PRESS RELEASE BY FELA DUROTOYE Tuesday, 2nd October 2018 Lagos, Nigeria
A few days ago, my attention was brought to an article that alleged that “APC deployed 1.3billion Naira to stop Hashim as Fela Durotoye got N750m to split ANN”.
The article further alleged that conditions for my receiving this money stated that after my campaign would have gained significant momentum, I would step down for the current vice-president.
My initial reaction was to consider this piece of fake news to be a crass joke and ignore it, knowing fully well that this is absolutely FALSE and there is no iota of truth in it.
But realizing that we live in a generation where whatever trends on social media can often be mistaken as truth, I felt it would be necessary to be clear on this matter.
For the avoidance of doubt, I have never been offered nor have I ever received any money from any political party, interest groups or religious bodies. I have also heard rumors that my campaign has also received funds from the Redemmed Christian Church of God (RCCG), which is also absolutely false & untrue.
Our campaign has relied on donations from everyday Nigerians, paid into a single account of The Fela Durotoye Support Initiative. I am NOT a signatory to this account, have never taken or utilized a kobo for any personal expenses and we have been very transparent and faithful in the use of those resources that have been donated by the sacrifice of hundreds of people who believe in our mission to birth a New Nigeria.
Secondly, may I once again clarify that I have NEVER been a member of any political party prior to joining the Alliance for New Nigeria on the 22nd of February, 2018, nor have I ever supported or been associated with any political party, particularly, the All Progressive Congress (APC).
These allegations are driven by the campaign organisation of a former aspirant and member of the party, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo Hashim (former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the PDP) who formally withdrew from the race, on Friday, 28th September 2018, just one day to the Primaries.
I had earlier been attacked by the Campaign Director General of his organization, claiming I am a pawn for the APC.
In fact, my attention had earlier been drawn to a statement credited to the Gbenga Olawepo – Hashim Presidential campaign organization dated September 28, 2018 and signed by its Director General, Rt. Hon. Terseer Tsumba which stated that a “certain Presidential aspirant is fronting for some powerful interests in the All Progressive Congress (APC) to destabilize the Alliance for New Nigeria”
Being the only other Presidential Aspirant apart from Mr. Hashim on our great party, it was therefore important that I responded to these false & misleading allegations.
Therefore, on the same day (28th September 2018), I formally wrote to the Chairman of the party (Mr Emmanuel Dania) and copied the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (Dr. Nkata Chuku) addressing these allegations.
I have always maintained a civil and cordial relationship with Mr. Hashim and had twice earlier told him that if he won the party primaries in a free & fair manner, I would respect the wishes of our party delegates and therefore continue to support our party ANN and throw my weight behind his candidacy.
Interestingly, when I asked Mr. Hashim if he would do the same for me & support my candidacy if I won the elections, he simply replied that if he wasn’t assured of a win at the primaries, he will “opt out of the race”.
The truth be told … I always knew that the political establishment would play dirty, but I have & will consistently uphold my Core Values and run a clean campaign; free of mudslinging & personal attacks.
In fact, I have been criticized for never attacking individuals or political rivals.
To be clear, my focus has never been about generating sound bites that trend or making character assassinations. Indeed, I have focused every one of my statements & posts on building a New Nigeria and uniting all Nigerians.
I have consistently shown respect to all other aspirants on this race and have encouraged us all to have better collaboration and NOT bitter competition between aspirants whether we are in the same party or running on different party platforms.
I have always believed that we are all running for a New Nigeria and that is all that matters. My social media platforms will prove this.
So for the record, I have NEVER received any money from any political party and I never will.
I am not fronting for any candidate or party nor will I ever.
I intend to run this race and with your help, I intend to win the Presidency of our great nation and to lead the team that will deliver Good Governance required for us all to build a New Nigeria.
As I have done in times past, I ask that before you believe or share fake news, please go online, do some research and ask hard questions.
The internet never forgets.
Please remember that what TRENDS and what is TRUE are often two different things.
Trends come and go, but the truth will always outlast trends, no matter how long it takes. So seek the truth as you see the trends.
God bless you and may God bless The Federal Republic of Nigeria.
FELA DUROTOYE Presidential Candidate Alliance for New Nigeria