Back to Africa Check

No evidence Nigerian opposition’s Atiku paid generals $10m to overthrow President Buhari

The website My State News claims Nigerian opposition leader Atiku Abubakar paid 10 army generals US$10 million to overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari.

The 17 May 2019 story was shared on the APC Newspaper Facebook page and on the page of blogger Alhassan Adam Wase.  

“Former Vice President and People Democratic Party’s Presidential candidate in just conclusion Nigeria presidential election, Atiku Abubakar has been accused of paying as much as ten million dollars ($10m) to a group of high-ranking Generals to overthrow President Buhari before the inauguration of his second tenure,” the story claims.

It continues: “According to the report made available to My State News, Atiku was planning to sabotage the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.”

Abubakar lost the presidential race to Buhari in the 2019 polls, and is challenging the results in court.


No wind of fictitious report

The post has so far attracted 317 shares and 299 comments on Facebook.

One user said: “I will add 100 thousand to the money so that the overthrow will be quick.” Another added: “Atiku is desperate of power, the man Atiku can sell Nigeria in other to have power.

But others called the post fake news.

Africa Check has asked My State News for the report quoted in the article, but they are yet to respond.

The story has also made its way to other mushroom news websites and online forums. But no major Nigerian newspaper has led with it.

‘Should have been reported by media houses’

Paul Ibe, a media adviser to Abubakar, denied the claim.

“This claim against Atiku is not true,” he told Africa Check. “If such an act happened at all, it should have been reported by media houses, not websites like the one that published the claim.”

Meanwhile, Nigeria's defence headquarters have distanced the country's armed forces from a document calling for the overthrow of Buhari’s administration. The document is allegedly being circulated by a group called Nigerian Continuity and Progress. - Jennifer Ojugbeli (28/05/19)

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.