Followers of the Nigerian Labour Party marked Nigeria’s 62nd Independence anniversary with a campaign rally in support of their presidential candidate, Peter Obi.
The campaign, covering different parts of Nigeria, had Nigerians taking to the streets in their thousands. Also, some celebrities were present to show their support for the former governor of Anambra State.
However, a picture frequently shared on social media platforms had a young man leading at the rally who was said to be the son of the Lagos state deputy governor, Femi Hamzat.
Mr Hamzat is a stalwart of the ruling party, All Progressive Congress (APC), where Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is the flagbearer for the presidential election. It was, therefore, doubted if the man in the picture was the deputy governor’s son.
DUBAWA fact-checked and found the picture to be misleading. Indeed, the picture was taken at the rally. However, the man in question is not who was described.
In a statement signed by Tunde Alao, the Lagos State Deputy Governor’s Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, the viral picture is described as an attempt to create misunderstanding between the politician and his followers.
In part, it reads, “for the avoidance of doubt, the gentleman in the displayed photograph is neither the Deputy Governor’s son nor his relative.”
“The viral message is another mischievous, false, and malicious attempt to cause friction between the Deputy Governor and his admirers and loyalists across the nation.”
The statement also described Mr Hamzat as a man loyal to the APC’s chosen candidates. “His support is for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima.”
“Our party and all our supporters are working hard to ensure that our candidates get the votes of Nigerians. Ours is not about bogus statistics and lies.”
“Supporters of the Labour Party should get serious with their campaigns and desist from cheap tactics that would not yield any political gains.”
“We hope that Nigerians will detect these tendencies to deceive and see it for what it is. It is too late in the day to keep lying to Nigerians. It won’t work.”
The unknown man in the picture discovered
Efforts by DUBAWA to discover the identity of the man campaigning at the Lekki rally was fruitful. DUBAWA found it to be a popular social media influencer on Twitter with the username ‘Cross’. His Twitter handle is @elkrosmediahub.
While reacting, Cross challenged the deputy governor’s Special Assistant to explain how he impersonated the deputy governor’s son.
He wrote, “please what’s the Tunde Alao’s handle, so I can DM him my address and ease the search for me?”
“They will explain how I’m an impersonator when I never claimed to be anyone’s son here. Clowns.”
The tweet has since generated more than 3,000 reactions, 1,300 retweets, and 300 comments.
The viral picture shared on social media was taken at the Peter Obi Independence rally in Lekki, Lagos State. However, it is not the son of the state’s deputy governor. It is, therefore, misleading to regard him as one.