IN SHORT: A tweet doing the rounds on Facebook has Nigeria’s one-time military leader Ibrahim Babangida saying he respects former president Olusegun Obasanjo for endorsing Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi. But the tweet is from a parody Twitter account.
“Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo will forever be a true elder statesman and a boss in the military,” reads a tweet posted on 3 January 2023.
“No serving General in the Nigerian Army today joined the military earlier than 1982. By then, Obasanjo had already finished his military career. I respect him a lot, with his endorsement.”
The tweet is from a Twitter account with the name “Ibrahim B. Babangida” and the handle @General_Ibbro.
Ibrahim Babangida is a former military leader who was Nigeria’s head of state from 1985 to 1993.
Olusegun Obasanjo was the country’s president from 1999 to 2007 and remains influential in its politics. On 1 January he endorsed Peter Obi of the Labour Party as his preferred choice for president in the country’s upcoming elections, set for 25 February.
A screenshot of the tweet has also been posted on Facebook here, here, here, and here.
But did Babaginda really tweet that he respected Obasanjo for endorsing Obi? We checked.
‘Those behind the Twitter statement are liars’
The description on the @General_Ibbro page describes it as a parody account. But this hasn’t stopped people from responding and sharing the tweet.
Babaginda has come out several times to say that he doesn't have a presence on social media.
In 2018, Babangida singled out Twitter accounts making statements in his name for criticism.
And Kassim Afegbua, the former military leader’s spokesperson, has refuted the claim that Babangida has endorsed Obi.
“It is not true, please. Ignore the report of the endorsement. IBB doesn’t have a Twitter handle,” he told the Nigerian Tribune.
“If he is going to speak, it will be through a signed statement, not Twitter. Those behind the Twitter statement are liars."
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