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Nigerian senate president Saraki has not returned to the ruling party

A report claiming Bukola Saraki, the president of Nigeria’s senate, had returned to the ruling All Progressives Congress just months after he left in protest has been flagged by Facebook users as potentially false.

Saraki was among leading politicians who left the Peoples Democratic Party in 2014 and joined the APC in the buildup to the 2015 general elections. He returned to the PDP in July 2018 but failed to get the party’s nomination to run for president.

The senate president also failed in his bid for re-election as a senator, leaving many to wonder what his next political move would be. But there’s no evidence the two-term governor of Kwara State has moved back to the APC.

Year-old photo used

The 20 March 2019 report, headlined “breaking news”, claims Saraki met President Muhammadu Buhari that day to mark his return to the ruling party. It features a photo of Saraki and Buhari shaking hands at the presidential villa.

A reverse image search reveals that the photo almost a year old. It was taken by Abayomi Adeshida when Saraki and house of representatives speaker Yakubu Dogara met Buhari at the presidential villa on 7 May 2018. Saraki was still a member of the ruling party at the time.

Besides, Saraki presided over plenary on 20 March 2019. There’s no record he visited the villa the same day. And it’s unlikely such a visit would have gone unreported by Nigeria’s mainstream media. – Allwell Okpi (08/04/19)


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