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Nigerian governing party APC’s Bola Tinubu denies blaming his own government for fuel and currency shortages

IN SHORT: With presidential elections in Nigeria only weeks away, a fallout in the governing party would be controversial. But a post doing the rounds online claiming this is false.

In early February 2023, Nigerians were battling fuel scarcity and a shortage of  the newly redesigned currency.

But did the governing party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, blame his own party for sabotaging his campaign by creating these problems?

He did, according to a claim circulating on Facebook in Nigeria. One post reads: “Tinubu is accusing Buhari of working against his campaign by creating Artificial fuel scarcity and new naira notes crisis.”

The post includes a video of Tinubu at a campaign rally saying, in the Yoruba language spoken in much of the country’s south, that the fuel shortage and currency crisis won’t stop him winning the 25 February presidential election.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil exporter but, because of a lack of refining capacity, imports nearly all its fuel. Nigerians are no strangers to fuel shortages. 

The country also introduced new naira notes in October 2022, causing controversy

Tinubu is running on the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket and hopes to succeed two-term president Muhammadu Buhari, also of the APC. 

We found other instances of the claim on Facebook here and here

But did Tinubu accuse the Nigerian government under the APC of sabotaging his campaign?

TinubuFuel_Misleading

APC spokesperson says Tinubu was misinterpreted by opposition

Bayo Onanuga, a spokesperson for the APC campaign, has been reported as accusing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the main opposition party, of misinterpreting a speech by Tinubu.

Onanuga said Tinubu had only been warning the APC government of potential sabotage to its efforts to provide relief on the fuel and currency fronts. 

“PDP and Atiku should remember not to get high on their own smoke. No political blackmail and an attempt to create a conflict between Tinubu and his long-term ally, president Muhammadu Buhari, can succeed,” Onanuga reportedly said.

The PDP’s presidential candidate is Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president.

Onanuga said Tinubu is a leader in the party and won’t look away while his party and government gets “dirtied with [a] black brush at a critical time like this, whether he is a candidate or not”.

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