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Was President Buhari Smug Over the Two-Week Extension to the Lockdown?

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A blog post headlined that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria said Nigerians should appreciate him for the two-week lockdown extension.

During his speech, the President did not make such a statement; this is a clear illustration of a falsified headline purposely meant to catch the reader’s attention.

Full text

Monday, April 13 marked the end of the two weeks lockdown initiated by the Federal government, or so we thought. As the countdown slowly came to a halt, everyone waited anxiously for a directive from the presidency; although all indications pointed to a possible extension. And just yesterday, the suspense was over. The administration announced another two weeks of self-isolation for the citizenry. 

Shortly after President Buhari’s nationwide address on the 13th of April 2020, a blog site- Oyinbonaija- decided to add fuel to the fire of uncertain emotions embodied by Nigerians. The website’s publication which already garnered over 469 views suggests that President Muhammadu Buhari urged Nigerians to appreciate him for the extension. 

But is this really the case? Did the President make such a comment while giving his speech?

Verification

A proper look at the publication revealed that the only contradicting statement of the publication was the headline. The main text was starkly different from the headline.

A section of the President’s speech read:

“With this in mind and having carefully considered the briefings and Report from the Presidential Task Force and the various options offered, it has become necessary to extend the current restriction of movement in Lagos and Ogun States as well as the FCT for another 14 days effective from 11:59 pm on Monday, 13th of April, 2020. I am therefore once again asking you all to work with (the) Government in this fight”. 

However, at no point in time did the President say that Nigerians should appreciate him for the lockdown, at least not in his speech.

Sensational headlines

Oyinbonaija in its publication, like many other misleading pieces, leverages emotions via sensational headlines for clicks and views. This tactic, however, is not novel and not in the least imperceptible.

Consequently, Dubawa still urges readers to be sceptical of any piece of information they come across. Additionally,  readers should ensure they go through the main text and not only the headline. This will give the reader the idea the source of the message is trying to pass.

And as a reminder, sensational headlines are a pointer that the news might be fake. At the very least, interrogate the piece with a simple google search; better still, reach out to us.

Conclusion

The President did not say in his speech that Nigerians should appreciate him for extending the lockdown by two weeks. Sites such as these leverage emotions via clickbait titles for notoriety. 

Temilade Onilede is a researcher and the Programme Assistant for Dubawa, Nigeria. She holds an undergraduate degree in Performing Arts From the University of Ilorin, Ilorin Kwara State. She is a trained journalist, with good research and writing skills, coupled with her knowledge in Journalism; a personable character and an engaging mind who is well skilled in the field of fact-checking and verification.

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