Nigerians on Twitter have criticised Lauretta Onochie, the social media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari who shared an old picture and tagged it that of opposition presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, sharing cash and food packs at a rally.
Mr Abubakar, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), kicked off his campaign to clinch the top seat in Sokoto on December 3.
Following the massive rally, Mrs Onochie on Tuesday took to her Twitter handle to share a photo of food packs that had N500 attached to each with the caption: “KEEP THEM IN POVERTY, THEN GIVE THEM HANDOUTS- ATIKU in Sokoto yesterday”.
In less than 24 hours, the fake picture was retweeted by over 200 users.
KEEP THEM IN POVERTY, THEN GIVE THEM HANDOUTS- ATIKU in Sokoto yesterday pic.twitter.com/JumaW5vi4A
— Lauretta Onochie (@Laurestar) December 4, 2018
Cross-check, a journalism platform that combats fake news later examined the picture with Google Reverse Image and discovered the picture is not new but first appeared online in February 2017 when a Lagos-based Charity foundation, released photos from an outreach.
Angered by this falsehood, Nigerians stormed the social media to call for the prosecusion of Mrs Onochie.
Others simply cautioned her.
This is not the first time, the aide would be caught posting images misrepresenting facts.
In September, she posted a picture of a rehabilitated Nasarawa-Jos Road which was later found to be false.
A Twitter user, Osita Chidoka, said: “They think this is 2014 when fact checking was not the norm
APC’s Propaganda and tissue of lies will not work in 2019. The earlier they focus on issues the better for them.
Recycling old pictures online is a low they have been used to, sadly won’t work now”
@AsQtweet said: “Like a JUNKIE, in about than Three (3) Months after Lauretta Onochie, SA to @NGRPresident .@MBuhari, “apologised” for posting FAKE NEWS, she has RELAPSED!
“It won’t happen again” – exactly what a junkie would say!
Here you have your @Twitter Verified #FakeNews merchant!
"It won't happen again" – exactly what a junkie would say!
— AsQ 🇳🇬🇳🇬 (@AsQTweets) December 4, 2018
@iamwison said: “Lauretta Onochie should just throw in the towel and avail herself for prosecution. This dunderhead is capable of igniting a civil war with her nzuzubility. ”
“The sort of country I dream of is not a country where people like Lauretta Onochie will have an oppurtunity to speak for or on behalf of the President or Presidency, commit multiple blunders, fail to resign, and they are not fired.” @Ogbenidipo tweet read
“Lauretta Onochie is the female version of Lai Mohammed and Lai Mohammed is the male version of Lauretta Onochie.
Just like two sides of a coin. Their lies are directly proportional.” @Samulmbah_
@Rauvafe said: “Lauretta Onochie’s tweet spreading falsehood about Atiku won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has lived in Nigeria within the last 3 years and witnessed a Govt which has made misinformation, hoarding information and fake news the basis of its communications strategy.”
“Since I met Lauretta Onochie in person, drove round Abuja with her in her car, listened to her speak about Nigeria (except Buhari parts) with passion & positivity, I stopped criticising her. But all her attempts to defend Buhari or discredit @Atiku have been FALSE & misleading.
Since I met Lauretta Onochie in person, drove round Abuja with her in her car, listened to her speak about Nigeria (except Buhari parts) with passion & positivity, I stopped criticising her. But all her attempts to defend Buhari or discredit @Atiku have been FALSE & misleading. pic.twitter.com/6uxC6Ts5a6
— OONI OF ABUJA (@Deji_OoniAbj) December 5, 2018