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No, Nigeria’s Ondo state governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu is not dead

IN SHORT: The governor of Nigeria’s southwestern Ondo state has been in poor health, but he is alive – despite online claims to the contrary.

The governor of Nigeria’s Ondo state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, is dead, according to a post shared on Facebook on 3 June 2023.

Ondo is located in the southwest of Nigeria. Akeredolu was sworn in as governor on 24 February 2017.  He is a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress party.

The post doesn't give any further details about the source of the “breaking news”. But it has also been shared here, here, here, here, here and here on Facebook.

There have been several reports of Akeredolu’s ill health. Some reports claim the governor has been flown out of the country for treatment.

Public figures are often the victims of false rumours about their death. Could the same be true of 67-year-old Akeredolu?


Ignore rumours, governor ‘hale and hearty’

On 3 June, Akeredolu posted a 12-second video of himself and others watching a football match on Twitter.

The tweet with the video, in a mix of Yoruba and English, reads: Efi Okan bale Red Devils. E mu omi. We will win this game. #MCIMUN.”

This loosely translates to: “Relax your mind, Red Devils. Drink water.” The Red Devils are a nickname for the globally popular Manchester United football team.

The tweet was referencing the final of the Football Association (FA) Cup. In 2023, Manchester United lost the match to hometown rivals Manchester City on 3 June.

Akeredolu also tweeted on 5 June, days after the news of his supposed death was posted.

The governor was “hale and hearty”, said Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, Ondo state commissioner for information, in a signed statement dated 3 June.

“We have been inundated with calls and messages concerning the state of health of the Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu. We had chosen to ignore this wicked fabrication until it appeared that certain persons seek to draw political mileage from the disinformation,” he said.

Ademola-Olateju said Akeredolu was “indisposed” but was still attending to state matters.

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