Ohikere further claimed that Kogi East constitutes only about 40 per cent of the state populations, while Kogi West and Kogi Central constitute about 60 per cent.
It, however, said Fact-checkers at the Centre conducted a thorough review and analysis of the recorded AIT show, which was aired on October 2, 2019.
The report said, “The two hours, 24 minutes video was a comprehensive Kakaaki show presented by Salamatu Ibrahim and Peace Chikodinaka Eze.
“However, Engr Musa Wada was introduced at about 56 minutes of the show. The interview which lasted 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, Engr Wada among 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 per cent of the voting population.”
In its submission, the organisation said that “Claim by Dr Ohikere that the PDP candidate said Kogi east senatorial district can singlehandedly decide who governs Kogi state is FALSE.
“The claim 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.
The fact-checkers said that further review of Ohikere’s Facebook account revealed that his false post garnered 78 comments, 34 shares and 51 likes. Dr Ohikere has a direct audience of 10,900 Facebook users, which is made up of 5,000 friends and 5,900 followers.
CDD however admonished political gladiators and supporters to desist from spreading fake news and disinformation because it threatened the electoral integrity of the country and put democracy in danger.