Claim: A viral WhatsApp voice note making the rounds had announced the death of the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Verdict: Bola Tinubu is not dead. He was only out of the country and had already returned on Tuesday night.
On Tuesday, June 15, 2021, a WhatsApp voice note started circulating. In the short clip, a voice could be heard saying Tinubu has died.
According to the audio clip, Tinubu died at a hospital in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The speaker, who appeared to be one of those agitating for secession, was also heard congratulating his listeners that one of their “enemies” had died.
He also mentioned other prominent Nigerian leaders that could possibly die in a few months to come.
The unidentified speaker said in Yoruba, “Good morning everyone, I am happy to announce to you that our enemies are gradually dying. God has taken the life of one of the people disturbing Yoruba land. Tinubu is dead, he died in Dubai, that’s the news I got just now.
“We are overcoming our enemies, the curses are working, Tinubu just died in Dubai now. We will surely overcome all our enemies. We will get to the promised land, they will die one after the other, those left are (Olusegun) Obasanjo and those kings.”
The audio sparked wide speculations on social media following the rumoured death of the politician who celebrated his 69th birthday barely three months ago.
Social media users on Facebook and Twitter also shared reports of Tinubu’s death as the information keeps spreading like wildfire.
It was observed that handlers of social media accounts with the tag ‘Biafra’ rejoiced at the news.
Another Facebook user converted the audio clip obtained that initially propagated the news and converted it into audio.
Dubawa placed a call across to Tunde Rahman, the media aide to Tinubu, who confirmed that his boss had just arrived in Nigeria on Tuesday night with pictures attached.
He, however, did not state which country Tinubu arrived from and the reason for his travel.
Also, credible national media organisations, including SaharaReporters debunked the news.
For instance, top sources told SaharaReporters that Tinubu went took a medical trip to Paris, the French capital, where he had treatment for some undisclosed old age ailment.
The viral claim that Bola Tinubu is dead is false as he just returned from France on Tuesday evening. He only travelled out of the country for a while.
The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2021 Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with SaharaReporters to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.