Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has dismissed reports that he met with Bola Tinubu at the 80th birthday celebration of the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo.
The clarification came in a statement from his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi.
A TikTok video had falsely claimed that the two political figures met during the event. Obasanjo strongly condemned the misleading post.
The former President is currently in South Africa for the burial of his friend, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi. He stated that he had not seen Tinubu since the latter visited him in Abeokuta.
Obasanjo emphasized that he was at the church service for the Alake’s birthday, not the reception. He also refuted claims that he is seeking employment or collaboration with Tinubu.
The recent clarification by former President Olusegun Obasanjo about not meeting Bola Tinubu at a public event is more than just a simple denial.
It speaks volumes about the current political climate in Nigeria, where even a casual meeting between two political figures can spark widespread speculation and misinformation.
The use of social media platforms like TikTok to spread false information is a growing concern. It not only misleads the public but also has the potential to create unnecessary tension in an already volatile political landscape.
Obasanjo’s prompt response to the false claims is commendable. It sets a precedent for other public figures to quickly address misinformation quickly, thereby preserving their integrity and that of the political process.
The incident also raises questions about the responsibility of social media platforms. Should they be more proactive in verifying the authenticity of content related to public figures?
Did You Know?
- Olusegun Obasanjo is the only Nigerian to have served as a military and a civilian president.
- Bola Tinubu is a former Governor of Lagos State and a key figure in the All Progressives Congress (APC).
- The Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, is a first-class Yoruba traditional ruler.
- TikTok has over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide.
- A 2021 report states Nigeria is among the top 10 countries affected by internet fraud and misinformation.