IN SHORT: The Labour Party’s Peter Obi hasn’t withdrawn from Nigeria’s presidential election. If you’re going to the polls today, on 25 February, ignore social media claims trying to manipulate your vote.
As voting continues across Nigeria on 25 February 2023, claims that Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, has withdrawn from the race and declared his support for a rival have surfaced online.
Messages posted on Facebook claim Obi has given up and now supports Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party candidate for the presidency.
Obi and Abubakar are among the frontrunners in the presidential race. Abubakar was vice president from 1999 to 2007.
A typical version of the claim reads: “Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi withdraws from the race, declaring support for H.E Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.”
But has Obi really withdrawn? And has he declared support for Abubakar? We checked.
Claim ‘criminal and totally unacceptable’
We asked Yunusa Tanko, the Labour Party presidential campaign’s spokesperson, about the claim. He told us Obi was still in the race.
In a video statement posted on YouTube early on 25 February, Tanko said the claim was “an attempt to demarket our candidate. It is criminal and totally unacceptable.”
Obi has posted photos of himself and his running mate Datti Baba-Ahmed casting their votes at their polling units.
The Labour Party candidate has not withdrawn from the presidential race. This is an example of a disinformation tactic expected on election day. For more on what to look out for, read our blog.
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