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African Economic Summit not postponed as claimed in tweet ridiculing Buhari’s departure to France

Source: The Guardian 5 mins read

Claim: A Twitter User claims the summit President Buhari departed Nigeria to attend has been postponed. 

Dubawa’s findings show that the alleged postponed summit is different from the African economic summit president Buhari has left to attend.

Full Text

In  a statement by president Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, it was announced that the president will be leaving Nigeria for Paris, France on Sunday May 16, 2021 for Africa’s Economic Summit scheduled for Tuesday, May 18 2021. 

This summit according to Mr Garba is set to draw global finance institutions and some Heads of Government, who will, collectively, discuss external funding and debt treatment for Africa, and private sector reforms.

In view of this, the president was reported to have departed Nigeria for France on Sunday May 16, 2021. Reacting to this, a Twitter user @emmaikumeh suggests the summit had been postponed. The Twitter post with the caption “When will this embarrassing stop? Is Buhari not tired of embarrassing us?” was accompanied with screenshots of Allafrica and Presidency Nigeria’s Twitter post. 

Screenshot of Emma’s twitter post

Screenshots of Mr Emma’s Twitter post and others by different Twitter users making reference to this said postponement was making the rounds, prompting Dubawa to verify this claim. 

One Twitter user @Kellyfreshmmy under the comment section said this was an excuse to see his medical team.

Screenshot of Kellyfreshmmy’s comment.

Another Twitter user @jumupwell however noted that there are two different summits.

Screenshot of Jumupwell’s comment

Verification

Dubawa traced and found the original tweet by Mr Emma with the screenshot of Allafrica’s news report on the summit postponement and the presidency’s tweet announcing the president’s departure.

Following this, Dubawa traced both screenshots and found these Twitter posts were made by Allafrica.com @allafrica and presidency Nigeria @NGRpresident respectively. 

Screenshot of Twitter post by Allafrica 

The link attached to Allafrica’s Twitter post led to a full report on an African-France Summit scheduled for July but postponed to October.

“The Africa-France summit, which was to be held in early July in Montpellier, southern France, has been pushed back to early October because of travel constraints linked to the Covid-19 epidemic. The event, planned from 8 to 10 July, will now take place from 7 to 9 October 2021,”

Excerpt of All Africa African-France summit postponement.

Screenshot of news report linked to Allafrica’s Twitter post.

The dates in this report conflict with the date for the summit the president departed to attend. This raised a red flag, so Dubawa found news reports and compared the details of this said July summit and that which the president was attending. 

A report by African News noted that the president of France will host the Summit on Financing African Economies on Tuesday 18 May 2021, at the Grand Palais Ephémère, in Paris.  According to this report, this hybrid format summit that is both face-to-face and by videoconference is coming after the publication of a statement by 18 African and European leaders on 15 April 2020, calling for the mobilisation of the international community to address the consequences of the health and economic crisis caused in Africa by the pandemic.

Screenshot of African News report

Another report by France24 noted that it is a Twin summit starting with one on Monday May 17, 2021 to help Sudan into a new democratic era and the second on Tuesday May 18, 2021 to provide Africa with critical financing issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Screenshot of France24 news report

Also, Twitter post by @NGRpresident Nigeria confirmed the departure and arrival of the president in France

Screenshot of Presidency Nigeria’s Tweet announcing President Buhari’s departure from Nigeria
Screenshot of Presidency Nigeria’s post announcing his Arrival in France

Having established this summit for May 18 is still scheduled to hold, Dubawa tried to find the said July summit which was postponed, according to Allafrica and Twitter users.

A report by rfi on Friday May 14, 2021, noted that the Africa-France summit, which was to be held in early July in Montpellier, southern France, has been pushed back to early October because of travel constraints linked to the Covid-19 epidemic.

According to this report, the event, scheduled for July 8 to July 10 will now take place from October 7 to October 9, 2021.

Screenshot of report by rfi

A similar report by the North Africn Post carries the same claim.

Screenshot of the North Africa Post’s report

A comparison of these reports show that the two reports are unrelated events. The reports available on the postponed summit do not contain details of what the focus of the summit is. Also, it is worthy of note that the date, title, and location of both summits show they are unrelated. 

While the summit President Buhari left for is called the “Afrciacn Economic Summit” and is scheduled for May 18, 2021 in Paris, the postponed summit is called the “African-France Summit” and is scheduled for July 8-10, 2021 at Montpellier, Southern France.

Conclusion

Dubawa’s findings show that the alleged postponed summit is different from the African economic summit president Buhari has left Nigeria to attend.  This makes the claim false and misleading.

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