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Former Lagos commissioner denies being appointed Nigeria's presidential spokesperson

IN SHORT: Bola Tinubu is building his administration, but rumours that he has appointed a former Lagos state commissioner to the key post of spokesperson are not substantiated.

Social media posts claim that Nigeria's president Bola Tinubu has picked Dele Alake, a former Lagos state commissioner, as his spokesperson.

CONGRATULATIONS AS PRESIDENT BOLA AHMED TINUBU APPOINT CHIEF HENRY DELE ALAKE AS PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON,” begins one such message shared on Facebook in Nigeria. 

Tinubu was sworn in as Nigeria’s president on 29 May 2023, succeeding Muhammadu Buhari

He was governor of Lagos state, the country’s economic hub, from 1999 to 2007. A journalist by profession, Dele Alake served as Tinubu’s commissioner for information and strategy. 

He was also the former director of strategic communication of the presidential campaign council of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) party.

The APC won the February 2023 presidential election.

The post continues with what it says is Alake's biography, which includes his education, career, marriage, achievements and controversies. 

We found other instances of this claim on Facebook here, here and here. But is the claim true?

AlakeTinubu_False

News of appointment ‘fake’

There are no media reports of Alake's appointment as presidential spokesperson, which would have made headlines if true.

Nigerian media reported that Alake said the claim of his appointment as presidential spokesman was “fake news”.

Although the president has made several appointments like the chief of staff and deputy, state chief of protocol, and received senate approval on 6 June to appoint 20 special advisers, at the time of writing he had yet to appoint a spokesperson.

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