Was Nigeria's ruling party's Twitter account hacked, sold or both?

In one of the most bizarre things on social media in 2018, Nigeria's All Progressives Congress political party seems to have sold its verified Twitter handle which now spots a profile photo and biography of John McAfee.

As it stands, the account violates one of Twitter's rules (which results in loss of verified status) relating to verified accounts which states that a verified Twitter account may not "Intentionally mislead(ing) people on Twitter by changing one's display name or bio."

Justin Sun John McAfee APC Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari

Nigeria's All Progressives Congress (APC) political party was founded on 6 February 2013 in preparation of the western Afrikan countries 2015 elections. During those elections, APC's prewidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, went on to win the presidential elections in Nigeria to take over as the country's president from Goodluck Jonathan.

Despite the APC Nigeria Twitter account now spotting the name and profile photo of the notorious and infamous anti-virus software mogul and now crypto currencies "evangelist", John McAfee, another person has come forward claiming they bought the account from a "Nigerian President." The person, suspected to be Justin Sun, has claimed in a series of tweets after taking over the APC Nigeria Twitter account that the President of Nigeria needed money and he gave it to them in cryptocurrencies in exchange for the account.

Before it was changed to the name and photo of John McAfee, the account varied the name "Nigeria F*" and then later the profile photo and name of Justin Sun before finally being switched to John McAfee's details. Without an official statement from Nigeria's APC or President Buhari, speculation is that either the account was hacked, hacked and then sold, or it was sold as the current owner claims.

APC Nigeria Twitter

However, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, National Publicity Secretary at Nigeria's APC, apparently took to Twitter (allegedly, because the Twitter handle in question is unverified), to distance the APC from the rumors.

"For the upteenth [sic] time, @APCNigeria IS NOT the official Twitter handle of the All Progressives Congress (APC). In several official statements, we have disclaimed that handle. We view this latest development as a case of criminal impersonation," said Abdullahi in the tweet.

These claims, that the verified Twitter account does not belong to Nigeria's ruling party, are difficult to believe considering that before it was hacked or sold (or both), the APC Nigeria Twitter account would tweet updates from the political party. However, having said that, there seems to be merit to the claims in the tweet attributed to Abdullahiin. The website of the APC (if we are to assume it is the official website), lists a different, unverified Twitter account with less than 500 followers as the Nigerian political party's Twitter account.

Note:This is a developing story and we have reached out to both Twitter and APC Nigeria for clarification.

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