Back to Africa Check

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?


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”.

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.