On Monday, a picture of some persons said to be members of Shura, the advisory council of Senator Ibrahim Shekarau’s political movement, seated in front of a huge sum of money trended on social media.
In the picture, bunches of N1,000 notes were seen scattered on a long table while two women and about eight men sat on chairs lined around the table.
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An online news platform had said the money was part of the largesse shared by former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, who received Shekarau back into the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last month.
In its report with the headline, “PHOTO NEWS: Shekarau’s Shura shares ‘N100m Atiku largesse’”, the platform claimed Shekarau’s supporters shared part of N100m allegedly given by the presidential candidate of the PDP to mobilise party supporters during his visit to Kano.
“…the presidential candidate showered N130 million to Kano PDP leaders, with Mr Shekarau getting the lion share of N100m and Aminu Wali camp getting N30m,” the report read.
But checks by Daily Trust showed that the report is misleading. When Atiku visited Kano alongside his running mate and top chieftains of the party late August, some of his other activities aside from welcoming Shekarau who had dumped the New Nigeria Peoples Party for PDP were widely reported in the media.
Atiku had donated money to some victims of flood disaster and building collapse in Kano, which was reported by various media platforms.
Contacted to react to the trending picture, spokesman for Shekarau, Dr. Sule Ya’u Sule, said it was unfortunate that the picture would be used to rubbish the good intention of Atiku to the victims.
He said the picture was taken and shared by the media team of Shekarau to show the transparent approach adopted in sharing the donated money to the victims of Kantin Kwari flood disaster and those of the building collapse at the Beirut road GSM Market.
“N50m was donated to Kantin Kwari, N10m to Beirut road and N20m to Ulamas. And the sharing was done in the open in Shekarau’s house to show transparency and it was unfortunate that some individuals on social media and some media houses have decided to use the picture to create fake news,” he said.
Also speaking, the Public Relations Officer of Kantin Kwari Market Association, Aminu Garba Sofa, told Daily Trust Shekarau had presented the cheque of N50 million donated to flood victims in the market and that a committee was immediately set up to see to its distribution, adding that the money was cashed and given to them at Shekarau’s Mudunbawa residence.
“Three committees were set up to oversee the activity; one from Shekara’u side, one from affected victims and the other from market Association forming 15-men committee. The money was distributed accordingly after screening of the affected victims.
“397 persons were screened and given each accordingly. You know, N50 million is nothing compared to the loss but everybody out of that number has received (money) in presence of all representatives of the three committees,” he said.
Also speaking in a live video posted on Facebook on Friday, the Chairman, Kantin Kwari Market, Salisu Wada Sharu, who was seen in a viral picture at the residence of Shekarau, confirmed that they had received the money and distributed to those affected.
He however said some of the flood victims did not collect the money, saying they had surrendered the loss to the will of God.
There’s no evidence to show that the money seen in the viral picture is a largesse from Atiku.