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Scam alert – no evidence Nigeria’s main opposition party is paying voters to support its 2023 presidential candidate

IN SHORT: Text messages circulating in Nigeria promise cash in return for voting for the main opposition party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 elections. But, like previous similar viral messages, this supposed offer is fraudulent.

A text message circulating in Nigeria claims the country’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), will give cash to Nigerians who vote for its presidential candidate in the 2023 elections.

The message reads: “*PDP*ATIKU FOR PRESIDENT 2023 VOTE ATIKU ABUBARKAR FOR CHANGE PDP SUPPORT WITH NGN 85000 AS AN APPRECIATION TO ATIKU SUPPORTERS.”

It then gives a phone number to call “for payment”.

Atiku Abubakar, former vice president of Nigeria, is the PDP’s presidential candidate.

But is the party really offering to pay its supporters? We checked.

No mention on the party’s official accounts

There is no mention of any cash handouts on the PDP’s official Facebook page or verified Twitter handle

We also didn’t find any mention of such an offer on Abubakar’s verified Twitter or Facebook accounts, where he regularly posts about his political career.

Other PDP support groups have also called out the claim of cash payments as fraudulent.

In January 2022 we debunked a viral claim that Abubakar was giving out money to Nigerian youths to empower them. We also fact-checked a similar story in June claiming that a support group was giving away airtime and internet data to his supporters.  

Like this one, we found both to be false.

Campaigns for Nigeria's pivotal 2023 general elections are underway and fraudsters might take this opportunity to scam unsuspecting members of the public, using promises of cash as bait.

To inform yourself, read our guide on how to spot online scams here.

Further Reading

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