Festus Keyamo

  • The FactChecker

    Koo: What you should know about Twitter’s rival app

    By Lami Sadiq

    Barely a week after Nigeria’s Government placed an indefinite suspension on the operation of microblogging site, Twitter, the federal government made its debut on an Indian-based social media platform, Koo, which was barely known to many in Nigeria. 

    With the announcement of the government’s arrival on the made-in-Indian app by its co-founder and CEO Aprameya Radhakrishna, the yellow bird app is gaining traction among some Nigerians as they seek another source of keeping abreast with information hitherto filled by Twitter. 

    Announcing the Nigerian government’s arrival, Radhakrishna with the Koo handle (@aprameya) posted an official handle of the Nigerian government with a smiling emoji sign. “The official handle of the government of Nigeria is now on Koo,” he posted.

    Screengrab of Koo co-founder, Aprameya Radhakrishna (@aprameya) announcing the Nigerian government’s arrival on the platform

    What is Koo App? 

    Koo is a micro-blogging platform which was developed by Aprameya Radhakrishna and Mayank Bidawatka in March 2020 but was floated in May of the same year. The app won the Aatmanirbhar App Challenge organized by the Indian government in August 2020. It has a similar interface with Twitter and its rise is hinged on the stormy path Twitter took with government authorities in India and most recently in Nigeria.

    Like Twitter, Koo can be used to profess views and opinions on various topics as well as allow users to follow other users, conduct polls, share photos, audio and video with a Direct Message (DM) to facilitate chat with each other. It also allows users to place their posts with hashtags and the @ sign also comes before a username, to mention or reply to other users. Koo uses a yellow and white interface and like the blue-bird app, a verified account is given a yellow tick to indicate its authenticity.

    A check on Google Play Store shows it has been downloaded over 5 million times. Apart from English, the application features some local languages spoken in India such as, Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. However, the co-founder and CEO, Aprameya wrote on the microblogging app that: “Koo is available in Nieria. We’re thinking of enabling the local languages there too. What say?

    Continue reading here

    Fact Checks of the week

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    On Wednesday, June 10, 2021, the internet went agog with photos and news reports of president,  Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) receiving the first made in Nigeria phone known as ITF mobile. But, how true is this?

    Tip Of The Week

    #FakeNewsAlert

    There’s precious little that we can do about the barrage of misinformation that we see daily, but there’s a lot we can do together if we learn to identify suspicious claims in the news and refrain from fuelling the fire by spreading them! Here are our top picks of likely-to-be-false news which [sadly] couldn’t be fact-checked.

    CLAIM: A viral WhatsApp message claims that the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has advised users of public transports to beware of drivers mentioning Lace and Ankara during a phone call. The viral message purports that kidnappers have adopted the words ‘Lace and Ankara’ and translated them to mean ‘Male and Female’ respectively, hence, when a driver mentions any of these words, passengers should ‘quietly alight immediately.’ It further advises readers to pass the information on to others. 

    SOURCE: WhatsApp Message

    Questions to ask yourself: Who is the source? Which credible news platform has published this? Did LASTMA actually initiate the message?

    What you should do: Verify before sharing. 

    Other Fact Checks

  • Festus Keyamo did not author viral ‘MOTHER OF ALL BOMBS’ Message

    Ganiyat Tijani-Adenle

    Claim: A viral WhatsApp message titled ‘FESTUS KEYAMO DROPS THE MOTHER OF ALL BOMBS – Who are you calling dictator?’ names Nigeria’s Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, the author of a critical message seeking to launder the image of the country’s president.

    This message is misleading. Nigeria’s Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo is not the author of the message.

    Full Text

    The battle of wits between the supporters of incumbent Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, and his antagonists is one that goes on daily on social media. Nigerian citizens in the country as well as those in diaspora spare no efforts in proving their cases for or against the President. In this particular instance, pro-Buhari author(s) sought to give their claims credibility and thus labelled it as crucial information by the country’s Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo. The message has been shared several times on WhatsApp.

    Mr. Festus Keyamo, a lawyer, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, social commentator, critic, human rights activist and columnist is a supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari and a member of his cabinet. He was also the Head of Communications for his presidential campaign team. 

    Screenshot of the beginning of the WhatsApp message

    The Minister of State for Labour and Employment’s name was also signed at the end of the message.

    Screenshot of the end of the WhatsApp message

    Verification

    Dubawa read the 30 paragraph-long message which sought to highlight alleged deficiencies of immediate past presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo, who are both members of the opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). 

    Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan was in power for five years (2010 to 2015) while former President Olusegun Obasanjo ruled as a civilian president for two terms (May 29, 1999 to May 29, 2007). That is apart from his time as a military ruler from 1976 to 1979. The viral message however only cited alleged abuses of power during Ex-President Obasanjo’s civilian administration.

    The message also cites many supposed virtues of President Muhammadu Buhari (and his administration) as well as extolled the competence of his appointed officers.

    Dubawa sent a text message to Mr. Festus Keyamo on June 16, 2021 to confirm if he was the author of the message and the Minister replied that while he shared some of the views in the message, he did not author it.

    Mr. keyamo said the message “had been circulating since 2018 during the campaigns” of the election that won President Muhammadu Buhari his second term in office, and that the contents of the WhatsApp message are “a sprinkling of a lot of things” he said as the “Director of Communications during the campaigns”.

    Mr. Keyamo also noted that the author(s) of the message actually “pieced them together and added a bit of some other things” which he had not said. He therefore confirmed that the viral message in its current form is not from him.

