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Verified @APCNigeria Twitter handle sparks controversy

Verified @APCNigeria Twitter handle sparks controversy
April 15
12:33 2018
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Bolaji Abdullahi, publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says @APCNigeria, a verified Twitter handle, is not the account of the party.

The verification tag on Twitter is given to accounts with supposedly credible information. As of January, only 150,000 users were verified out of the 330 million active users on the microblogging platform.

APC’s handle was hacked on Saturday and its name changed to Justin Sun, a man who claims to be based in San Francisco, United States.

The account traded cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and ethereum.

At some point, the account was recovered by the handlers and Sun’s tweets were deleted, with the APC logo restored. But Sun took over the account after some hours.

In a tweet he posted after taking over, he demanded to be paid $100,000 for him to “shut up” about how the Twitter handle became his personal possession.

He also threatened to expose correspondence in the account.

“If the president of Nigeria does not pay me $100K, I’ll post all the correspondence here, and the whole world will see it,” Sun tweeted.

As of the time of filing this report, the handle’s name has been changed to John МcAfеe, and is still trading cryptocurrencies.

But Abdullahi said the handle, which has been actively used by the party for communication before the recent development, does not belong to APC.

“For the umpteenth time, @APCNigeria IS NOT the official Twitter handle of the All Progressives Congress (APC),” Abdullahi wrote on Twitter.

“In several official statements, we have disclaimed that handle. We view this latest development as a case of criminal impersonation.”

‘APC WILL ONE DAY SELL NIGERIA’

Reacting to Abdullahi’s claim, Lere Olayinka, spokesman of Ayodele Fayose, governor of Ekiti state, said if the APC could deny its verified Twitter handle, it could one day deny President Muhammadu Buhari as its 2015 presidential candidate and may one day sell the country.

“A party that disowned its verified official twitter handle will one day deny that it presented @MBuhari as its candidate in 2015,” Olayinka said.

“A party that cannot manage ordinary Twitter handle is the one in charge of Nigeria!

“A Party with fraudulent member that can sell it’s official Twitter handle to a foreigner at $2,000 will one day sell Nigeria.”

Another Twitter user, @gbengasesan, said there is more to the development than meets the eye.

“If this isn’t a joke, I don’t know what is: Nigeria’s ruling party’s twitter handle, @APCNigeria, allegedly sold for $2,000. Buyer claims he bought from “the president of Nigeria”. There’s probably more to the story…,” @gbengasesan wrote.

Meanwhile, there are reports that the media team of the ruling party fell out with one Philip Obin who was managing the account.

Obin had reportedly refused to release details of the account to the team.

Abdullahi later announced that a new Twitter account has been opened for APC.

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Copyright 2018 TheCable. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.thecable.ng as the source.
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