A viral post on Twitter and online news websites, PM News Nigeria and All Naija Entertainment, claimed that Nigerian politician and actor, Desmond Elliot, said “there’s nothing wrong with godfatherism.”
Although none of the two stories have his exact words in the headlines attributed to his interview, with Dubawa’s clarification, the claims by PM News Nigeria and All Naija Entertainment is mostly true
On PM News Nigeria, the post had the deadline, “Desmond Elliot knocks Obaseki; says nothing wrong with godfatherism.” Similarly, on All Naija Entertainment the headline reads, “Edo Election: Nothing Is Wrong With Godfatherism – Desmond Elliot Fires Back At Obaseki.”
The two websites culled the interview from Chris Osa Media Group whom Desmond Elliot granted an interview while in Edo State for the APC gubernatorial campaign.
Speaking on godfatherism in politics, Desmond Elliot said: “If not for Godfatherism would he (Obaseki), the incumbent governor be where he is today? A God-father looks after the interest of his people.”
However, various news websites, like PM News Nigeria and All Naija Entertainment reported his godfatherism comment with different headlines.
Another news website, Naija News Ng wrote an article on this same story with the headline; “Godfatherism Is Good And Will Continue – Desmond Elliot”
In what appears to be a strange station to stand on, Dubawa sought to verify the factual basis of the claim, as it was attributed to the famous actor. For this exercise, Dubawa watched the 15 minutes interview exclusively granted to him by Chris Osa Media Group on Facebook.
It was observed in the recording that even though he never said “there’s nothing wrong with godfatherism” or “godfatherism is good and will continue,” he agreed with the need for godfatherism in politics and highlighted how beneficial it has been to him.
The video has been seen over twenty seven thousand times (27,000) with over 600 comments and 500 reactions.
Dubawa reached out to Desmond Elliot for more clarification, and he agreed with the headlines while also emphasizing that indeed there’s nothing wrong with Godfatherism. “I’m a product of someone who didn’t think I had the political antecedent but yet gave me a chance, I owe him my loyalty” “He (Asiwaju Tinubu) worked with Adams Oshiomole for 8 years, the least you owe him is loyalty, loyalty doesn’t mean give me N10 from your N20,” he said.
Although none of the two stories have his exact words in the headlines attributed to his interview, with Dubawa’s clarification, the claims by PM News Nigeria and All Naija Entertainment is mostly true.
The researcher produced this fact check per the DUBAWA 2020 FELLOWSHIP to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.