Nigeria: Fact Check - Buhari's Aide Posts Fake Pictures to Attack Atiku

Aso Villa, presidential residence, National Assembly, right (file photo)
4 December 2018

Social media aide to Nigerian President, Lauretta Onochie, has claimed that Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the opposition People's Democratic Party, distributed cash and food at his rally held in Sokoto, northwest Nigeria, on Monday, December 3.

Onochie on Tuesday tweeted a photo of food packs that had N500 attached to each of them with the caption "KEEP THEM IN POVERTY, THEN GIVE THEM HANDOUTS- ATIKU in Sokoto yesterday" implying that the photos came from the Abubakar's Sokoto campaign rally.

The image which has garnered 143 retweets and 166 likes has been crosschecked as false by Guardian Nigeria's Lolade Nwanze for CrossCheck.

She said, "While the tweet has garnered multiple retweets, we have found the image to be recycled and miscontextualised."

While tweeting out accusations against the opposition's candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari's media aide also reused the image and three other similar ones in another tweet to further buttress her point.

Also, one Facebook user, named Zara Gift Onyinye posted the same picture and tagged it "This is how it happened in Sokoto today... Shameless to say the least". The post has since garnered over 1,800 shares.

Having reverse-searched the image, we found that the same picture most likely first appeared online in February 2017 when a Lagos-based Charity foundation, released photos from an outreach.

A blog also claimed that the image came from a charity event organised by an actress Ruth Eze in Ajegunle area of Lagos also in February 2017.

What is certain, however, is that the image did not come from the rally at Sokoto as posited by Mrs Onochie.

This is not the first time the social media aide will be posting images misrepresentative of facts. In September 2018, she had to apologise cheekily after she was confronted that an image she posted of the Nasarawa-Jos Road was a random image from the internet.

Onochie has also been involved in uncouth and unsavoury statements about others. The aide infamously went on a tirade against the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria. She called him an evil sentimentalist, a liar, a backslider, a pretender to the throne of God.

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