On Monday 24th February, 2023 the Rivers State Government issued a press statement warning the general public about the existence of some individuals who have given themselves the task of contriving fake news with the name of the governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, with the intention to deceive Rivers voters and other Nigerians for political ends.
Our preliminary investigation revealed that the scheme is the handiwork of opposition social media urchins. Their easiest style, so far, is to dig up old fake videos that have been discredited in the past, edit them and circulate same as if they are true and current.
Firstly, they manipulated an old audio clip of 2016 and circulated same in cyberspace as a current clip involving the governor and another individual just to tarnish the image of the governor prior to the last Presidential Election. Their main objective was to harvest the sympathy of a certain section of Rivers voters. Secondly, after the shellacking they got at last Saturday’s presidential election, they angrily placed another fake news in the internet claiming that the governor’s son in the US had been mortally harmed – a lie taken from the pit of hell since the governor has no child in the US.
With the Presidential election behind us, these individuals have gone back to contrive more fake news. This time, they took an old video clip of 26th February, 2019 in which Col. Aminu Iliyasu, the then Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt in which the officer raised spurious allegations against Gov. Wike following the faceoff between the governor and the Army over the governor’s courageous resistance to the military that were bent on rigging the 2019 governorship election in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC). What these persons have done is to take that video clip, cut it out of context and circulate same in the social media to portray the governor as someone who is planning to compromise the military for the forthcoming governorship election. Their insidious efforts are shameful, criminal and evil.
The Rivers State Government is using this medium to, once again, urge the general public, civil society and the international community to discountenance the video in question and all such fake news these individuals and their likes will try to deceive the public with as the governorship election of March 11, 2023 draws near.
Hon. Commissioner for Information
5th March, 2023