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No evidence Nigeria’s APC spokesperson Keyamo made cynical statement about voters

IN SHORT: With general elections in Nigeria less than two months away, a heartless and cynical statement has been attributed to a spokesperson for the governing All Progressives Congress. But the quote is made up.

“Subject them to hardship and poverty, then give them money and collect their vote,” reads a quote circulating on Facebook in December 2020.  

It’s attributed to Festus Keyamo, Nigeria’s junior minister for labour and employment. He’s also the spokesperson for the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council

In the quote, “them” likely refers to voters, with Nigeria set to hold elections in February 2023.

But did Keyamo really say this? We checked. 


No evidence of the statement

None of the Facebook posts give details of where and when Keyamo made the statement. This lack of basic information about a quote is often a sign that it’s made up. 

We also searched the spokesperson’s verified Twitter account for the quote and came up empty. 

And there has been no reporting in credible Nigerian media of what would be a controversial statement in election season.

With the polls close, there has been an increase in the number of false quotes attributed to key political figures, which could affect people’s voting decisions.  

We have fact-checked several of these, such as here, here and here.

To avoid falling for false information online, read our guide on how to determine if a piece of information is reliable.

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