IN SHORT: Facebook posts claim that secessionist leader Nnamdi Kanu declined to do the Nigerian government’s bidding, which is why he remains under guard. But the governor quoted as having details of this plot has denied any knowledge of it.
A post published on Facebook in Nigeria claims that Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the secessionist Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob), remains in custody because he refused to do the government’s bidding.
According to the claim, should Wike expose the “secret” that keeps Kanu incarcerated, the government would be forced to free him.
The post alleges that Wike “further stated that Nnamdi Kanu is still in their custody because he has refused to dance to their tune and because Buhari has asked him to do something and he has refused to do it, so they are not releasing him”.
Nigerians choose a new president on 25 February 2023 to succeed Muhamadu Buhari, who has been in office since 2015.
Wike: ‘Absolutely fake news’
The post gives no details of when or where Wike is meant to have made this statement. A link to a blog is provided but this only repeats what is in the post. Such a lack of detail is often a red flag that a quote circulating on social media has been fabricated.
Given the governor’s national profile, such claims would also have been widely reported by trustworthy media sources. We could find no such reporting.
We also asked Kevin Ebiri, Wike’s special assistant on media, about the quote. The claim is “absolutely fake news”, he told us.
For more on the disinformation trends during Nigeria’s election season, read our analysis here.
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