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Office of the ‘immediate past governor’? Nigeria’s Kogi state denies its exists

IN SHORT: On his first day in office in January 2024, Kogi state governor Usman Ododo nominated members of his cabinet, including some from the previous administration. But he did not create  an "office of the immediate past governor", as claimed online.

The newly sworn-in governor of Nigeria's Kogi state, Usman Ododo, set up an office for the immediate past governor of the state. At least that’s the claim that circulated online as breaking news on 29 January 2024.

Former governor Yahaya Bello handed over power to Ododo on 28 January after serving two terms from 2016 to 2024.

In the run-up to elections in the state in November 2023, there was speculation that Ododo was Yahya's cousin.

But Yahya denied this, saying they were simply both from the state's largest ethnic group, the “Ebiras”, and that Ododo had secured his party’s ticket on merit.  

Both Yahya and Ododo are members of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress

One of the posts reads: “Breaking News: Kogi State Governor approves the establishment of the ‘Office of Immediate Past Governor’ to be domiciled in the Government House. Kogi State, Congratulations.”

Several posts on Facebook, including here, here, here, here , here, here, here, here and here, also circulated the claim. 

But did the recently elected governor create such an office?

OdodoClaim_False

‘Laughable report concocted to create disaffection and mislead’

There have been several media reports that Ododo had submitted a list of nominees to be appointed to his cabinet after inauguration.

The reports said that the governor retained some cabinet members from Yahya's government, but there was no mention of his creating an office for his predecessor. 

We checked the state government’s website for proof of this, but our search came up empty. 

The state government has reportedly called the claim “fake news” and asked the public to ignore it.

“The laughable report was concocted to create disaffection and mislead the public but the authors failed woefully to confuse intelligent Nigerians,” a spokesperson for the governor said.

Those spreading the claim were “psychotic mischief makers”, said Oladele John.

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