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No evidence Chatham House analyst called Nigerian presidential candidate Tinubu’s speech ‘very absurd and a red flag’

IN SHORT: Bola Tinubu, the governing All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, asked members of his team to answer audience questions after his speech at the influential UK thinktank. But there’s no evidence that a Chatham House analyst criticised him for this.

A screenshot doing the rounds on Facebook claims that a Chatham House analyst described Nigerian presidential hopeful Bola Tinubu’s recent appearance at the thinktank as “very absurd and a red flag”.

Error-riddled text on the screenshot reads: “The Political Affrairs Analyst of Chatham House was interviewed last night and he said for the first time in his career, he saw a situation where a presidential aspirant who should be selling himself to his country and the world, distributed simple questions to people to answer on his behalf. He described the senerio as very absurd and a red flag.”

Chatham House is an influential British thinktank able to attract high-profile speakers. It hosted both frontrunners in Kenya’s presidential election race in March 2022

Tinubu is standing on the ticket of the governing All Progressives Congress to succeed president Muhammadu Buhari in Nigeria’s upcoming elections, set for February 2023.

The screenshot began to circulate after Tinubu made an appearance at Chatham House in December 2022 to discuss his plans should he become president. 

His absence from town hall meetings organised by local media has stirred mixed reactions from the public. Tinubu has said the organisers only want to “make money” off him.

But during questions after his speech at Chatham House he called on members of his entourage to respond instead. This raised more eyebrows, including at the event

The screenshot can be seen on Facebook here, here , here, here and here. But did a Chatham House analyst really say this?


Statement can’t be found

The screenshot gives no details for the statement, such as the name of the analyst or when and where they supposedly said it. This lack of detail is common with disinformation.

The statement can’t be found on the Chatham House website or the thinktank’s Twitter account.

And there have been no reports in credible local and international media of a Chatham House analyst making the statement after Tinubu’s appearance. If such a statement had been made, it would have been in the news, given the thinktank’s international visibility.

There is no public evidence that a Chatham House analyst described Tinubu’s speech as “very absurd and a red flag”.

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