Social media posts claimed that an American-based professor Saheed Aderinto ’embarrassed’ Nigeria’s president-elect Bola Tinubu after congratulating the former on winning an award.
Tinubu, who was recently declared winner of Nigeria’s presidential election, on Monday tweeted a congratulatory message to Aderinto on winning the Dan David $300,000 prize in history.
Prominent Nigerian leaders including President Muhammadu Buhari, Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi, and other politicians congratulated Aderinto, a professor of History and African and African Diaspora Studies, at Florida International University. He is also of Nigerian origin.
However, Tinubu’s message to the award winner soon became the most popular among the others after a supposed Twitter account owned by Aderinto quoted his tweet with an embarrassing caption.
“Thanks anyway for the recognition, I hope you restore Our stolen Mandate,” the Twitter account @Aderinto0 said in reference to the recently concluded presidential election in Nigeria. The tweet is archived here.
The word ‘mandate’ used by the Twitter user is referred to as the election victory.
The quoted response to Tinubu, according to Twitter analytics, has been seen by over two million Twitter users. It has received close to 4,000 comments, 12,000 retweets, and 23,000 likes.
Tinubu was declared the winner of Nigeria’s disputed presidential poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday, March 1, about five days after electorates cast their ballots across the country. He polled 8,794,726 votes. His rival Obi had 6,101,533 votes while Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) polled 6,984,520 votes. They are challenging the election result in court.
A similar congratulatory message from Obi bearing the award winner’s image received a different reaction from the Twitter user. “Thank you My President elect,” Aderinto supposedly tweeted to ostensibly recognise Obi as the ‘true’ winner of the election and not Tinubu. The tweet is archived here.
Amid wide sharing of the message on Twitter, the account that tweeted the reaction has been discovered to be a parody account and the statement was not issued by Aderinto who has released a statement to distance himself from the Twitter account and the quotes credited to his name.
“It has come to my attention that a fake Twitter account has been opened in my name,” Aderinto said in a Facebook post on Monday. “I don’t have a Twitter account. And didn’t make those statements.”
In another Facebook post, Aderinto said “thank you sir” in reaction to Tinubu’s congratulatory message.
The anonymous Twitter user later tweeted that the account is a parody account. The tweet had hashtags that suggest he is a supporter of Obi. The tweet is archived here.
The statements contained in the social media post claiming Aderinto embarrassed Tinubu was not authored by him.
The Twitter account bearing the username @Aderinto0 is not owned by Aderinto who said he does not own a Twitter account.
The American-based professor acknowledged the Nigerian president-elect’s message.
The claims that Aderinto embarrassed Tinubu are false.