Claim: Joe Igbokwe, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), shared the photo of a tweet purportedly made by Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The tweet had quoted Atiku as saying he gifted $10 million to Bishop David Oyedepo after the cleric prayed for him.
Verdict: False! The tweet did not originate from Atiku Abubakar.
As is typical of election season, the buildup to the 2023 general elections has witnessed a proliferation of electoral disinformation.
In some cases, members of opposition parties commit the blunder of sharing reports that indict the members of the other parties. However, they do not take care to verify the information.
Recently, Joe Igbokwe, special adviser on drainage and water resources to Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos State, shared the screenshot of a tweet purportedly made by Atiku.
The tweet, posted on a Twitter account identified as @TheAtiku, reads, “After the renowned Pastor of Living Faith prayed for me, I whispered, ‘Those jets would not fuel themselves.’ He laughed. I gave him a generous gift of 10 Million Dollars to support his ministry. Thank you for the prayers. God bless you.”
The tweet was accompanied by pictures of the PDP presidential candidate and Oyedepo sharing a handshake among other officials present.
For context, Igbokwe is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a staunch supporter of Bola Tinubu, the party’s presidential candidate, who is Atiku’s challenger for next year’s election.
Igbokwe, who has over 139,000 followers on Facebook, shared the snapshot of the post to his page with the caption, “Can this be true?”. As of the time of filing this report, the post had been shared 17 times.
DUBAWA checked the Twitter handle @TheAtiku and observed it was not the official handle of the former Vice President. Atiku Abubakar; verified Twitter handle is @atiku, and every tweet (post) on the account is signed off with -AA.
This was not in the post shared by Igbokwe.
Meanwhile, the handle @TheAtiku has been suspended on Twitter. From different searches of past activities of the account on the micro-blogging platform, it was discovered that the account was identified as a parody account.
Also, the tweet shared by Igbokwe had been made as far back as 2018 and the latest activities by the account (@TheAtiku) was in 2019.
A Twitter user, @ChiromaHope, had, as far back as 2018, compared the parody account to the real account of the presidential aspirant, pointing out the differences between the two.
Moreover, a reverse image search of the screenshotted tweet using Google reverse image on Duplichecker showed that the original image surfaced online on October 11, 2018, when Atiku met with the cleric.
Atiku, at the time, posted the photo on his Twitter handle with the caption, “Thank you for the prayers, Bishop Oyedepo. God bless Nigeria.”
There was no mention of any money donated or any mention of private jets.
The tweet alleging that Atiku gave Oyedepo $10 million is from a parody account that has been suspended since 2019.