Back to Africa Check

No, influential former governor of Rivers state Nyesom Wike didn’t say Peter Obi won Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election

IN SHORT: As the Labour Party's presidential candidate Peter Obi challenges the result of Nigeria’s February 2023 election, online claims have been made that he has received support from an influential politician. A quote is being taken out of context.

A post published to Facebook in Nigeria attributes a quote to the former governor of Nigeria’s Rivers state, Nyesom Wike.

The post reads: “Labour Party (LP) Presidential Candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, won the February 25, 2023 election, Rivers State Governor, Barr. Nyesom Wike, has said in a trending video. Wike said in the 42 seconds video clip: ‘The winner of this election, whether you like am or you no like-am, is Obi. The winner of this election is Obi.’”

Wike is a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). After losing the PDP presidential primary to Atiku Abubakar in May 2022, Wike fell out with the party.

He boycotted the party’s presidential campaign, along with four other governors.

Peter Obi was the presidential candidate for the Labour Party.

Although Wike said he would announce his preferred candidate from among the major contenders, he never did.

Obi had accused Wike of working against him during the presidential election, a charge Wike denied.

The Facebook post claims that Wike said Obi won the 2023 presidential election, not Bola Tinubu, the ruling party’s candidate who was sworn in on 29 May.

Tinubu’s razor-thin victory is being challenged in court by his rivals, including Obi. The post refers to this when it says “the law will take its course”.

The same claim appeared on Facebook here, here, here, here, here and here.

But did Wike say that Obi won the presidential election? 

Wike_MContext

Quoted out of context

An online search led us to a video posted on 11 March of Wike addressing a town hall with traders in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers state.

Wike said in pidgin: “For me for this election wey we do Obi as far as I am concern na him be my hero. If Obi didn’t run this election, power for go back to the North.”

This translates to: “In this recent election, Obi is my hero, as far as I’m concerned. If he didn’t contest, power would have gone back to the north.”

Former president Muhammadu Buhari is from Katsina, a state in northern Nigeria, and Abubakar is from Adamawa in the same region.

Obi hails from Anambra, a state in the southeast, and Tinubu is from Lagos state in the southwest.

In Nigeria, power has tended to rotate between the north and the south.

Wike didn't claim that Obi had won the election, only that he was his hero for splitting the vote and preventing power from returning to the North.

The Facebook posts have quoted him out of context.

Republish our content for free

Please complete this form to receive the HTML sharing code.

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.