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False headline claims Okorocha pledged to help Atiku win at Nigerian election tribunal

Peoples Democratic Party candidate Atiku Abubakar has launched a court challenge to All Progressives Congress leader President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory in Nigeria’s 23 February 2019 elections.

A news story shared several times on Facebook claims Imo State governor Rochas Okorocha has pledged to help Abubakar win at the tribunal. Okorocha was an APC senatorial candidate in the election. He is still officially a member of the APC.

The article by was also posted on the Atiku fanpage, where it has been shared over 170 times.

The headline reads: “Am Sure Atiku Will Win At The Tribunal, I Will Make Case Easy For Him, By Bringing Out Imo State Original Vote, Everyone Will Feel My Pain – Okorocha”.

But there is not a single mention of Okorocha in the 11-paragraph story.

False headline means clickbait

The article does refer to Abubakar’s spokesperson responding to allegations that his campaign hacked the database of the Independent National Electoral Commission. It also says the politician’s lawyers “boasted that they had enough evidence to overturn the presidential election in their client’s favour”.

But there’s no quote by Okorocha or reference to him easing the way for Abubakar at the election tribunal.

This indicates that the article is essentially clickbait, online content published for the sole purpose of attracting as many visitor clicks as possible. This practice is not uncommon on websites such as  

Though Okorocha has had spats with the leadership of the APC, he openly campaigned for Buhari’s re-election.

There is no evidence Okorocha has fallen out with Buhari and now supports Abubakar and the PDP. – Allwell Okpi (08/04/2019)


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