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FACT-CHECK: Claim on resignation of Ganduje’s aide on graveyard TRUE but tweet MISLEADING

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ON August 10, a former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Chidi Odinkalu, tweeted that Yakubu Nagoda an aide to the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje has resigned. 

Odinkalu wrote, “Yakubu Nagoda, the Special Assistant on Graveyards to @GovUmarGanduje, Governor of Kano State in NW #Nigeria, has resigned.”

He also added that “The man is tired. Can u blame him?!”

The resignation document with the letterhead ‘Office of the Special Assistant to the Executive Governor of Kano State on Graveyards’ was included in the tweet.

In less than 24 hours, the tweet has garnered 137 retweets and generated 55 comments and lead to several similar posts made by other accounts with reactions.

The reactions generally border on disbelief that a position for a special assistant on graveyards exists. Some of the reactions also questioned the timeline of the resignation.

 

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THE CLAIM:

Claim 1: That there is an office of the special assistant to the executive governor of Kano state on graveyards.

Claim 2: That Yakubu Nagoda just resigned as as special assistant to Governor Umar Ganduje on graveyards.

 

THE FINDINGS:

A look at the date on the attached document shows August 4, 2018.

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In addition a search of the document using the TinEye tool – an app that allows for reverse searches on images – showed that it appeared on the internet as far back as August 2018.

Within the same period, Legit, an online newspaper reported the same story and embedded the resignation document on the published report.  The Cable and BBC Pidgin also had similar reports with the same document.

This means Odinkalu made his Twitter post almost two years after it actually happened and  he presented it as something recent. For instance, he said, “The man is tired. Can u blame him.”

The Kano state Commissioner for Information, Mohammed Garba confirmed to the ICIR that the Office of the special assistant to the executive governor of Kano state on graveyards exists within the period in question.

In a phone interview with  The ICIR on Tuesday, August 11, Garba said  that the office existed between 2015 to 2019 but no new appointment has been made since the governor returned for his second term in office.

Garba said “The office existed in the last 2015 – 2019.”

“There is no new appointment.”

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“The Governor is yet to appoint anyone to that office.”

Ganduje is the current governor of Kano state. He was re-elected for a second term in 2019. After finishing his first tenure which lasted  from 2015 to 2019.

The ICIR also reached out to Nagoda, the aide who was said to have resigned and in a phone interview on August 12 confirmed  submitting the resignation letter.

The letter had initially gone viral in 2018, before resurfacing in 2020.

Nagoda speaking Hausa language told the ICIR “It is true. I gave the letter when I was leaving.”

The ICIR called and sent a text message to Professor Odinkalu for comment but he has not responded as at the time of filing this report.

VERDICT: 

Based on the information presented the claim that there is an office of the special assistant to the executive governor of Kano state on graveyards is TRUE.

While it is true that Nagoda resigned as  special assistant on graveyards to Ganduje, He did that two years ago.  The presentation of the tweet as something that recently happened is MISLEADING.

Olugbenga is an Investigative Reporter with The ICIR. Email address: [email protected] Twitter handle: @OluAdanikin

If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

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