False claim on presidential aircraft attributed to Akpabio circulates online

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Summary

A verified X user, @Frankekechukwu, has claimed that the Nigerian Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, made a public statement regarding the purchase of two new aircrafts for Nigeria’s president and the vice-president.

OUR VERDICT: The claim attributed to Godswill Akpabio regarding purchase of new presidential aircraft is FALSE; this has been debunked by Akpabio himself via multiple media reports.

A verified X user, @Frankekechukwu, has claimed that the Nigerian Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, made a public statement regarding the purchase of two new aircrafts for Nigeria’s president and the vice-president.

The post, which also contained an image of the Senate President, read:

*BREAKING NEWS*: We know Nigerians are hungry, but that will not stop us to approve private jet for Mr. President. His live is more important now than ordinary citizens. We have to do that as fast as possible – Godswill Akpabio. What an arrogant voluminous Statement!

The post has since garnered over 700,000 views, alongside over 3,900 repost, more than 4,900 likes and over 2,900 comments as of June 27, 2024.

READ: Again, Okonjo-Iweala debunks viral post on Nigeria’s debt profile attributed to her

 

CLAIM

Presidential aircraft more important than current hunger – says Godswill Akpabio.

 

THE FINDINGS

Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE!

Some media platforms including Premium Times reported that the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence had asked the Nigerian government to purchase new private jets for the use of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his Vice, Kashim Shettima, due to the deplorable state of two aircraft from the presidential fleet. The faulty aircraft have been put up for sale by the government already.

Screenshot of the claim retrieved from X. Insert: FALSE verdict.
Screenshot of the claim retrieved from X. Insert: FALSE verdict.

Our fact-checker observed from multiple news reports that the new aircraft was requested by the technical committee in Nigeria’s House of Representatives and not the Nigerian Senate headed by Godswill Akpabio.

A closer look at the X post shows that it is laden with grammatical and spelling errors. Further searches show that the statement attributed to the Senate President was not reported by any local or international media platform.

When The FactCheckHub reached out to Akpabio’s media aide, Eseme Eyiboh, he debunked the claim and also shared a disclaimer posted by the Senate President’s office on the issue.

A Poster tagging the claim as 'Fake News'
A disclaimer posted on social media by Akpabio’s media team.

“The post is fake and we have already issued out a statement,” Eyiboh said.

Some media houses including Channels TV, Nigerian Tribune and Punch on June 25 reported that the Senate President refuted the claim via one of his media aide, Jackson Udom, who clarified the matter during a condolence visit to Sen. Tahir Monguno over the loss of his father.

“I want to dispel the rumour that you are hearing that the Senate President said he will buy a new plane for the President and his Vice, irrespective of the fact that Nigerians are hungry or whatever. I never said that.

“… It is the handiwork of propagandists and fifth columnists, who never see anything good in what we are doing, ” Akpabio said.

 

ALSO READ: Claim that people must die for the ‘new world order’ attributed to Vanessa Kerry is FALSE

 

THE VERDICT

The claim attributed to Godswill Akpabio regarding purchase of new presidential aircraft is FALSE; this has been debunked by Akpabio himself via multiple media reports.

Fact-checker at The FactheckHub | [email protected]

Seasoned fact-checker and researcher Fatimah Quadri has written numerous fact-checks, explainers, and media literacy pieces for The FactCheckHub in an effort to combat information disorder. She can be reached at sunmibola_q on X or [email protected].

SOURCE: @Frankekechukwu via X.

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