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Who is Nigeria’s real president? Photo of Buhari and Kyari photoshopped

Behind the scenes, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief of staff Abba Kyari “is the real president of Nigeria”, claims a Facebook post by Codex News published on 7 July 2019.

It shows a photo of a smiling Kyari seated at a desk and signing a document, while Buhari looks on from behind him. Kyari was reappointed chief of staff in early July.

“This picture clearly depicts the true picture of Nigeria today. Buhari is an onlooker in his government,” the post says.

Kyari, it claims, “is the one that signs most documents and takes decisions for Buhari”.

The chief of staff is often referred to as the leader of a “cabal that controls the presidency.

Clues to image manipulation

But the photo is fake, as some of the 180 or so Facebook users who commented on the post suggested.

An obvious clue is that each man’s face and hands are a different colour. Buhari’s hands in particular are much darker than his face.

Other clues are the blurring around their necks, the odd angle of their heads, and that their clothes look altered – all signs of image manipulation.

Photoshopped from three different photos

We discovered the manipulated image was made from three different photos. 

One shows Buhari at the desk, signing a document. It first appeared online in August 2017 in reports on the president resuming work after his 104-day medical vacation in London. 

Kyari’s head comes from a photo of him often used in media reports, including this one from August 2016.

Buhari’s head is from one of his frequently published photos, used since at least December 2017. – Allwell Okpi


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