Obasanjo Dispels Death Rumours, Says ‘I Dey Kampe’
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday refuted rumours that he had been shot and killed by gun men.
A text message circulated around yesterday afternoon read: "BREAKING NEWS: Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo has been assassinated in his home town in Ogun state by unknown gun men. He was confirmed dead at the General Hospital Ota, Ogun State few hours after his convoy was ambushed".
In a telephone conversation with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Obasanjo in his characteristic manner dispelled such rumour saying: “I dey kampe” – meaning ‘I am alive and well', in English.
“This morning I went to do community work at Pakoto near Ifo. I have since returned to Abeokuta and have attended a meeting on the (Presidential) library,” Obasanjo stated.
He thanked all those who had expressed concern over his safety, adding that in the belief of the Yoruba people, it means that he still has many more years to live.
An obvious error in the death message is the location of the incident. While was said to have been shot dead in his home town (Abeokuta), he was said to have been confirmed dead at Ota General Hospital, about an hour away from Abeokuta. It was curious that he was not taken to the nearby general hospital in Abeokuta instead.
Hoax text messages and e-mails have become rampant in recent times. Just last week, an SMS was circulated that the Third Mainland Bridge was collapsing with a warning to motorists not to use the bridge.
Two years ago, editors thought they had got the story of the year when a “newsflash” was sent to their e-mail addresses from “Newsagency Nigeria”, through “firstname.lastname@example.org”, announcing that “President Umaru Musa Yar'adua may resign after carbinate (cabinet) reshuffle, on health ground”.