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No evidence Nigeria’s Kaduna state governor Nasir El-Rufai said 80% of registered voters in northern Nigeria don’t know who Peter Obi is

IN SHORT: Africa Check could not find any credible reports of Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, saying 80% of registered voters in northern Nigeria don’t know who Peter Obi is.

Numerous Facebook posts in Nigeria claim that Nasir El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna state in northern Nigeria, has said 80% of the registered voters in the north do not know who presidential candidate Peter Obi is.

Peter Obi is the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in Nigeria’s 2023 elections.

“80% of the registered voters in the North do not know who is called Mr. Peter Obi,” the posts quote El-Rufai as saying.

According to the posts, published on 11 September 2022, El-Rufai said the only Obi known in the north was either popular football player Mikel Obi or Nollywood actor Saint Obi.

We found the same claim on Facebook here, here, here, here, and here.

But did El-Rufai make this statement? We checked.


No evidence of statement

The Facebook post doesn’t give details of where or when El-Rufai is meant to have made the statement. A lack of detail often indicates that a claim circulating on social media is fabricated.

Our search also didn’t turn up any reports of the statement by credible local news organisations.

We checked El-Rufai's verified Twitter handle but found no evidence he had said anything like this. 

As Nigeria’s 2023 elections approach, Africa Check is seeing an increasing number of quotes and comments falsely attributed to key political figures. This may distort political debate online and in real life, and so reduce voters’ ability to make informed choices.

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