F0rmer Minister of Education, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, has called on Nigerians to ignore a “malicious quote” attributed to her regarding the #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) campaign.
A report quoting Ezekwesili as saying that “Chibok girls’ kidnap was planned to tarnish Jonathan’s image for Buhari to win” had gone viral on social media.
But a statement issued on Monday in Abuja by Ezekwesili’s spokesperson, Mr. Ozioma Ubabukoh, described the report as false.
It further stated that the former minister could never have made such a statement about the campaign she led to secure the freedom of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls.
She said it was a “desperate attempt” to malign the BBOG campaign as well as her advocacy for the abducted Chibok girls.
The statement read, “Ezekwesili never said and can never make such egregiously false statement about 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 published and disseminated 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 Chibok girls.”
She also said she had already notified Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp and other social media platforms about the” fake news”.
“The dubious authors of the fake quote had, in their desperate efforts to mislead the public, deviously ascribed a false quote to Ezekwesili. Propagating falsehood, they fictionally quoted Ezekwesili as saying that the global #BringBackOurGirls campaign for the rescue of 219 abducted Chibok schoolgirls was a ‘project with Fulani to tarnish’ one administration for the benefit of another in the 2015 elections.
“The original author and other peddlers of the fake news have already been identified and reported to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp and other social media platforms, which are taking appropriate actions,” she said.
The statement added, “We urge members of the public to, please, ignore the patently false, fictional and fake news being peddled by those who have steadfastly refused to acknowledge the injustice done to the Chibok secondary schoolgirls, even seven years after the tragedy occurred.”