On Wednesday, June 3, 2020, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a report published by two blogs claiming that a 70-year-old woman had accused President Muhammadu Buhari of raping her.
According to the blogs’ headlines, the woman claimed, in a video, that the President perpetrated the act in 1972.
The headline read: ‘’Video of an old woman who claimed Buhari raped her in 1972 Trends online (Photos)’’
Also, within a few hours of publishing the report, it began to trend on Facebook with over a thousand shares and 800 reactions at the time of this report.
Following the traction the bizarre headline was getting, our fact-checkers tried to ascertain the source.
In April 2020, one of the blogs published a false story with the headline, ’’I have sent 5,000 To all Nigerians using BVN – Obasanjo’’. CDD fact-checkers later debunked the story.
Our findings also show that Cyoungblogs publishes under the page Gold Media Nigeria with over 800,000 followers on Facebook and is a hub for the propagation of false and misleading headlines and clickbait.
While the headline says a video was trending online, no footage was included in the body of the report, nor was there a mention of the video in it.
Instead, a link to photos was created at the end of the blog post, which leads to several advert sites promising people the opportunity to make an enormous amount of money in a short time trading online.
It is therefore evident that the story was created as clickbait to drive traffic to the blog as a detailed search of the internet reveals there is no such video trending online.
Contacted by CDD fact-checkers, Bashir Ahmad, the Personal Assistant on New Media to President Buhari, said the claim is false and baseless.
Ahmad said: “The claim of course is false and baseless and the New Media Department is aware of it and has since forwarded to the appropriate agencies for further actions.”
There is no video of a 70-year-old woman accusing Buhari of rape in 1972, as alleged by the false blog post headline.
The blog is a clickbait site that specializes in spreading falsehood and rumours.
The CDD urges the general public to desist from disseminating such disinformation and always verify reports from authorised sources.
You can also forward suspicious messages for verification at +2349062910568 or contact us on twitter: @CDDWestAfrica.