The presidential and National Assembly elections have come and gone and attention has now turned to the gubernatorial and state assembly elections.
However, as expected, the social media space was filled with misinformation and falsehoods from politicians and their supporters aimed at misleading the voting public to garner votes.
Daily Trust compiled and fact-checked some of the lies that political actors put out in the public space.
In the run-up to the elections, a video was trending on social media showing women with gas cylinders allegedly distributed by the Peoples Democratic Party in order to garner votes in the 2023 general elections.
The video was giving the impression that the PDP and politicians didn’t need cash to buy votes.
The video was tagged ‘PDP gas cylinders souvenirs: Hope Emefiele now understands that politicians don’t actually need cash for vote buying’.
Daily Trust verified the video and found that it first emerged on social media in March 2021.
Further checks showed that the said video emanated from the empowerment programme of Senator Uche Ekwenife, the lawmaker representing Anambra Central in the Senate.
She was reported to have donated gas cylinder stoves to 650 women across the state.
- Makinde endorses Tinubu
Also, a 23-second video surfaced on Twitter suggesting that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, was campaigning for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, on the eve of the presidential election.
The video was a mashup of short clips and pictures showing Makinde and Tinubu on different occasions.
The video’s audio was muted and replaced with background music.
Daily Trust subjected the video to verification, and it was revealed that the first clip used in the video in circulation was from a campaign video the Oyo State PDP candidate posted, urging the people of the state to re-elect him in the upcoming election.
The original video also showed some of his track records and why he should be re-elected as governor of the state.
Similarly, a picture attached at the end of the video showing Makinde and Tinubu was taken last year.
Other pictures used in the video were also picked from Makinde’s campaign clips and merged to mislead the public and sway support for the APC presidential candidate.
- Atiku got 25 per cent votes in 25 states
On February 26, a frontline campaigner for the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Reno Omokri, claimed that Atiku Abubakar won 25 per cent of the votes cast in 25 states.
Mr Omokri’s tweet generated thousands of reactions on Twitter.
His tweet came when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officially opened the National Collation Centre at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.
In his tweet, he said: “From our sources at INEC, Atiku is currently leading with 25% in 25 states. Out of 25 states, 6 are in the South South and 19 in the northern states. Atiku has secured the mandatory 25% in the South and North.”
Daily Trust verified the claim and found that it was False.
As of that time, Daily Trust fact-checked the claim and found it to be false as INEC hadn’t even announced the results of a single state.
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, had earlier announced that voting will continue on that same day, Sunday, due to the late arrival of election materials in states.
Consequently, in the final results announced by the commission on Wednesday, March 1, Atiku only won 12 states and didn’t get 25 per cent spread in other states.
Atiku won his home state of Adamawa as well as Kaduna, Katsina, Bauchi, Kebbi and Osun states.
Others were Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Gombe states.
Also, he couldn’t get 25 per cent of the total votes cast in Anambra, Imo and Enugu, among others.
As such, the claim by Mr Omokri was found to be false.
According to the Electoral Act 2022, a president is expected to get 25 per cent of the total votes cast in 25 states.
Where that requirement is not met, INEC will conduct a rerun to determine the winner.
- Obasanjo storms National Collation Centre with results of 36 states
Social media went agog on Sunday, 26th February with the news that former president Olusegun Obasanjo, showed up at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) collation centre in Abuja with original result sheets of the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
The post, which went viral, especially on WhatsApp reads, ‘Breaking News: Obasanjo storms INEC collection centre in Abuja with the real results of all the 36 states and FCT. INEC chairman was in shock when Obasanjo showed up in Abuja INEC with 2023 original result sheets for all states…”
The post was accompanied by different images, including those of the governor of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, and the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu.
Daily Trust subjected one of the pictures to a Google reverse image search, which showed that it had been in existence since January 2020, when Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo State, visited Obasanjo at his Abeokuta residence.
Also, another picture of the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, accompanying the post was taken in 2019, during a pre-election press conference.
Daily Trust was fully on ground at the collation centre and didn’t see the former president at the collation venue from the beginning to the end of the entire exercise, where Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was announced as the winner.
- Peter Obi won 19 states in the just-concluded presidential elections
A post on Twitter and Facebook went viral, claiming the announcement of the presidential election result by INEC that the candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, won the election with 19 states according to results uploaded by the INEC Election Viewing Portal (IREV).
Daily Trust verified the claim and found out that results from over 10,000 polling units had not been uploaded to the IREV, and it was therefore not possible to conclude that Peter Obi won the elections in 19 states. As such, the claim was misleading.
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