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No, Nigeria’s governing party spokesperson Festus Keyamo didn’t say rival candidate Peter Obi ‘will turn the country around’

IN SHORT: The race for Nigeria’s presidency is tight with the February election only weeks away. So it would be unusual for one camp to praise a rival, as Facebook posts claim.

A post shared on Facebook in Nigeria attributes a quote to Festus Keyamo, spokesperson for the presidential campaign council of Nigeria’s governing All Progressives Congress (APC). 

The post reads: “Peter Obi just landed in kafanchan, the northern headquarters of Obidients. ‘We never knew Peter Obi will turn the country around’ – Festus Kayemo.”

Attached to the post are two photos, one showing a helicopter in the air with people below who appear to be cheering, and the other a drone photographed from below.

Festus Keyamo, whose last name was misspelt as “Kayemo” in the post, is also Nigeria’s junior minister for labour and employment. 

Kafanchan is located in the southern part of Kaduna state in northern Nigeria and is an area plagued by killings and terrorism.

Nigerians pick a new president on 25 February 2023.

Peter Obi is running for the presidency on the Labour Party ticket. His supporters often refer to themselves as “Obidients”.

The same quote attributed to Keyamo was seen on Facebook here and here.

But did Keyamo make this statement, which would be a compliment to a rival? We checked.


‘Lies and fake news,’ says Keyamo

We found no reports in any local news organisation about such a statement from the APC campaign spokesperson.

We reached out to Keyamo. He said: “It is fake news. As zero hour approaches, the Obi people have resorted to lies and fake news to take them into Aso Rock.”

Aso Rock is the seat of the Nigerian presidency.

In the months leading up to the general elections several false quotes attributed to key political figures have emerged, some of which Africa Check has debunked. This statement was not made by Keyamo and joins the list.

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