No coronavirus in Nigeria? Pastor’s claim false

“Special prayer sessions are being held these days for coronavirus. I want to tell us that that thing is not in Nigeria,” Nigerian pastor Kingsley Innocent says in a video posted on his YouTube channel on 15 March 2020.

Innocent – also known as “Talknado” – is the “general overseer” of Bible Believing Mission in Aba, southeast Nigeria. He was apparently speaking to hundreds of cheering people at his church when the video was filmed. 

He continues: “Say Talknado said so. It’s not in Nigeria. That thing cannot survive in Nigeria. What do mean by coronavirus when there are corrosive anointing. I don’t know about other places, there is no coronavirus here. Coronavirus does not exist in Nigeria.”

The video has since been shared several times on Facebook – with many users laughing at or dismissing his claim. 

But is the pastor correct?

Covid-19 confirmed in Nigeria in February

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reported the country’s first case of coronavirus on 27 February – more than two weeks before Innocent’s video was posted on YouTube. A second case was confirmed on 9 March.

The country now has more than 130 cases of Covid-19, with two deaths.

According to reports, president Muhammadu Buhari’s chief of staff, Abba Kyari, and a son of former vice-president Atiku Abubakar are among those infected by the virus. Other high-profile Nigerians have also tested positive for Covid-19. – Allwell Okpi


For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Fighting coronavirus misinformation

Africa Check is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers fighting misinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic.

Learn more about the alliance here.

© Copyright Africa Check 2020. Read our republishing guidelines. You may reproduce this piece or content from it for the purpose of reporting and/or discussing news and current events. This is subject to: Crediting Africa Check in the byline, keeping all hyperlinks to the sources used and adding this sentence at the end of your publication: “This report was written by Africa Check, a non-partisan fact-checking organisation. View the original piece on their website", with a link back to this page.