IN SHORT: Labour Party candidate Peter Obi is popular with the country’s youth. But there’s no evidence that he’s also bagged the endorsement of popular Hollywood actor Will Smith.
A quote attributed to US actor Will Smith, urging Nigerians to “fight” for Peter Obi to win next year’s presidential election, is doing the rounds on Facebook.
“Nigerians have the best chance right now to rewrite history, Peter is the best candidate even to rule America, fight for him,” the quote begins.
“I have heard him speak to his people one on one, his energy is unmatched, and his diligence is second to none, never since the history of Africa has someone like him emerged.
“If he was an American, his one-way to the Presidential ticket is certain, he holds the key to a new Africa, not just Nigeria.”
Obi is running for the presidency on the Labour Party ticket. The vote is set for February 2023.
Will Smith is a well-known American actor and musician.
But did Smith endorse Obi in what would be a major coup for the candidate?
No evidence of quote
Facebook posts with the quote don’t say when and where Smith made the statement. This lack of detail is often a sign that we should not take a social media claim at face value – there’s a good chance it’s false.
A search of Smith’s verified Instagram and Facebook accounts returned no evidence of the statement.
And curiously, given his global stature, there have been no media reports that he has endorsed Obi.
Africa Check has debunked similar claims in which quotes attributed to Hollywood stars and other celebrities endorse a particular candidate.
This is another false statement hoping to mislead voters and influence their choices in the upcoming election.
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