    Conclusion

    Nigeria’s Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo is not the author of the viral WhatsApp message titled ‘FESTUS KEYAMO DROPS THE MOTHER OF ALL BOMBS – Who are you calling dictator?’

    Individuals who wish to share ideas and have them resonate with people have been known to write the names of celebrities, specialists, authority figures and prominent institutions as the sources (of such messages) in order to gain credibility and achieve their communication goals.

  • Is NDE accepting applications for 774,000 social works programme?

    A Facebook page published a post calling on job seekers to submit applications to the state offices of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) for the Federal Government’s proposed 774,000 jobs under its Special Public Works (SPW) Programme. 

    The claim made by the Facebook page that the NDE was receiving applications for the  Federal Government’s proposed 774,000 jobs is FALSE. The NDE and the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, have separately debunked the claim. 

    Full Text

    A Facebook page with the name “Mukhtar Salihu Mukhtar” with a followership of 4,999 users, released a post calling on job seekers to submit applications to state offices of NDE for the proposed 774,000 Social Works Programme.

    The post further listed the addresses of NDE offices in each of the states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

    About SPW Programme

    In October 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari approved a Pilot Special Public Works Programme in eight states of the Federation. However, in April this year, the president approved the extension of the programme to all the 36 states and the FCT.

    The SPW targets to recruit 1,000 persons from each of the 774 Local Government Areas in the country to carry out public works.

    The Federal Government designed the poverty alleviation programme to cushion the negative effect of COVID-19 on Nigerians. Premised on social works and infrastructure, the government is to pay successful applicants N20, 000 monthly. 

    To this effect, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said the Federal Government has earmarked N60 billion from the COVID-19 crisis intervention fund to implement the SPW  from October to December, 2020.

    In the same vein, the Ministry of Labour and Employment and the NDE recently inaugurated State Selection Committees.

    Verification

    The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has said it did not authorise the viral social media recruitment advertorial, tagging it as fraudulent.

    A disclaimer published by the NDE on its official website stated that the description of the implementation modalities for the proposed jobs were yet to be concluded.

    “In reference to the 774,000 SPW jobs promised by the Federal Government of Nigeria, reports reaching the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) show that some fraudsters have started sending unauthorised advertorials calling for registration for the said 774000 SPW jobs,”

    NDE

    The NDE added that the registration for the programme has not commenced and that the public would be informed when the portal is opened for registration.

    “The members of the public should therefore disregard any publication calling for the registration on social media,” the NDE said.

    Similarly, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Keyamo, has also discredited the advertorial on social media.

    The Minister also debunked a similar social media message calling on job seekers to submit applications on the SPW to ward-leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

    “I have not directed that forms for the SPW be distributed to APC ward leaders to give to party members. Any of such lists will be discountenanced. This is not an APC programme but a programme for all Nigerians. We shall only accept final lists from the States’ Selection Committee,” he said.

    Conclusion

    Based on the findings by Dubawa, the viral social media message calling on Nigerians to submit applications to the state offices of the NDE for the Federal Government’s proposed 774,000 jobs under its SPW Programme is false. The NDE has not commenced accepting such applications.

    This fact-check is a republished article from Daily Trust per our Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with newsrooms and media organisations. 

  • Forbes Did Not Rate Nigeria as the Best Economy In Africa! False Claim by Keyamo

    On Monday 14 by 9.a.m during Sunrise Daily programme on Channels TV, the spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organization, Mr Festus Keyamu, said that Forbes rated Nigeria as having the best economy in Africa. The statement which was reported on TheCable was actually said on national TV, Channels TV to be specific.

    Forbes is an American family-controlled business magazine. It features original articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing topics.

    Forbes also reports on related subjects such as technology, communications, science, politics, and law. The magazine is well known for its lists and rankings, including of the richest Americans (the Forbes 400 ), of the world’s top companies (the Forbes Global 2000 ), and the world’s billionaires. The motto of Forbes magazine is “The Capitalist Tool”!

    To verify the claim, DUBAWA first attempted to contact Mr. Keyamo but was unable to (this report will be updated if this changes). Nevertheless, the video which has been uploaded on YouTube shows the interview where he stated this.

    Since Forbes has a website, it was easy to find out if the acclaimed report exists, and it was discovered that Forbes has not released its 2018 ranking of the best economy in the world. The recent release available on Forbes website, however, is “Best Countries for Business”!

    Forbes Releases Annual Reports on the Best Economy

    Yes, Forbes does release annual reports on the best economy in the world. This is done sometimes by rating counties or by providing the GDP of countries surveyed by them. In May 2016, Forbes published that Nigeria was top with Egypt and South Africa behind. Last year December, it stated in the report on countries economy that Nigeria’s GDP was $405bn. The report for 2018 has not been released.

    Nigeria isn’t even among the top countries for doing business!

    Although the best economy ranking has not been released, Forbes actually released on Friday, September 7, 2018, the top countries for doing business and Nigeria was not even rated top in Africa. Nigeria was ranked 3rd best in Africa in terms of “investor protection”. Rwanda and South Africa were rated above Nigeria on the African continent, and Nigeria was ranked as 115th best country to do business in the world in a total of 153 countries that were surveyed.

    The rankings were based on 15 different factors including property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape and investor protection.

    Cumulatively, South Africa was ranked 48th while Rwanda scored 79th on the index for best country to do business.

    Conclusion: Based on the available data, Forbes has not released such information and even if it did, we doubt Nigeria would be ranked top in Africa or the world. Festus Keyamo’s claim, is therefore, FALSE!

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