Thursday, August 11, 2022


FACT CHECK: No, Ezekwesili didn’t say Chibok girls were kidnapped to tarnish Jonathan’s image

FACT CHECK: No, Ezekwesili didn’t say Chibok girls were kidnapped to tarnish Jonathan’s image
May 17
16:24 2021

On Sunday, a report published on a news website and syndicated on blogs claimed Oby Ezekwesili, former minister of education, said the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement was planned to tarnish the image of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Ezekwesili is a co-convener of the BBOG movement which was formed to advocate for the release of the schoolgirls who were kidnapped on April 14, 2014 at Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state.

The report, now deleted, claimed the former education minister said Hadiza Bala Usman, the suspended managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), was sent to the project by “Fulani leaders” who wanted to Jonathan out of power for President Muhammadu Buhari to win the election.

“I was doing ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ Project with Hadiza Usman Bala in 2014. I didn’t know she was sent to the project by Fulani leaders to tarnish the image of Goodluck Jonathan for Muhammadu Buhari to win an election,” the report claimed Ezekwesili said.


“Immediately after the election, she left the project and was given appointments as MD Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). Now I believe that ‘Chibok Girls Kidnapping’ was planned to tarnish Goodluck Jonathan’s image for Muhammadu Buhari to win election.”

The claim has also been shared by social media users who reacted to the report.

Nefertiti wrote: “Finally, Aunty Oby has come back to us. Madam Oby Ezekwesili finally accepted she was young, naive & used by the Hadiza Bala Usman APC. Now she is grown, repented & can see. Sadly, Oby blocked me for dragging her throughout the whole of the Mediterranean. Should we forgive her?”


Demagogue wrote: “Chibok girls kidnap was planned to tarnish Jonathan’s image for Buhari to win___ Bring Back our girls convener Oby Ezekwesili. She flew blind.”



Raymond wrote: “Public Analyst/Senior Economic, and former Minister who hailed from Anambra State, Obiageli Ezekwesili wrote, I was doing “Bring Back Our Girls” Project with Hadiza Usman Bala in 2014. I didn’t know she was sent to the project by Fulani leaders to tarnish the image of GEJ.”


The report did not state when and where the former education minister made the claim. A search of Ezekwesili’s social media pages showed she did not make any recent post on the subject matter.

In a statement on Monday, Ozioma Ubabukoh, spokesperson of the former minister, described the media report on Ezekwesili as false.

“Ezekwesili never said and can never make such egregiously false statement on the empathetic campaign she led for the rescue of the abducted Chibok Girls. Ezekwesili has commenced legal actions for libel against media outlets and individuals who publish and disseminate this disgusting fake news that was fabricated by those who wickedly continue to deny the failure of the Federal Government in 2014 to swiftly respond and rescue ChibokGirls,” Ubabukor said.

“We urge members of the public to, please, ignore the patently false, fictional and fake news being peddled by those who have refused to acknowledge the injustice done to the Chibok secondary schoolgirls, even seven years after the tragedy occurred. Again, Ezekwesili did not and can never describe the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, which she co-led to secure justice and rescue for 219 abducted ChibokGirls as a “project to tarnish anyone” for electoral purposes. The fraudulent statement is an absolute and wicked lie, which all reasonable persons should disregard.”

Ubakukor said the original author and those who circulated the report have already been identified and reported to Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms.

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

1 Comment

  1. Truetalker
    Truetalker June 15, 19:59

    Not all Nigerians are gullible or myopic. Obi Ezekwesili played a very big role in chibok girls matter. And she so did it to fight against Jonathan’s regime. In as much as I believe everybody is entitled to his or her own opinion and in that wise, Obi Ezekwesili has her right to whatever she did. Just that someone like me, who held her high hitherto was so disappointed she could stoop that low to be used like that. They did everything to bring in Buhari. D rest is history. We are all seeing it. She herself has gotten her own portion of d bitter pills.

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