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No evidence Nigeria presidential candidate Bola Tinubu said he ‘lost all his classmates in the Biafra war’

IN SHORT: APC candidate Bola Tinubu has been bedevilled by questions about his credentials. But a quote attributed to him is not supported by any evidence.

A startling quote shared on Facebook has been attributed to Bola Tinubu, the governing party’s presidential candidate for Nigeria’s general elections next year. 

The quote, accompanied by a photo of Tinubu speaking to reporters, reads: “I lost all my my classmates in the Biafra war”~~ Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”

Bola Tinubu is running on an All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket in February 2023 polls.

The Nigerian civil war, otherwise known as the Nigerian-Biafran war, was fought between 1967 and 1970. It was between a secessionist state in southeastern Nigeria called the republic of Biafra and Nigeria’s federal government, and which led to the death of an estimated one million people. 

Questions around Tinubu’s educational qualification and certificates began in 1999 when he first ran to be the governor of Lagos state.

His decision to run for the presidency in 2023 again sparked questions including about his educational history, his age, identity, and health.

Festus Keyamo the APC campaign spokesperson during a TV interview tried to put to rest some of these questions, but they have seemingly persisted.

The same claim appeared on Facebook here and here.

But did Tinubu say all his classmates died in the Nigerian civil war? We checked.


No evidence of statement

The Facebook post gives no details of when and where Tinubu is alleged to have made the statement. This is a usual trait of a fabricated social media post.

A search through Tinubu’s verified Twitter handle and his website returned no evidence of the statement.

Also, there were no reports of this statement in credible local media, which would have been the case if it were true.

There is no evidence that Tinubu said all his classmates died in the Nigerian civil war.

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