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No, Nigeria's president-elect Bola Tinubu didn't say he'd look to China instead if US president Joe Biden didn’t congratulate him.

IN SHORT: As the courts examine Bola Tinubu’s electoral win, claims are circulating on social media that the president-elect has said he will work with China if US president Joe Biden doesn’t personally congratulate him. But these claims are false.

Nigeria president-elect Bola Tinubu has said the country would “partner with China” if US president Joe Biden didn’t congratulate him.

At least, that’s the claim in a post shared on Facebook in Nigeria.  

Tinubu was declared the winner of the February 2023 presidential election on 1 March. He ran on the ticket of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).  

This result has been challenged in court by the opposition.

Some world leaders have congratulated Tinubu on his victory, but Biden had yet to do so personally at the time of publishing.

The US department of state did congratulate Tinubu and Nigerians.

The post claiming to quote Tinubu reads, in part: “I don’t care if USA President Joe Biden congratulates me or not because Nigeria has nothing to benefit from USA … If Joe Biden fails to congratulate me, my government will partner with China.”

The same quote appeared on Facebook here, here, here, here and here.

But did Tinubu say this? 


‘Complete falsehood,’ says president’s media aide

There are no reports in local or international media that Tinubu made the statement attributed to him. If it were true, it would have made headlines.

Tinubu's media aide, Tunde Rahman, told Africa Check the statement attributed to the president-elect was “fake news” and a “complete falsehood”.

“President-elect Asiwaju Tinubu never said what has been attributed to him. He is too politically astute to speak like that. Those who are familiar with him and his speeches will understand this,” Rahman said.

We also asked Festus Keyamo, spokesperson for the APC’s campaign council, about the statement attributed to Tinubu. He said it was “false”.

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