The All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council has denied a statement in circulation that it apologised to a former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, for the use of his photograph as that of its presidential candidate for the 2023 polls, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in a documentary.
The Eagle Online recalls that Duke revealed this at a function in Lagos, the video of which is published with this story.
The member of the Peoples Democratic Party had said at the event: “I am the boy in the picture, not Tinubu as they claimed in their documentaries.
“That photo was taken when I was 12 years old during my school years at the Federal Government College Sokoto, in Sokoto State.”
On Monday evening, a statement of apology was sent to the media, allegedly endorsed by the Director of Media and Publicity of the APC PCC, Bayo Onanuga.
In the statement, Onanuga apologised to Duke, adding that it was curious how photographers and videographers who handled the documentary allowed such to slip into it.
The statement, which identified Duke erroneously as “Rivers State Governor” and titled: “INADVERTENT USE OF FORMER GOVERNOR DONALD DUKE’S PICTURE IN A DOCUMENTARY ON ASIWAJU BOLA AHMED TINUBU,” said: “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.”
Hours after, however, the APC PCC issued another statement distancing himself from the first one.
The statement, endorsed by Onanuga, said: “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.”