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No, Nigeria's top military officer is not dead. Ignore false claims on social media

IN SHORT: Online claims that Nigeria's chief of defence staff Christopher Musa, who has been in office for six months, has died are false. He is alive and well.

Nigeria’s chief of defence staff, Major General Christopher Musa, has died, according to a Facebook post dated 23 November 2023.

The chief of defence staff is the highest-ranking military officer in the country and the president’s principal advisor on military matters.

Born on 25 December 1967 in Sokoto state in north-western Nigeria, Musa was commissioned into the Nigerian army in September 1991.

In June 2023, he was appointed chief of defence staff.

The Facebook post claiming that he'd died was also shared here. Such a post, if unchallenged, could affect Nigeria's security and the morale of soldiers fighting Boko Haram and other terrorist groups. 

So is the claim accurate? We checked.

False claim about the death of Christopher Musa

‘Alive and hearty’

On 21 November, the country’s defence headquarters refuted the claim.

“To put the record straight, the CDS, General CG Musa is alive and hearty,” army spokesperson Tukur Gusau said in a statement on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. 

On 9 December, Musa spoke to the media after the army accidentally killed more than 85 civilians in Kaduna while fighting terrorists.

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