IN SHORT: Nigeria’s Labour Party leader Peter Obi hasn’t accepted the 25 February 2023 presidential election and congratulated president elect Bola Tinubu. Social media posts are based on an unrelated news article about Madu Obi and set out to mislead.
A Facebook page in Nigeria posted a link to an article to its 23,000 followers on 22 March, with the caption: “Finally, Obi congratulates Tinubu, urge Tinubu to empower youths.”
The post reads, in part: “Obi said: I congratulate our President-elect for his victory at the polls. However, the focus for him is to develop the youths and I am sure sports are one of the avenues to do that.”
Facebook users could be reasonably expected to think that the Obi in question was Peter Obi of the Labour Party who contested the 25 February presidential election against Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and others.
Tinubu was declared the winner of the election on 1 March with 8,805,420 votes. The electoral commission said Obi came third with 6,093,962 votes.
Obi and others dissatisfied with the conduct and outcome of the election have challenged Tinubu’s victory in court.
However, when we clicked through to the article, we discovered that it was in fact quoting Madu Obi, and not Peter Obi.
Media reports indicate that the Obi mentioned in the article is the sponsor of the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Cup, and he was reported to have extended congratulations to the president-elect.
We found the same claim, implying that Peter Obi had congratulated Tinubu, here, here, and here. But there’s no indication of this.
‘Fake news’ says Obi’s spokesperson
If Obi had conceded, it would have been widely reported in the media. We found no such coverage.
We checked Obi’s verified Twitter account and found no evidence of such a congratulatory message to Tinubu.
The message was “fake news”, Yinusa Tanko, the spokesperson of the Labour Party, told Africa Check.
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