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No evidence Ezekwesili termed Chibok girls’ kidnap plot to tarnish Jonathan’s image

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Claim: A Facebook post claims Ezekwesiki said the Chibok girls’ kidnap was a conspiracy against Goodluck Jonathan.

Dubawa’s findings, the press release by Mrs Ezekwesili’s spokesperson and her social media posts do not show she made this claim.

Full Text

On April 14, 2014, schoolgirls were kidnapped at Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state. Following this, the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement led by Oby Ezekwesili commenced demanding the release of these girls.

Recently, a Facebook user @Katch Ononuju made a post on Saturday, May 15, 2021, claiming  Mrs Ezekwesili said the Chibok girls kidnap was a plot to tarnish the image of the then president, Goodluck Jonathan.

The post also claims that the suspended Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala, was sent to the project by “Fulani leaders” who wanted Jonathan out of power for Muhammadu Buhari to take over.

This post as at Wednesday May 19, 2021,  had generated 35 reactions, 39 comments and 64 shares.

“Be careful when working with Fulani because their intentions are different from what you think. I was doing “Bring Back Our Girls” Project with Hadiza  Bala  Usman in 2014. I didn’t know she was sent to the project by Fulani leaders to tarnish the image of Goodluck Jonathan for Muhammadu Buhari to win an election.

Now I believe that “Chibok Girls Kidnapping” was planned to tarnish Goodluck Jonathan’s image for Muhammadu Buhari to win election.”

Excerpt of Facebook post by Katch Ononujo.

Screenshot of the Facebook post by Katch Ononuju

This claim was also posted by South East Nigeria on the same day with 497 shares, and 628 reactions as at Wednesday May 19, 2021.

Screenshot of the Facebook post by South East Nigeria

But did Ezekwesili say this? 

Verification

Dubawa searched and found the official Facebook profile of Mrs Ezekwesili and found her latest post (21hours ago) to be on this claim. She shared a Twitter post by the Cable fact-checking this claim with a caption making reference to the claim as false.

“Those who retweeted that #FakeNews with frenzied joy have failed to maintain same energy once we released my statement calling it exactly what it is – patent lie. You see, it is entirely okay to hate Ezekwesili and her Values but know by now, that it is futile to lie against me. I live my Values.”

Excerpt of the caption used to share the Cable’s Twitter post.

Screenshot of Ezekwesili’s Facebook post contianing Cable’s Twitter post

We also found an earlier post by Mrs Ezekwesili with screenshots of a press release by her spokesperson, Ozioma Ubabuko made public on Monday May 17, 2021. The press release described this as a malicious quote by dubious authors to mislead the public.  

“For seven years, lies and innuendos have been spread about me just because I chose to be live by truth in Land that rewards falsehood. Just because I selflessly take responsibility even in tough circumstances,  when others choose to look away. However, they will never be successful because I am and will always be an overcomer. I’m eternally grateful for who I am.

Nothing can ever make me regret demanding rescue for those innocent 219 girls of Chibok Secondary School in 2014.”

Excerpt of Ezekwesili’s Facebook caption.

Screenshot of Ezekwesili’s Facebook post with the press release

On her Twitter account, we also found she had shared the fact-check by The Cable debunking the claim.

“Those who retweeted that #FakeNews with frenzied joy have failed to maintain the same energy once we released my statement calling it exactly what it is – patent lie. You see, it is entirely okay to hate Ezekwesili and her Values but know by now, it is futile to lie against me.”

Except of Ezekwesili’s Twitter post containing Cable’s fact-check.

Screenshot of Ezekwesili’s Twitter post

Dubawa went through her social media pages to find any post or comment around Chibok girls around the said date (May 15 till date) but found none.

Conclusion

Dubawa’s findings, the press release by Mrs Ezekwesili’s spokesperson and her social media posts do not show this claim was made by Ezekwesili. There is therefore no evidence for this claim.

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