Mr. Bakare was reported to have likened the APC to the Church of Satan
A former vice presidential candidate and convener of the Save Nigeria Group, Tunde Bakare, has denied ever labelling the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, “satanic”, compelling a news website which originated the report to apologize and offer a retraction.
Mr. Bakare was quoted by Newswirengr.com as likening the APC to the Church of Satan, igniting an online buzz Sunday.
“APC is like a newly opened church of Satan with the evil as a pastor which could not be distinguished by Nigerians from a true living Godly church and hence could be mistaken for a real church, even when it was made of thieves (Legitimate Pen Robbers),” Mr. Bakare, who pastors the Latter Rain Assembly, was reported as saying during a sermon.
He also reportedly criticized five of the party’s governors, accusing them of corruption.
“It is very clear that 5 governors of APC in the west is far richer than their state and they have looted every penny from their state purse. People should be careful of this rogues,” he was quoted as saying.
But Mr. Bakare denied the comments in a statement Wednesday, and threatened legal action against the news site that published them.
“The publication which has been shared on other online news platforms and social media has no shred of truth,” Mr. Bakare’s lawyer, Tope Adebayo, said. “It is malicious, offensive and intended to disparage our client and cause him embarrassment and public condemnation.”
Newswirengr immediately apologized for the report and pulled it off its site later on Wednesday. The site offered a retraction and blamed its reporter in Lagos for not cross-checking a story it sourced from another journalist who claimed to have listened to Mr. Bakare’s sermon.
“We will retract the story and will publish this apology on our website,” a spokesperson for the medium, Dia Zamani, said. “As a result of this incident, we are reviewing our gatekeeping process with a view to ensuring that a more rigorous scrutiny are done before stories are published.”