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APC chieftain caught spreading fake news on Facebook



Barely a week after the Minister
of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, kickstarted a campaign against the
proliferation of fake news, a top member of the ruling party has been caught
posting false information on his social media page.


Decrying the spread and the
imminent danger posed by the spread of fake news and hate speeches, last
Friday, Mr. Mohammed said that fake news not only threatens the peace and
security but was also a threat to the corporate existence of the country.
“In a country like Nigeria which
is multi-ethnic and religious, fake news and hate speech is time bomb.
“We also launched the campaign to
sensitise Nigerians that each and every one of us can . a role in combating
the rising level of fake news.
“Fake news is a global issue, it
is not just a Nigerian issue but we are more concerned about Nigeria because of
the potential it has to our corporate existence,” Mr Mohammed said.
But on Tuesday, the publicity
secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos, Joe Igbokwe posted a
clear misinformation to thousands of his followers on his Facebook wall.
Accompanied with a picture, which
was apparently taken inside Aso Presidential Villa of a police officer walking
past President Muhammadu Buhari, who was sitting behind a desk in the
background, Mr Igbokwe posted:
“Please meet ACP Obinna Chukwuka,
the tear rubber Chief Security Officer to Mr President,” Mr Igbokwe wrote. Tear
rubber in local parlance means ‘new’.
. was apparently used to
depict the president, who has come under verbal attacks over the perceived
lopsidedness of his political appointments, as a detribalised leader.
Investigation revealed that the
claim made in . was false as the president is yet to replace his Chief
Security Officer, Bashir Abubakar.
The photo on Joe Igbokwe's Facebook says: Please meet ACP Obinna Chukwuka, the tear rubber Chief Security Officer to Mr President
Mr Abubakar was appointed as the
president’s CSO in July 2015 after his predecessor, Abdulrahman Mani, was
Before his appointment the
President CSO, Mr Abubakar wss an assistant director of the secret police,
Department for State Security (DSS) in Bayelsa State.
When contacted, Mr Abubakar said
it was not true that he had been replaced. He, however, declined further
comment, stating that he was busy at the time.
As at Wednesday afternoon, the
post had attracted over 140 likes and had been shared over 30 times.
The president’s Senior Special
Assistant, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, did not return calls made to his
mobile phone and has not responded to an sms sent to him for comment.
But when contacted, an official
at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olusegun
Adekunle, said he was not aware that any replacement had been appointed for Mr.
“I am not aware of any change
from the inside,” he said
Mr. Adekunle is the permanent
secretary in charge of general services at the SGF office. He is responsible
for tracking and issuing letters of appointments for the president’s
When reached for . Mr
Igbokwe said . did not originate from him adding that he merely copied
it “because it was trending”.
“If you look at it you will see
that it was copied. The thing has been trending. I copied it from… you know
sometimes you copy from a reliable .. It didn’t come from me. It was from
a particular . I can trust,” he said during a telephone interview.
But when asked if he confirmed
whether the news was true before posting, a bemused Mr Igbokwe replied: “No o.
No o, because I said I trust those people. I have my friends on Facebook. Is it
false? Is it false? If is false. I have pulled down so many stories that are
He added that he did not confirm
the veracity of . because nobody has flagged it as fake.

“Because I have seen it trending
and nobody has said it was fake news, I have seen some of my reliable partners
post it that is why I shared it.”

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