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Factcheck: Was Peter Obi Attacked In Abuja?

On Tuesday, September 13, 2022 a certain Philips Barko on Facebook alleged in a screaming headline in bold letters, “Breaking News: 😧😧😰PETER OBI ESCAPES DEATH”

Mr. Barko, who has on his profile as working in the University of Jos, further writes, “Peter Obi’s convoy Sprayed with gunshots in Abuja few hours after he returned to Nigeria(sic)

(The L.P Presidential candidates (sic) convoy was attacked today by Unkown (sic) Men on his way to the L.P meeting and Gunfire rained on his convoy (sic). May the merciful God keep watch over you and your family. The incoming president(sic).

To give credence to his narrative, Mr. Barko accompanied the post with three pictures; a Prado Jeep with bullet hole, a full but distant picture of the jeep with a crest of a governor but not clearly visible, and Mr. Peter Obi pushing a trolley at an airport.

Few hours after the post was made, it had been shared over 9 times, with several comments praying against the attack and accusations made against the government.

APC raises alarm of purported assassination by Obi

A day before Mr. Barko’s alarming post, Mr. Festus Keyamo, the official spokesperson for the ruling All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, alleged that Mr. Obi was planning to stage-manage a fake assassination attempt on himself.

Mr. Keyamo, a minister in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, said, “Our attention has been drawn to an offensive, hate-filled video made and circulated by the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, in which he accused an amorphous and non-existent “Tinubu’s Group” of spreading a WhatsApp message calling on the Yoruba people not to vote for him. The purported message, according to Mr. Obi, forewarned the Yoruba that a vote for Obi would be a vote for a seaport in South-South and South-East.

“We are also aware that plans are afoot by Mr. Peter Obi to fake an assassination attempt on himself and hire Labour Party boys dressed in the APC caps and T-shirts to attack some Labour Party offices. It is all part of the “US Plan”. It is the first in a series of incendiary actions planned by this ill-prepared but desperate candidate.”

Kaduna incident

However, factchecking by The Abuja Inquirer on Google reverse image shows that the alleged Prado Jeep in which Mr. Obi was “sprayed” with bullets is that of the Kaduna state governor, Mallam Nasir El-rufai.

The stone-pelted jeep first appeared on Facebook on December 22, 2016 when demonstrators in Kafanchan, Jema’a local government area attacked the governor and his entourage with stones and some of the vehicles broken after addressing some demonstrators immediately after he chaired Kaduna State Security Council meeting in the area.

During the incident, the official residence of the local government chairman, Dr.Bege Katuka was also burnt.

Speaking after the attack, the then governor’s spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, now Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, disclosed in an official statement that Malam Nasir El-Rufai considers the unfortunate events as part of the burdens of leadership.

He added that the Governor is of the view that there must be no reaction to the incident other than a continued commitment to restoring peace and harmony.

Obi reacts

Also reacting to the trending media claims of Obi being attacked, Valentine Obienyem, the media aide of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, in a statement on Tuesday, said, “Kindly ignore the falsehood making the rounds that he was attacked. May God forbid even the very thought of such barbarism be visited on him.

“Obi has consistently reiterated his belief that politics should always be devoid of violence. This remains his political credo.

“It is pertinent to note that the news, coming shortly after Mr. Festus Keyamo’s press release, alleging a plan by Obi to stage manage his assassination is worrisome. It shows that the devil may be at work in endless and familiar scheming.”

Conclusion: From all available facts, it is patently FALSE to say that Mr. Obi escaped any attack in Abuja.

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