Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has come under severe fire from a cross-section of Nigerians, especially on social media, for her comments that recession is just a word.
The minister, who was reported to have made the comments via her Twitter handle @Mrskemiadeosun, disowned the account yesterday, saying she is not on the micro-blogging platform.
However, following the controversy that trailed her comments, we did a little finding of our own and this is what we came up with – while the said Twitter handle may not have belonged to Mrs. Adeosun, she indeed, made the comments attributed to that account.
We also discovered that in an attempt to defend and possibly, correct insinuations that she tried to play down the report of the National Bureau of Statistic, which officially declared that Nigeria had entered into a recession, Mrs. Adeosun may have lied.
Her spokesman, Festus Akanbi, had while distancing his principal from the Twitter account, said yesterday that “The Twitter handle, @Mrskemiadeosun, does not belong to the Honourable Minister of Finance. At no point did she make that kind of statement in her interaction with the media after the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday. The fake handle does not belong to her”.
Our investigations, however, put a lie to the claim by Mr. Akanbi that the minister did not say “recession is a word” during her interaction with the media.
While the tweets have since been deleted, we have a video confirming that she indeed, made the comment (watch from 0:53 mark).
Also interesting is the sudden change in the bio of the Twitter handle @Mrskemiadeosun from “Official Twitter account of the Honourable Minister of Finance of the Federal Republic of Nigeria” to “Parody Twitter account of the Honourable Minister of Finance of the Federal Republic of Nigeria” and presently, no bio, in a space of hours, following the controversy.
In spite of the fact that the handle has been tweeting and retweeting quotes by the minister, her colleagues, President Muhammadu Buhari and sharing official pictures from Mrs. Adeosun’s outings, it comes as a strange surprise that no formal rebuttal was issued by the minister all this while to disown the account, as is the norm, until this current controversy.
However, this tweet by the Office of Digital Engagement in the Presidency, may have put to rest this ‘anomaly’.
Notwithstanding, it remains to be seen how Mrs. Adeosun will wriggle herself out of this current media storm, especially from social media users, who do not suffer fools gladly.