Post falsely claims Nigerian leader resigned as chairman of West African bloc

A social media post claimed Nigerian President Bola Tinubu has stepped down as chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). But the claim is false: Tinubu was immediately re-elected after his one-year term elapsed.

“President Tinubu has stepped aside as ECOWAS chairman,” reads a post published on X on July 7, 2024, and shared more than 1,000 times.

A screenshot of the false post, taken July 9, 2024

Many people commenting on the post assumed it was true.

“When is he stepping down as inec Nigerian president??? (sic)” commented a user, while another wrote: “He has no business being their chairman in the first place.” 

Local news outlet Nigerian Tribune also made the same claim in a July 7, 2024 article headlined: “BREAKING: Tinubu steps aside as ECOWAS chairman” (archived here).

However, the claim is false.

One-year tenure

A year ago, on July 9, 2023, West African heads of state unanimously elected Tinubu as the chairman of their regional bloc, succeeding Guinea-Bissau's leader Umaro Sissoco Embalo (archived here).

According to ECOWAS rules, the position of the chairman “is held every year by a member state elected by the authority” (archived here).

Tinubu’s one-year tenure ended on July 7, 2024 – the day the false post was published on X. However, he was re-elected for another year during the 65th Ordinary Session of ECOWAS held on the same day. 

“The authority elected H.E. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as its Chairman for another term of one year,” reads a press release issued by ECOWAS at the end of the session (archived here). 

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