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FACT CHECK: Did Obasanjo say Igbo are the reason Nigeria hasn’t been Islamised?

FACT CHECK: Did Obasanjo say Igbo are the reason Nigeria hasn’t been Islamised?
September 27
09:01 2021

A viral post making the rounds on social media claimed former President Olusegun Obasanjo said Nigerians should be thanking God for the Igbo because they are the reason the country has not been Islamised.

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“Yoruba, Ijaw, and other Nigerians should be thanking God for the Igbos, they are the reason Nigeria hasn’t been Islamised yet — OBJ,” the post read.

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Although the post did not provide evidence of where and when Obasanjo made the claim, it has been circulating on Facebook. 

Ibota TV, a Facebook page with over 33,000 followers, shared the claim, which has so far garnered over 862 shares, 452 likes, and 126 comments.

An analysis of the comments on the post showed that the majority of people who reacted believed the claim with only a few questioning its veracity. 

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“Yes, that’s just the truth cause looking at it 80% of Yoruba tribe are Muslim, 95% of Hausa tribe are also Muslims, 99% of Igbos are Christians and they stand in between Hausa and Yoruba, if not that it will be easy for Hausa to turn d hole Yoruba tribe to Muslims,” one of the comments stated.

Kingsley Chima wrote: “100% fact even the ancestors can testify that.”

A few commenters, however, asked for evidence before they could believe the post.

Chuks Ogo wrote: “Where is the link to this fake post?”; while another user known as Nnamdi Nnadukwu asked: “Is this really coming from OBJ?”

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Did Obasanjo actually say that?

Findings by TheCable showed there is no evidence that the former president made the claim attributed to him in the viral post.

Further checks also revealed that no reputable mainstream Nigerian media platform reported the said claim, which has been circulating on Facebook since June.

When contacted by TheCable, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo’s spokesman, also dismissed the claim, saying it’s fake.

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“It’s fake. I don’t know where people get all these unverified claims from. Is it on Facebook? Baba doesn’t have a Facebook account or uses Facebook,” he said.

VERDICT:

There is no evidence that Obasanjo said Igbo are the reason Nigeria has not been Islamised. The viral post is misleading.

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This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.

1 Comment

  1. Johnny
    Johnny October 02, 08:44

    Without the Igbos, Nigeria can never be islamized. Idoma warriors stopped usman Dan fodio when he and his men invaded Idoma land. 98% of Idoma are Christians. Tiv is about 99% Christians. There’s no truth in his assertion.

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