CLAIM: On January 15, 2020, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a message trending on WhatsApp claiming that the Federal Government has released a lockdown message.
“Soon, very soon, perhaps, this weekend, this will take effect and may last for at least 14 days.” The messages allegedly signed by Dr Sani Aliyu, Chairman Presidential Task Force on Covid 19 said.
CDD fact-checkers can reliably confirm that Dr Sani Aliyu is not the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, but Boss Mustapha, who is also the Secretary of the Government of Nigeria.
Also, CDD has a 51 seconds video released by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19. In the video, the PTF National Coordinator, Dr. Sani Aliyu emphasized that the message trending on WhatsApp is fake. He called on the general public to ignore the message and go on with their regular activities and abide by the current guidelines set by the PTF.
There is an established way the PTF disseminates information, to the public, he added. The PTF will not release sensitive message on WhatsApp, Dr. Aliyu emphasized. He further noted that citizens should ignore the supposed message from the PTF that is circulating on WhatsApp.
CDD can confirm that the claim that a total lockdown is imminent is false.
The Video 51 seconds video in which the PTF National Cordinator Dr. Sani Aliyu emphasized that the message trending on WhatsApp is false.
CDD urges the public to always verify the authenticity of stories before sharing them.
You can forward suspicious messages for verification via +2349062910568 or contact us on Twitter @CDDWestAfrica
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