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Exclusive pictures: Our camera intercepts WhatsApp conversations between Nigerian Foreign Affairs Minister and APC lawyer discussing APC primaries Updated for 2021

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Updated: February 27, 2021


We are beginning to release many conversations we accidentally captured with our lenses at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week, showing Nigerian officials discussing vital domestic issues with other officials at home, and also chatting with several girls in New York, and making plans.

The first set of conversations involved Nigerian Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama discussing APC primary elections with a lawyer. Those conversations took place on Tuesday, 25 September as President Muhammadu Buhari sat besides him. 

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This was before President Buhari addressed the General Assembly.

All the conversations we will be releasing took place during the United Nations General Assembly in New York between Monday and Wednesday this week. 

In the first conversation, the APC lawyer breaks the news to Mr Onyema about the mode of primary elections APC had agreed to hold. Barrister Babatunde Ogala is the legal adviser of the APC. 

The lawyer tells the Minister of Foreign Affairs, “My leader, there is a problem. They have agreed on indirect primaries”, referring to type of primary elections APC would be having in states.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, replies, “This is ridiculous”.

“I will raise it with M,” he says. It was not clear what the M stood for, but those with inside knowledge who interpreted it for TODAY NEWS AFRICA said M may have stood for “My leader” or President Buhari.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama having a conversation with APC lawyer on the APC primary elections on Tuesday 25 September 2018 at the General Assembly in New York. Photo: Emmanuel Ikodor, TODAY NEWS AFRICA

In reading the conversation, it appeared as though the APC lawyer, rather than play the role of a legal adviser, was playing the role of lobbyist and was trying to curry the favor of President Buhari and his camp, and was opposed to the decision that had just been reached.


Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama having a conversation with APC lawyer on the APC primary elections on Tuesday 25 September 2018 at the General Assembly in New York. Photo: Emmanuel IkodorTODAY NEWS AFRICA

The conversation begins with the APC lawyer sending a story to the Minister while he sat near President Buhari before Mr Buhari’s address during the general debate at the UN General Assembly in New York.


Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama having a conversation with President Muhammadu Buhari before conversing with APC lawyer on the APC primary elections on Tuesday 25 September 2018 at the General Assembly in New York. Photo: Emmanuel IkodorTODAY NEWS AFRICA

Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama having a conversation with APC lawyer on the APC primary elections on Tuesday 25 September 2018 at the General Assembly in New York. Photo: Emmanuel IkodorTODAY NEWS AFRICA

The article he sent, was published by online newspaper Daily Post, on APC releasing the mode of primary elections to be held in states.


Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama having a conversation with APC lawyer on the APC primary elections on Tuesday 25 September 2018 at the General Assembly in New York. Photo: Emmanuel IkodorTODAY NEWS AFRICA

Mr Onyeama scrolls down and read how each state had agreed to hold its primary elections.

The conversation may betray APC internal wrangling and the fact that the Buhari administration may be losing grip of the affairs of the ruling party.

Mr Onyeama had other conversations that we captured. He was not the only one. We captured many other conversations with delegates conversing with girls and making plans and other intra-party wrangling.

TODAY NEWS AFRICA would be releasing more exclusive pictures that we captured during the General Assembly in New York.

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Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama having a conversation with APC lawyer on the APC primary elections on Tuesday 25 September 2018 at the General Assembly in New York. Photo: Emmanuel IkodorTODAY NEWS AFRICA

Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama having a conversation with APC lawyer on the APC primary elections on Tuesday 25 September 2018 at the General Assembly in New York. Photo: Emmanuel IkodorTODAY NEWS AFRICA

Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama having a conversation with APC lawyer on the APC primary elections on Tuesday 25 September 2018 at the General Assembly in New York. Photo: Emmanuel IkodorTODAY NEWS AFRICA
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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