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FACT CHECK: Did Alakija donate 10m hand sanitisers to Nigerians?

FACT CHECK: Did Alakija donate 10m hand sanitisers to Nigerians?
March 27
12:07 2020

The internet has been abuzz with stories that Folorunsho Alakija, the billionaire businesswoman and philanthropist, has donated materials running into millions of units to the fight against the coronavirus in Nigeria.

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Coming just before members of the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition against Covid-19 — made of Aliko Dangote, Abdulsamad Rabiu, Femi Otedola, Tony Elumelu, Herbert Wigwe, Segun Agbaje and Jim Ovia — each contributed N1 billion for the cause, the reported gesture by Alakija has been hailed in the media.

A popular TV host commended Alakija on Friday morning for the donation.

TheCable fact-checks the claims.

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CLAIM: Alakija donated one million test kits, one million face masks and 10 million bottles of hand sanitisers

TheCable has traced the origin of the news to a sarcastic tweet by Olusegun Dada, a twitter influential and known supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Alakija, who is also a Christian minister, had tweeted a link to a YouTube video with the title “PROPHETIC DECLARATION AND PRAYERS AGAINST COVID-19”.

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In a sarcastic response, apparently asking Alakija to back her prayers with action, Dada, who goes by the profile name “Daddy DO”, replied: “Thanks for the declarations and more importantly, thanks for ordering one million test kits from South Korea, 1million face masks and 10million bottles of hand sanitizers for as your contribution to fighting this pandemic. I know you wanted to be anon but thanks still.”

A twitter user immediately cautioned him, saying: “Segun you shouldn’t have done this at all o.. You know the level of intelligence on this street…. 90% won’t see the sarcasm, I can assure you that countless WhatsApp messages will be coined out of this and Mrs. Alakija will become a winner for doing nothing.”

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It turned out to be prophetic!

What Dada started as a joke has now gone viral as several online platforms went on to report it as a fact.

Some even called it breaking news.

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Dada has now seen the other side of his sarcasm and has tweeted: “For any avoidance of doubt. I was being sarcastic and Mrs Alakija has donated none of these things. Hopefully she will now that people are thanking her for donating them.”

VERDICT: The claim is false. However, Alakija can still turn the joke on Dada, even though it would take months to get one million test kits, one million face masks and 10 million bottles of hand sanitisers into Nigeria at the rate of global demand.

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