CLAIM: Cameroon’s senate president is Atiku Abubakar’s elder brother
CLAIM: A screenshot has been making the rounds on social media claiming that the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s elder brother is Cameroon’s senate president, Marcel Niat Njifenji. The image had the caption, “Nigeria for Nigerians, never again will a foreigner rule this country.”
Accompanying write-ups on the image read,
“The man with white cap is the Senate President of CAMEROON.”
“THIS IS ATIKU ABUBAKAR ELDER BROTHER AND HIS THE SENATE PRESIDENT IN THE CAMEROON SENIOR PARLIAMENT.”
FACT-CHECKING PROCESS: A close look at the write-up on the screenshot reveals another layer of writing, “since 1980” under the letters typed in upper case. This discovery already casted doubt as to the authenticity of the claim.
This is because further research on Cameroon as a country showed that, though it got her independence from France in 1960, the Senate was created in 1996 after an amendment to the constitution.
However, power to convene the Electoral College and call elections for the Senate remained with the President. President Paul Biya chose not to do so until he signed decree 2013/056 on 27 February 2013, which set 14 April as the election date. Marcel Niat Njifenji was elected as President of the Senate on 12 June 2013 and is still in office after winning a reelection on March 18, 2021.
Is Marcel Atiku’s Brother?
Marcel Niat Njifenji was born in Bangangté, located in Cameroon’s West Region. Bangangté is a town and commune in Cameroon. It is the capital of the Ndé division of West Region. The town is primarily inhabited by the people of the Bamiléké tribe.
On the other hand, Atiku Abubakar was born in Jada, a village which was then under the administration of the British Cameroons – the territory later joined with the Federation of Nigeria in 1961 British Cameroons referendum.
His father, Garba Abubakar, was a Fulani trader and farmer, and his mother was Aisha Kande. His grandfather, Atiku Abdulqadir hails from Wurno, Sokoto state and migrated to Kojoli village at Jada, Adamawa state, while his maternal grandfather, Inuwa Dutse migrated to Jada, Adamawa State from Dutse, Jigawa state.
He became the only child of his parents when his only sister died at infancy.
CONCLUSION: Relying on several sources and available data, CDD can confirm that both claims that Cameroon has had a senate president since 1960 and that Cameroon’s Senate President, Marcel Niat Njifenji is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s brother are both false and should be disregarded by the members of the public.