ElectionsFact Check

MISLEADING! Not every presidential candidate endorsed by Obasanjo won elections in Nigeria

Claim: A Twitter user, Arch Angel Jesse Halliday (@AaJessehalliday), asserted that every candidate ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo has ever endorsed had won the presidential election.

Verdict: MISLEADING. Not everyone endorsed by Mr Obasanjo has won the presidential election. 

Full Text

Nigeria is set to hold her general elections in February 2023 to elect the President, Vice President and members of the Senate, House of Representatives, governors and state House of Assemblies.

Top presidential candidates include Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi of the Labour Party, and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the platform of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

It’s a tradition that aspirants pay respect to elder statesmen, traditional leaders, politicians, and others to garner support for their cause.

In February 2022, Atiku Abubakar of the PDP visited ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

In August 2022, the Presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 election, Bola Tinubu, visited ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Similarly, in September 2022, the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, also visited Mr Obasanjo in his Abeokuta residence.

On January 1, 2023, the former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, in his new year’s letter, endorsed Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, as his preferred choice for president in next month’s election.

Recently, a Twitter user, Arch Angel Jesse Halliday (@AaJessehalliday), shared on his Twitter page insinuated Peter Obi would win the presidential election. 

“Everyone Obasanjo has ever endorsed has won the presidential election, Baba has endorsed Peter Obi, Peter Obi will win the 2023 General Election!!” his tweet reads. 

Screenshot of the Twitter post by AaJessehalliday.

As of the time of this report, the post has attracted over 38,000 views, eight comments, 197 retweets, and 592 likes.

Verification

According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the success of any election depends on efficient planning and its conduct, i.e., accreditation, voting, counting, collation, and results declaration.

In a report on ThisDay, the National Commissioner of INEC in charge of Voter Education and Information, Barr Festus Okoye, stated that the presidential election winner next year must score the highest votes and the required 25 per cent in two-thirds of the 36 states of the federation.

“By Section 134 of the constitution, where there are more than two presidential candidates, for a presidential candidate to be declared duly elected, he must secure the highest number of votes cast at the election; and not less than a quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the states in the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.”

In the 2007 presidential election, Mr Obasanjo supported the then-former governor of Katsina state, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, who emerged victorious.

In 2011, Mr Obasanjo backed Goodluck Jonathan, who later won the election. In the next election (the 2015 general election), Mr Obasanjo endorsed the then flag bearer of the APC, Muhammadu Buhari, who also emerged victorious in the election.

However, in 2019, the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, who contested on the platform of the PDP, lost the election to the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari, despite Obasanjo’s support

Conclusion

Based on the above, it is misleading to say that everyone Obasanjo has ever endorsed has won the presidential election.


The researcher produced this fact-check per the DUBAWA 2023 Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with BONews to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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