No Nigerian minister said Igbos would be denied funds because of Biafra

A Facebook post shared on 31 March 2020 in Nigeria claims that the “minister of finance” has told Igbos not to “expect any money from us since you want Biafra”. 

The post goes on to claim that the minister said the government is “only sharing money to the poorest Nigerians in the North because we don’t have poor people in South Nigeria”.

The post says this shows “hatred against the Igbos”. Igbo people live predominantly in the southeastern and south-central regions of Nigeria. 

The country has seen long-running tensions between the Igbo and Hausa people, who are predominantly Muslim and live in the north of the country. In 1967 the mainly Igbo region of Biafra declared its independence from Nigeria. A 30-month civil war followed. 

There are still pro-Biafra groups in Nigeria, some of whom regularly spread disinformation to advance their cause. Is this post an example of this, or is it true?

Photo shows wrong minister

The post claims to quote Nigeria’s minister of finance, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed. But the photo published with the post is not of her. It’s of the minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, Sadiya Umar Farouk. 

The photo appears on Farouk’s official Facebook page. It was uploaded on 19 December 2019 and shows her addressing the Nigerian Army Resource Centre. 

No ministerial statements about Igbo

The post doesn’t mention when and where the “minister of finance” is meant to have made the statement, which makes it difficult to verify – and is a sign it may be false. 

And there are no statements from the finance ministry making any claim like this. There is no mention of anything like it on either Ahmed’s personal Twitter page or the ministry’s official account. 

Also, the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development has not made any statement on the subject, through any press release or social media channel. 

Such a controversial speech by a federal minister would have been widely reported in the media, but nothing like it has been reported by any credible news organisation. The Facebook post quoting the Nigerian minister of finance is fake. – Africa Check 


 

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