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Viral video shows Nigeria’s Anambra state governor criticising local council chairperson, not commissioner for works

IN SHORT: Social media users in Nigeria claim a trending video shows the governor of Anambra state threatening to publicly sack a state commissioner. But the video in fact shows the governor calling out a local council chairperson.

Several Facebook users claim a video trending on social media shows Anambra state governor, Charles Soludo, publicly criticising and threatening to fire a commissioner of the state.

One example, posted on 10 March 2024, is captioned: “If I come back and see this thing here I will sack you - Gov. Charles Chukwuma Soludo warns his Commissioner for Works.” The video has been viewed over 1,000 times,

In the video, the governor is seen wearing a red top and a white cap. The governor says: “If I come back again and see any of this, I will sack you, publicly.”

The Anambra state commissioner for works is Ifeanyi Okoma, who was appointed by the governor in 2022. The Kano state governor sacked a commissioner in 2023. Another commissioner was fired in 2022. The Ondo state governor also fired some appointees of the former governor, including commissioners, in 2024. 

Commissioners are appointed by the governor to represent the governor in different sectors of the state and are approved by the state house of assembly

Governors have the power to dismiss commissioners if they don’t meet performance expectations.

The video with the same claim was also posted here, here and here. On Instagram, similar posts can be found here and here.

But is the man in the video the commissioner for works? We checked.


Local council chair called ‘incompetent’

A governor publicly threatening to fire a commissioner would be newsworthy, if true. But Africa Check found no reports in the media of the governor threatening to sack his commissioner for works.

Instead we found that the Anambra state governor had publicly called the local council chairperson of Ogbaru local government, Paschal Aniegbunam, “incompetent” over poorly done construction work in the latter’s area. 

Another post on X (formerly Twitter) also says the chair was criticised by the governor and a screenshot of the trending video was found in a similar report.

We looked closely at the man in the video and it was clear it was Aniegbunam, the local council chair of Ogbaru LGA. A clearer photo of him can be found here, here and here.

The commissioner for works can be seen here inspecting a road project and he looks quite different from the man in the viral video. The claim is false.

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