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No evidence former army chief Danjuma has endorsed Obi for Nigeria’s presidency

IN SHORT: Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election is just weeks away, and the false claims keep flowing. This time, it’s a claim that prominent former army chief TY Danjuma has endorsed the Labour Party’s Peter Obi. He hasn’t.

A message posted on a Facebook page with more than 112,000 followers claims that prominent former Nigerian army chief Theophilus Danjuma, popularly known as TY Danjuma, has endorsed the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi.

The message, dated 13 January 2023, includes unsubstantiated allegations against Obi’s rival Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress candidate.  

Theophilus Danjuma Former Nigeria's Chief of Army Staff endorse Peter Obj for President, and called Tinubu a destroyer,” the post reads.

“Tinubu will turn Nigeria into the World's drug capital and will run a godfather system that will bring Nigeria down, in 1992 Tinubu distributed 30trn dollars of hard drugs to Russia, this was the highest single distribution of drugs in world history.

It adds: “I see a united Nigeria under Peter Obi, I see Nigeria becoming first in everything under Peter Obi, it's no longer about tribe but credibility and health.”

Nigeria is set to elect a new president on 25 February.

The message has also been posted on Facebook here and here.

Danjuma was Nigeria’s chief of army staff from 1975 to 1979. He retired from the army as a lieutenant general, aged 41, and went on to amass wealth by running a shipping and petroleum business. 

He was Nigeria’s defence minister from 1999 to 2003, in president Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration. He remains relevant in Nigerian politics.  

But has he endorsed Obi for president? We checked.


No evidence in the media or elsewhere

Danjuma’s public statements on national issues are often well-reported in the media. They include his repeated call for Nigerians to take up arms and defend themselves against terrorists.

If Danjuma had endorsed Obi it would have been reported in the media – especially if it happened just days after Obasanjo, another retired general, endorsed the Labour Party candidate

But we could find no report by any credible media outlet that Danjuma had endorsed Obi. 

In October 2022, Obi dismissed claims that Danjuma had donated a private jet to support his presidential campaign. 

There is no evidence that Danjuma has endorsed Obi and criticised Tinubu in this way.

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