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No evidence letter is Nigerian presidential hopeful Abubakar’s proposed list of cabinet members

IN SHORT: Have elders in northern Nigeria, a political stronghold of opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar, already drawn up a list of cabinet members in exchange for their support? No, a letter claiming this is false.

A letter circulating online lists names of proposed cabinet members for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar if he wins the election.

Abubakar is one of the frontrunners in Nigeria's presidential election on 25 February. He was vice president from 1999 to 2007.

The PDP is the main opposition party.

The letter is claimed to be from the office of the former Nigerian national security adviser and PDP member general Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, on behalf of the party’s “northern core-caucus elders forum”.

It reads:

Greetings and well wishes to Your Excellency from the elders and forum of the People Democratic Party northern core-caucus.on behalf of the underlisted individuals, hereby forward the proposed list of appointments to the cabinet of incoming President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as per our verbal discussion at the closing rally of our great party, the PDP. Sir, kindly review and take note of the underlisted proposed positions as agreed.

The letter has been posted on Facebook here, and on Twitter here, here and here.

Abubakar will be banking on the north to swell his vote basket, making the letter credible.

But did Gusau write a letter to Abubakar with this list of proposed cabinet members?

AbubakarLetter_False

‘Propaganda and no truth to it’

Abubakar’s media aide, Paul Ibe, told Africa Check that the letter was a “poor job” and “propaganda”.

Ibe said: “General Gusau is too experienced to do such a thing. Of course Atiku Abubakar would have those who he will want to be in his cabinet but not to the extent that General Gusau will be the one to put pen to paper to write a list.”

He added: "There is no truth in it.”

We found no evidence that Gusau wrote a letter to Abubakar with a list of proposed cabinet members.

This report was produced in collaboration with the Nigerian Fact-checkers' Coalition.

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