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Five times politicians, social media influencers goofed in 2022

Drama and controversies have characterised the Nigerian polity in the year 2022. Being the penultimate year to Nigeria’s next general election, the country has also witnessed a rise in the spread of misinformation.

Many of the candidates vying for the 2023 election made frantic efforts to get the support of the people. In the process, a lot of fake news circulated. 

From claims on health, finance, and education to other critical sectors of the economy, the media landscape was awash with fake news.

In this piece, DUBAWA examines five of its reports on public figures and influencers who goofed with false information.

1. Shettima’s claim on the size of Lagos’ economy

The Vice Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Kashim Shettima, said Lagos State is the third largest economy in Africa. According to Shettima, when his principal, Bola Tinubu, was governor of Lagos State in 1999, the state earned a measly sum of 700 million monthly as internally generated revenue. Now Lagos is earning 51 billion as its internally generated revenue. He stated this while giving a speech at the 2022 Nigerian Bar Association Annual General Conference.

However, a detailed fact-check by DUBAWA showed the claim to be false. Read here.

Image source: Premium Times.

2. Statistics showing the number of votes Tinubu got per state in the APC convention

Joe Igbokwe, a chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), shared a breakdown of votes reportedly scored by Bola Tinubu, ex-Lagos governor, in each state at the presidential primary of the APC. The data was sectioned into the six geopolitical zones, allocating different percentages of votes to different states. From the figures shared, Lagos State scored 91.6%. DUBAWA’s check, however, showed that the statistics are not true. Read here.

Source: Punch Newspaper.

3. Influencer shares a misleading video to depict stacks of money in a Nigerian Senator’s house

A LinkedIn user, EkeneDiliChukwu Okafor, posted a video on his timeline alleging that Orji Uzor Kalu, a serving Senator and former Governor of Abia State, is hiding stacks of money in his house. 

Findings by the Nigerian Fact-checkers’ Coalition showed that the video had been shared several times in the past and used in misleading contexts. 

Monge, a Spanish artist, originally shared the video on his Instagram page to showcase a piece of art he crafted as money stashed in a room. Read here.

Screenshot from the video.

4. Popular Facebook and Twitter accounts shared deepfakes to campaign for Nigeria’s presidential candidate

Charles Oputa (Charly Boy), a Nigerian entertainer and Mike Asukwo, a popular cartoonist, re-shared a video which showed international Hollywood actors holding placards that display support for the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi. While the video was only re-shared by the two influencers, supporting captions misled members of the public. 

Research by DUBAWA showed that the video was a deepfake. Read here.

Screenshot from the video.

5. Buhari’s figure on the COVID-19 vaccination rate

Based on recommendations from the World Health Organization, Nigeria had set a goal of vaccinating 40 per cent of its over 200 million population before the end of 2021 and 70 per cent by the end of 2022. While giving an update on this, President Muhammadu Buhari, during the Ministerial Performance Review Retreat of his administration at Abuja, said 38.7 million, representing 35 per cent of total eligible Nigerians targeted for COVID-19 vaccination, have been fully vaccinated against the virus. However, findings by DUBAWA showed that the figure was not accurate. Read more here.

President Muhammadu Buhari
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