Special Assistant, Public Communication to Atiku Abubakar, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, has asked Femi Fani-Kayode, Director of Special Projects and New media of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, to apologise to his principal.
In a series of tweets on Saturday, Fani-Kayode had said he learnt that Atiku had a secret meeting with some army generals.
The Defence Headquarters had subsequently denied the meeting, pledging its commitment to democracy.
However, Atiku asked the DSS and police to invite Fani-Kayode for questioning, wondering why he was linked to such.
The DSS grilled Fani-Kayode for hours on Monday and subsequently warned party spokesmen to be mindful of their comments.
After his release, Fani-Kayode stated at a press conference that he regretted making the comments and he would guard his statements in the future.
In a statement, Shaibu asked Fani-Kayode to apologise to his principal and the military.
“To ensure that he is truly remorseful of his self-confessed lie that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, met with army generals with the aim of executing a coup against the democratically elected government of President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Fani-Kayode should tender an unreserved public apology to the former Vice President of Nigeria.”
“The said Fani-Kayode’s “regret” was not enough without a public apology issued to Atiku and the military.
“Fani-Kayode’s regret is a step in the right direction, but this is not sufficient. Who exactly is he apologising to? He needs to be specific. He needs to apologise to Waziri Atiku Abubakar for trying to impugn his character. He also needs to apologise to the military for denigrating that revered institution.
“Fani-Kayode is a former minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with over two million followers across social media platforms. He is a lawyer and ought to understand the implication of libel. Apart from the criminal aspect of his tweets, he has also committed defamation and thus must be made to apologise for his inane insinuations.
“Fani-Kayode’s public apology should be published in three newspapers The Nation and their online editions for seven days consecutively beginning from Wednesday, 15 February, 2023.
“Fani-Kayode has a penchant for making specious allegations but has been treated like a sacred cow for too long, which has emboldened him over the years.”
Shaibu served notice that if Fani-Kayode fails to tender a public apology for defaming Atiku, he may need to offer explanation in the court of law.
“There should be a fine line between political propaganda and crime. When a person in the calibre of a former minister is unable to differentiate between the two, it becomes worrisome. His allegation of a planned coup should not be taken lightly. Such juvenile drivel must not be tolerated, not even in the name of politics,” Shaibu added.