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No, Nigeria’s APC campaign spokesperson Festus Keyamo did not say two presidential candidates should step down for each other

IN SHORT: According to a quote posted on social media, the spokesperson of Nigeria’s ruling party, Festus Keyamo, said two of the front-runners in the upcoming presidential election were muddying the electoral waters. But Keyamo has denied saying this.

A quote posted on Facebook in Nigeria has been attributed to the campaign of the country’s governing All Progressives Congress (APC).

The post reads: “From what am seeing, if either Atiku or Kwankwaso don't step down for each other, Peter Obi will surprise us – Festus Kayemo”.

Festus Keyamo – the post mispells his surname – is the spokesperson of the APC campaign. The party hopes to retain the presidency in elections on 25 February 2023.

The APC’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, is one of the perceived frontrunners, together with Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, Peter Obi of the Labour Party and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party.

We found similar claims on Facebook here and here. The implication of the statement is that Abubakar and Kwankwaso continuing to vie for the presidency gives Obi a stronger chance of causing an upset.  

But did Keyamo make this statement? We checked. 


‘Fake and should be ignored’

None of the Facebook posts give details of where or when Keyamo is meant to have made the statement. This lack of information about a quote circulating online is often a sign that it is fabricated. 

We also found no report in any credible Nigerian media of such a statement.

Africa Check reached out to Keyamo. “It is fake news and should be ignored,” he told us.

He also criticised the manipulation of images and quotes by some of the APC’s rivals, which he said was in order to “force a narrative” during the elections.

For more on disinformation trends in Nigeria during the election season, including fabricated quotes, read our analysis here.

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