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Fact Check: Tweet urging Nigerians to register for NIN or get banned is from a parody account

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By Elfredah Kevin-Alerechi

Claim: A report from PUNCH claims that NIMC has given Nigerians final warning to get registered and link their accounts to NIN or face the consequences.

Verdict

Misleading. The tweet, which Punch relied on for the report, was not from NIMC but from a parody account.

Screenshot of headline of PUNCH publication

TEXT:

In order to centralize Nigerians’ data, the Federal Government recently directed Nigerians and other legal residents to register for their National Identification Number(NIN) and link it to their phone numbers, bank accounts among others.

The government extended the deadline to do this to February 9. However, several organizations and individuals have urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to extend the deadline.

To this end, PUNCH, a media organization with over a million followers on Twitter on January 17, 2021,  published a report stating that NIMC have warned Nigerians to register today (January 17) or face the consequence.

Punch headline reads;  NIN: Prepare for consequences, NIMC threatened unregistered Nigerians.

The report reads,  “The National Identity Management Commission says Nigerians who have not registered and obtained their National Identity Number should be ready to face the consequences”.

Adding that, ” By order the  Federal Government today is given as the last chance to register your NIMC or face the wrath of what comes next”.

Verification:

Dubawa checked NIMC’s official twitter account. Nothing from the PUNCH report was found.

Screenshot of PUNCH lede

Further, we clicked on the link to find out more details of the report but Punch had deleted the report on her website.

Dubawa went further to check NIMC on Twitter and got several accounts of the commission, including the account that twitter the information Punch circulated which turned out to be a parody account.

The  parody NIMC account that tweeted the misleading information has only 4,000 followers on Twitter, while the official handle of NIMC has over 100,000 followers.

Critical look reveals that the handle of parody account is in capital letters @NIMC_ng while the official NIMC account is typed with smaller letter, @nimc_ng

The official Twitter account on January 17 few hours after punch publication also warned Nigerians from associate with the parody account, /@NIMC_ng

Conclusion

The report by PUNCH is misleading.

The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with NewsWire,NGR to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country

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