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No, video does not show Nigeria’s political rivals Atiku Abubakar and Nyesom Wike exchanging cordial greetings after 2023 elections

IN SHORT: A video showing two rival Nigerian politicians greeting each other cordially at a public event circulated in July 2023, with the claim it showed them meeting for the first time since the February election. But the video is old, dating back to May 2022.

A video circulating on Facebook in July 2023 shows Nigeria’s former vice president Atiku Abubakar and former Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike exchanging pleasantries.

The two politicians are rivals but can be seen greeting each other with a handshake while smiling and bantering.

The video seems to show a political gathering of dozens of well-known Nigerian politicians.

Moment Wike and Atiku Met Face To Face for the first time after elections,” reads the caption of the video, posted on 12 July. 

The video has been posted on Facebook here, here, here and here. We’ve found longer versions of it here, here and here with similar claims.  

Wike and Abubakar are members of Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Wike lost the PDP’s presidential primary election to Abubakar, who was the party’s candidate in the 25 February presidential election.

Ahead of the election, Wike led four other PDP state governors and their associates to form a group called the G5, which opposed Abubakar’s candidacy. Attempts to reconcile Wike and Abubakar failed. 

Instead, Wike supported Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who won the presidential election.

If the video truly shows Wike and Abubakar exchanging pleasantries, it could be seen as a betrayal to their supporters, and also signal a thawing of hostilities. 

But is this the case?


Old video after PDP primary election in 2022

Considering the interest generated by their rivalry, such a meeting between Wike and Abubakar would have been widely covered by the Nigerian media, but we found no such reports.

A reverse image search of a screenshot from the video revealed that it was recorded at a gathering of PDP leaders ahead of the presidential primary election on 28 May 2022.

We found the video posted on Facebook on 29 and 30 May 2022. It doesn’t show a meeting of the political rivals in July 2023 or anytime after the country’s February elections.

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