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.
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
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.