The All Progressives Congress Campaign Council has faulted reports that it apologise to former Cross River State governor, Donald Duke, following the allegations that it used Duke’s photograph in a documentary on its flagbarear, Bola Tinubu.
In a statement on Tuesday, the campaign council insisted that it never apologised to Duke for an error in the use of his picture in the said documentary.
“Our attention has been drawn to a press statement currently in circulation credited to the Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Bayo Onanuga.
“In the said statement, Mr. Onanuga was reported to have apologised to Mr. Donald Duke for an error in the use of his picture in a documentary on Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“We want to categorically state that the Directorate of Media and Publicity of the APC Presidential Campaign Council did not authorise the said statement and Mr. Onanuga didn’t issue any statement on behalf of the campaign council and our principal, Asiwaju Tinubu today.
“We urge the media and members of the public to disregard the statement as a fake news designed to create confusion and mislead the public,” the PCC Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, said in a statement on Tuesday.
An apology contained in a statement purportedly signed by Onanuga had on Monday night went viral on social media platforms.
It read, “We have taken note of the video in circulation where former Rivers State Governor, Mr. Donald Duke said his picture as a 12-year old boy and student of Federal Government Secondary school in Sokoto was used in a documentary to celebrate Asíwájú Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“Our investigation further revealed that the picture in question has also surfaced in some of our campaign materials, on websites and Twitter accounts of Asíwájú supporters, along with a similar photo of besuited Asíwájú donning an Afrohair popular in the 70s and 80s.
“No one and not even Asiwaju’s personal photographers and the artists who designed the materials, have been able to explain how the photo was mixed up with the other photo, that represents Asíwájú’s teenage years. They all said they got both photographs in Google search.
“We have called Governor Donald Duke to apologize for the unintentional mix-up and the error. The usage was a honest mistake for which all involved have accepted responsibility.
“We want to make it abundantly clear that Asíwájú Tinubu did not authorize the appropriation of another person’s image as his own.
“We also want to absolve the Presidential Campaign Council of any blame.
“To the traducers, who have been attacking Asíwájú Tinubu for what he knew nothing about, we want to appeal to them to be reasonable over this matter.
“We are in a campaign season where many supporters go out of their ways to produce jingles, documentaries, posters, billboard materials and other promotional materials without the approval of candidates across political parties. The campaign council has in the meantime established a process for clearance and approval by individuals and support groups who seek to produce campaign materials for media use.”