No evidence Donald Trump told Nigeria’s Buhari to ‘stop sleeping and protect your citizens’

Stop sleeping and protect your citizens – Trump Tells Buhari,” reads the headline of an article published on Nigerian news site News Padi in April 2019. It was shared via Opera News and on Facebook.

But the article itself doesn’t back up the claim that US president Donald Trump said this to Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari. 

It reports that Trump was reacting to the killing of civilians in Nigeria, particularly in the north, by bandits.

The text reads: “Nigerians need leaders who are ready to work, who are ready to deliver when called to power, leaders who are corrupt-free. Nigerians need leaders who listen to the cry of the people, the Nigerian government must stop sleeping.

The article doesn’t include the supposed quote by Trump, or explain when he said it. No other news organisations have reported on it. The headline is false. 

Trump spoke on ‘murder of Christians’

While there’s no evidence for the quote in the News Padi headline, Trump has previously spoken about Nigeria’s “problems”. 

During Buhari’s state visit to the US in April 2018, Trump made the following comment: “We have had very serious problems with Christians who are being murdered in Nigeria, we are going to be working on that problem very, very hard because we cannot allow that to happen.”

US has strong relationship with Nigeria – US embassy

The US embassy in Abuja, the capital, told Africa Check the country continues to have a strong and enduring relationship with Nigeria. 

Africa Check asked the embassy whether Trump had said “Stop sleeping and protect your citizens” to Buhari. They neither denied nor confirmed the quote, and directed Africa Check to look through the official press statements from the US presidency.

The quote could not be found in White House documents. – Motunrayo Joel 


Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check has partnered with Facebook to combat fake news and false information on the social platform. This fact-check is part of the initiative.

As part of its third-party fact-checking programme, Facebook allows its partners to see public articles, pictures or videos that have been flagged as potentially inaccurate.

Content rated as “false” by fact-checkers will be downgraded in news feeds. This means fewer people will see it.

You can help us identify fake news and false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

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