Post falsely claims Nigerian presidential candidate Peter Obi has a new running mate

  • This article is more than one year old.
  • Published on February 8, 2023 at 12:26
  • 2 min read
  • By Fikayo OWOEYE, AFP Nigeria
Nigeria’s Peter Obi of the Labour Party has emerged as one of the top contenders in presidential elections taking place on February 25, 2023. Social media posts claim to show a video of him announcing that he was dropping his running mate Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed in favour of Aisha Yesufu, a human rights activist and staunch Obi supporter. But the claim is false: AFP Fact Check found the video was edited to alter a speech Obi gave at a rally in Borno in northeast Nigeria.

“PetObi dumps Datti, announces Aisha as Running Mate (sic),” reads the tweet, which has drawn more than 75,000 views and over 1,000 likes since it was published on January 30, 2023.

A screenshot showing the false post, taken on February 6, 2023

The post was published by a Twitter account named "Ayekooto”. It often shares content in support of Bola Tinubu, the presidential hopeful of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The tweet features a short video of Obi speaking during what appears to be a political rally.

The same claim also appeared on Facebook here and here.

Obi, 61, is a two-time governor of Anambra state in southeast Nigeria and one of 18 contenders vying to succeed Buhari in this month’s ballot.

Obi’s popularity among youths -- who constitute the highest number of registered voters in Nigeria -- has continued to surge.

But the claim that Obi has a new running mate is false.

Truncated video

Many people commenting on the tweet suspected that it was false, and asked to see the full video of the rally.

Using a keyword search for “Peter Obi rally in Borno”, AFP Fact Check found the original video, which was filmed at a rally in Borno state on January 26, 2023.

At the 0'42" mark in the video, Obi was listing various dignitaries who had addressed the supporters earlier, including his running mate Baba-Ahmed.

“The vice-presidential candidate... Aisha... everybody has spoken to you... the party chairman... telling you about what their party wants to do. All I want you to do is to vote those responsible for a new Nigeria,” Obi told the crowd.

The short clip shared on Twitter cut off right after Obi said "Aisha", falsely giving the impression that he was referring to Yesufu as "the vice-presidential candidate".

What the law says

Section 29 of the Electoral Act 2022 mandates that political parties must submit their list of candidates no later than 180 days before the election.

Meanwhile, candidates wishing to withdraw from the race have to notify the electoral body at least 90 days prior to the poll.

Ahead of the election, Obi and Baba-Ahmed continue to campaign as joint candidates under the Labour Party ticket.

Disinformation has dogged campaigning ahead of the polls. You can find AFP Fact Check's election-related coverage here.

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