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No, Nigeria’s Labour Party presidential candidate Obi hasn’t changed his running mate

IN SHORT: Posts on social media claim that just weeks before the presidential election, Peter Obi has sensationally ditched his running mate for a prominent activist. But this is false. 


Weeks before Nigerians are set to pick a new president, a controversial claim that Nigeria’s Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi has replaced his running mate has surfaced online.


“BREAKING Peter Obi Announces Aisha Yesufu As Vice Presidential Candidate,” reads a message posted on Facebook. 

In July 2022, Obi announced Datti Baba-Ahmed as his running mate. The country is slated to choose a new president on 25 February 2023.

Aisha Yesufu is a prominent Nigerian activist. She has attended some of Obi’s campaigns and rallies across the country.

In a recent interview with AriseTV, Yesufu repeated her support and belief in Obi’s cause, describing him as a man of competence and character.

In June 2022 Festus Okoye, the voter education commissioner at the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec), explained in an interview the conditions required for the replacement of a candidate. 

The commission is responsible for the conduct of elections in Nigeria.

The candidate must write to Inec, including an affidavit stating their intention to withdraw from the election, within the time frame given by the law.

The nomination portal for candidates shut down on 17 June 2022, after which no candidate was allowed to access it. 

Other instances of the claim can be seen on Facebook here, here, and here.

But did Obi announce Yesufu as his new running mate? We checked.

‘Completely false’

There are no reports in any local news organisation about presidential candidate Obi announcing a different running mate.

Such a controversial claim a few days to the presidential election would have made headlines if it were true.

We asked  Ndi Kato, the Labour Party’s presidential campaign spokesperson, about the claim. “It is completely false,” she said.

“Mainstream media and social media plus Inec have information on who Peter Obi’s running mate is. He was side by side with him in Sokoto yesterday.”

Obi, Datti and other party members held a rally in Sokoto state in northern Nigeria on 1 February.

And Datti’s name is still listed on Inec’s website as Obi’s running mate in the 25 February polls. 

Claims that Obi has replaced his running mate Baba-Ahmed with Aisha Yesufu are false.


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