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FALSE! Former president Obasanjo not dead as claimed in viral video

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Claim: Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is dead.

FALSE! Former president Obasanjo not dead as claimed in viral video

Verdict: FALSE! Our findings and the spokesperson of the former president dismissed it as untrue.

Full Text 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is a two-time leader of Nigeria, first as a military head of state from 1976 to 1979 and later as an elected civilian president from 1999 to 2007. 

Mr Obasanjo, who has always been vocal about Nigeria’s democracy and the performance of different presidents, was recently in the news for criticising the Muhammadu Buhari-led government. 

On Tuesday, September 5, 2023, a video suggesting the former president is late went viral on WhatsApp with a caption in French. 

“DÉCÈS DE L’ANCIEN PRÉSIDENT DU NIGERIA OLUSHEGUN OBASANJO” the caption reads. 

In the 12-second video, the tag RIP, meaning rest in peace, was boldly written over the different images of Mr Obasanjo compiled. 

The virality of the video requests for verification from our WhatsApp community and the personality involved prompted us to verify this assertion.

Verification 

We first observed the wrong spelling of the former president’s name in the caption. 

To get the clear meaning of the caption in French, we used Google Translate, which translated it to mean “DEATH OF FORMER PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA OLUSEGUN OBASANJO”. 

Seeing the video is from TikTok as it had the profile tag of the TikTok user (Wazobia.fm), we visited TikTok and searched for the user. We found the video shared by Wazobia.fm on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, with 158 likes and 202 shares.

We observed that the comment for this TikTok post had been turned off. 

FALSE! Former president Obasanjo not dead as claimed in viral video
Screenshot of the TikTok post. 

Going through the profile of this user, we observed that this account, with over 1,000 followers, is notorious for sharing videos about the death of popular persons, from musicians to actors and pastors in Nigeria, with the same soundtrack. 

We conducted a keyword search to find any news report in line with this assertion but found none. 

So we reached out to the spokesperson of the former president, Kehinde Akinyemi,  via messages and calls, and he responded by stating the former president is fine and currently outside the country.

“He is outside the country! Tanzania or Kenya as of this morning,” part of his response reads. 

Conclusion

Our findings show that this assertion is false. The PA of the former president debunked it.  

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