Fraudsters Create Olusegun Obasanjo Twitter Account

For former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who has yet to register his presence on Twitter, 19 people are already laying claims to his identity on the social network. One of the fake Twitter handles, @Olu_Obasanjo, gives users no indication that it is a fake account. Its bio reads, "The official Twitter page for his excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; the ex-chairman, PDP Board of Trustees, former President Federal Republic of Nigeria'' and its location is "Ota-farms, Ogun State.'' The account was launched on January 4, 2012, with this tweet, "GEJ (President Jonathan), I want you to get the real sponsors of Boko Haram.'' However, it is worthy of note that those using the identity of the former president on the social service have continued to fool unsuspecting members of the public as they yearn to commune with 'him' online. More worrisome is the fact that many of them may have succeeded in duping unsuspecting members of the public as some Nigerians flock to the fake profiles seeking employment. For instance, a Twitter user, Jide Dare, who described himself as an unemployed Higher National Diploma holder, reached out to one of the fake profiles, @Chief_Obasanjo, on May 28. Dare said, "Baba o, emi yin a gun sir (you shall live long). Please sir, I need your help. I need a job I possess a Higher National Diploma in Electrical Electronics Engineering.'' It could not be ascertained if they had further discussions via the direct messaging functions of the network. It was observed that many people have been deceived into believing that they were communing with the retired General. A Twitter user, Jimmie Aninege, who might have felt elated by subscribing to the Twitter handle, tweeted, "Baba, you don come again. Interesting to have you on Twitter, Father of Nigeria.'' It was observed that the fraudster usually sent tweets asking followers to feel free to hold conversations with him/ her on the network. A follower of the fake account once asked, "When will Obasanjo stop putting on traditional attire and dress just like Obama in suit? The fraudster replied, "Yes! If corruption is no longer a cankerworm in Nigeria.'' Those behind the deception of stealing the ex-President's identity online may have created the fake account in an effort to malign his person. For instance, a tweet on @Olu_Obasanjo says, "I never wanted a third term as president; it was just the handiwork of the devil. GEJ, these people will impede on your success if you stick to the constitution. Sometimes, when a mess is created it's necessary for one to soil one's hands in order to clean up the mess.''
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