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Fani Kayode’s claims comparing Europe and Nigerian territories all false

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Nigeria’s former Aviation Minister , Femi Fani-Kayode, on his twitter handle, @realFFK, recently made some bogus statements. The politician asked if people know that Oyo State is larger in terms of land mass than all southeastern states put together; that Ibadan is larger than Belgium and lastly, that the southwest is larger than ninety percent of European countries in terms of  landmass and population. 

Claims

The tweet in which Fani-Kayode made the comments has garnered over five hundred likes,over one hundred  and thirty two retweets and about one hundred and fifty-six comments.

The claims are:

1.Oyo state is larger than all Southeast states put together

2.Ibadan is larger that European nation of Belgium

3.That the Southwest is larger than 90% of European countries in terms of land mass and population?

A screenshot of the tweet

The social media post, believed by some of the followers, formed the basis of their comments.

For instance, John Ezeakolam @JohnEzeakolam reacted to the comment.

“Amazing geographical & historical facts, why then d reluctance to declare independence nation of Oduduwa today, or is somebody going to argue that this great entity isn’t large enough to be a republic”

John Ezeakolam replied to the tweet.

In contrast, Peter-damian Anyanwu @peterdamianAny2 appears not to have believed the tweet. Peter Anyanwu commented in an attempt to clear the air.

“….as confirmed from Google map reading and land mass study.Oyo vs SE put together.

Oyo = 28,454 km²  VS SE= Ebonyi – ,5,533km² + Enugu- 7,161km² + Anambra – 4,834 km² + Abia – 6,320km² + Imo – 5,530. Total =29,388km². compare and contrast @realFFk” He replied

  1. Verifying the claim that Oyo State is larger than all Southeast states put together in terms of land mass

The first claim  suggests that Oyo is larger than Southeast states put together. Oyo, one of Nigeria’s 36 states is locked in the Southwest region of the country alongside five others. The Southeast on the other hand is a region, one of the six regions that make up the Nigerian federation. 

In verifying the claim that Oyo State is larger than Southeast states put together in terms of land mass, we consulted a record of the 2006 Population and Housing Census, Priority Table Volume 111,obtained from the National population Commission, Ibadan Office. The record indicates that Oyo State has a landmass of 28,245.264 km²

Size of Oyo state

The record computes the landmass of the five southeast states as follows; Abia (4,902.24),km²  Anambra (4,816.21)km² Ebonyi (6,421.23)km²  Enugu (7,660.17)km² and Imo (5,182.82)km²

A sum of this shows that the Southeast has a total landmass of 28,982.67 km²

The record shows that the Southeast is larger than Oyo State with a margin of 737.406km². Hence the unsubstantiated claim by the former Aviation minister is misleading.

  1. Is Ibadan larger than Belgium?

Worldometers, a platform dedicated to global statistics, puts the current population of Belgium at 11,599, 720. Similarly, official figures from Statbel, the Belgian statistical office puts the legally resident population of Belgium at 11,492,641 as of January 1, 2020.

According to the 2006 Population and Housing Census, the entire population of Oyo state, which has Ibadan as its capital, has a total population of 5,580,894. The census figures didn’t capture the specific figure for Ibadan but data from for the state in which Ibadan is located implies that the entire state is not as big as Belgium, not to talk of Ibadan its capital.www.macrotrends.net put the population of Ibadan as 3,552,000.

According to available records, it is clear that Belgium is many millions larger than Ibadan in population.

On land mass, World Bank record puts the size of Belgium at 30,280.0km² while the entire Oyo State which houses Ibadan has a total of 28,245,264km² according to population census conducted in 2006.

Ibadan, the capital of the State,has eleven local government areas which are; Akinyele (524,298) km², Egbeda (192,895)km² , Ibadan North (27,562)km², Ibadan Northeast (18,077)km², Ibadan Northwest (26,228)km² Ibadan Southeast(17,032)km², Oluyole(635,045)km²,Ibadan Southwest (40,751)km², Ido (996,825)km², Lagelu (342,341) km² and Ona-Ara (292,606)km2.

Summation of all the eleven local government areas, which make up the metropolis in terms of land mass, is 3,113,573km². 

The records show that Ibadan is not as large as Belgium either in land mass or population. Therefore, the claim that Ibadan is larger than Belgium is False and misleading.

  1. Is Ibadan bigger than ninety percent of European countries in terms of land mass and Population?

With reference  to the 2006 Population and Housing Census, southwest Nigeria consists six states: Ekiti (5,887.89)km ,Lagos (3,496.45)km Ogun (16,980.55)km ,Ondo (15,195.18)km, Osun (8,699.84)km and Oyo (28,245.26)km.

Total land mass of Southwest Nigeria is summed up at 78, 505.17 km² while Europe’s land mass has a total landmass of 22,134,900 Km2 according to worldometer.info.

By calculation,90% of 22,134,900 (landmass of Europe) equals 19,921,410km². This is much more than the entire land mass of the Southwest.

Break down  population of the Southwest comprising ; Ekiti (1,535,790) ,Lagos (5,725,116) ,Ogun (2,333,726),Ondo (2,249,548), Osun( 2,158,142) and Oyo (3,452,720) .  The region has a total of 17,455,042 which falls below that of Europe with 747,730,920

Above figures are clear indicators that Southwest Nigeria is not as big as ninety percent of Europe either in population or land mass.

90% of 747,730,920 (Population of Europe) is 662,957,828. A record which indicates that the population of the Southwest (17,455,042) is not up to 90% of that of Europe.

Conclusion

Substantial parts of the claims, which have attracted hundreds of comments, retweets and thousands Likes, have been confirmed to be false. Ibadan Oyo state capital is not larger than Southeast States put together. The claim that Ibadan is larger than Belgium is equally false as well as the claim that Nigeria’s Southwest region is larger than 90 percent of Europe.

The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with Radio Nigeria Ibadan to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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