Back to Africa Check

No, Nigeria’s ministry of interior hasn’t asked Nigerians to get a certificate for enduring president Buhari’s two terms in office

IN SHORT: A document is circulating on social media in Nigeria, asking citizens to go to their local government headquarters to get a certificate that they have survived Muhammadu Buhari’s two terms in office. But while it may look convincing, this announcement is patently false.

Has Nigeria’s federal ministry of interior asked Nigerians to obtain a “certificate of endurance and survival” at their local government headquarters? 

That’s the claim in what appears to be a screenshot of a public announcement from the ministry. 

It reads, in part: “The certificate will serve as our sincere honor for your endurance and patriotic citizenship during the eight years of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR Administration.” 

The statement is dated 15 May 2023 and signed by “Dr Shuaib Belgore, Permanent Secretary”.

Buhari was sworn in on 29 May 2015. After serving two terms in office as president, he is due to hand over to president-elect Bola Tinubu on 29 May 2023.

The announcement says the “date for the exercise” is from 1 to 30 June 2023. 

The post has been shared on Facebook here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. 

Many Nigerians have lamented Buhari’s eight years in office, saying that he ruined the country’s economy. But has the ministry of interior announced that Nigerians will be awarded a certificate for “surviving” Buhari’s rule?


Ministry says Nigerians should disregard the announcement

It would be highly unusual for the federal ministry of interior to call for such an exercise.

If the announcement were true, it would likely lead to Belgore’s immediate dismissal.

And on 18 May, the ministry of interior tweeted that the announcement was false: “Members of the public are enjoined to disregard this false, wicked and mischievous news from unscrupulous individuals; as it never originated from the ministry. The ministry totally refutes and distances itself from the fake news.”

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.