Is Trending WhatsApp Message on FG’s Roadmap on Easing of Lockdown from Nigeria?

VERDICT: False

CLAIM: A WhatsApp broadcast claiming to be the Federal Government’s roadmap for easing the COVID-19 restrictions has been shared extensively on the platform in Nigeria. It has also been shared on some blogs and Facebook pages.

The broadcast claims that the government’s roadmap to ease COVID-19 restrictions will be set out in five phases.

It also goes ahead to describe each of the phases, which will be on the 3-week review process.

According to the broadcast, the current phases would commence on the following dates:

Phase 1 – 18th May

Phase 2 – 8th June

Phase 3 – 29th June

Phase 4 – 20th July

Phase 5 – 10th August

FACT: The WhatsApp broadcast was first published as a Facebook post on May 4, 2020, by a UK-based page and has been shared more than 58,000 times, finding its way to Nigeria.

It outlines the plan to ease the Coronavirus lockdown in Ireland and not Nigeria.

The Irish government first published its plans for a phased reopening of its economy on May 1, 2020, and last updated it on May 23, 2020. 

As the WhatsApp message claims, this will occur in five phases, starting at various points between 18 May and 10 August.

Parts of the message also show it does not apply to Nigeria as some of the terms used, especially sports such as GAA, rugby, bowling, and bingo, are not peculiar to Nigeria.

Also, an investigation by CDD fact-checkers shows that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 – the committee responsible for harmonised information sharing on the disease outbreak – throughout its briefing never released such a roadmap.

CONCLUSION

The plan is from the Irish government and not Nigeria. CDD urges members of the public to verify all information before sharing.