FACTCHECK: Claim that ‘President Buhari sacks’ Bashir Ahmad, Lauretta Onochie is FALSE
CLAIM: Buhari sacks his media aides, Lauretta Onochie and Bashir Ahmad; alleges viral blog post.
CONCLUSION: FALSE. There are no media reports to corroborate these claims. More so, the Wednesday press release puts the whole issue to bed; and as such it should be disregarded!
On Tuesday, August 22, 2019, the story on the president firing his media aides was circulated by a number of blogs not limited to 9jaflaver, Gistmania,Igberetv and Nairaland. The subjects of the discourse, Bashir Ahmad and Lauretta Onochie, functioned as Personal Assistant to the President on News Media and Personal Assistant to the President on Social Media respectively.
Reacting to the fake news on Twitter, the personal assistant to the President on New Media, Bashir Ahmed who was surprised when the news filtered and was tweeted by a blog responded by tweeting , “ Wait, Really?” before the blog took down the post.
The news headline, Buhari Sacks Lauretta Onochie, Bashir Ahmad, Reappoints Adesina, Shehu insinuates the former were fired and replaced by the latter. This was not the case. Our findings revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari did not sack any of his media aides, as there was no official report to it and no publication of such by any notable media house in the country.
Also, when contacted on Tuesday evening, one of the President’s media aides, Mr Bashir Ahmad disclosed to Tribune Online that the claim was far from the truth and that Presidency will on Wednesday released a statement to that effect.
Subsequently, the Presidency on Wednesday, did reveal in a press release that it has approved the reappointment of his media aides. Amongst those up for reappointment were Laureta Onochie and Bashir Ahmad.
CONCLUSION: The story is obviously false as there are no media reports to corroborate its claims. More so, the Wednesday press release puts the whole issue to bed, and as such it should be disregarded!
NB: We advise that any information that has not been reported by various notable print or electronic media in Nigeria should be taken with a pinch of salt consequent on the wide-spread prevalence of disinformation.