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Old Picture Used to Portray Buhari Arriving His Polling Unit After Election Postponement

CLAIM: A Facebook post on the “news platform” – Dailymail Gist – shows a picture that claims that Muhammadu Buhari, the president of Nigeria was not aware of the postponement of the election, and thus arrived at his polling unit to vote on Saturday

EVIDENCE: A Google Image Reverse of the picture shows that the original picture was taken far back in 2015 during the presidential election at Buhari’s polling unit in Katsina.

CONCLUSION: TOTALLY FALSE

Full Text:

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday postponed the 2019 general election. The Presidential and National Assembly elections were postponed to February 23, 2019 (a week later) while the Governorship and the State Assembly elections were also postponed to March 9, 2019.

The announcement was made by the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja citing logistics challenges in some parts of the country.

Despite this wide reportage on postponement, propagators of false news still found ‘pleasure’ in spreading misinformation to discredit the president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari.

A Nigerian Facebook blog, Dailymail Gist took to its Facebook page at exactly 11:14 a.m. after the election postponement to upload Mr Buhari’s picture with the caption: “Breaking News: Buhari Just Arrived His Unit for Accreditation, Saying He Is Not Aware That The Election Has Been Postponed”

Like every fake report or photo, Dailymail Gist got over 1000 likes, 810 comments and the news was shared by nearly 4000 Facebook users. As part of our duties to correct wrong information, Dubawa did a Google Image Reverse of the picture and it turns out that the original picture was taken far back in 2015 during the presidential election at Buhari’s polling unit in Katsina.

Also, that same day, a press statement was released by the president and he says “I am deeply disappointed that despite the long notice given and our preparations both locally and internationally, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the Presidential and National Assembly elections within hours of its commencement…I have decided to move back to Abuja to ensure that the 14.00 hrs meeting called by INEC with all stakeholders is successful.

Although the president had traveled to Daura to vote, he was well aware of the election postponement and did not go to the polling unit as claimed!

In 2015, the original picture which was taken by Ben Curtis read: “Opposition candidate Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (centre) arrives to validate his voting card using a finger print reader, prior to casting his vote later in the day in his home town of Daura, Nigeria. Saturday, March 28, 2015

This looks very much like a case of disinformation (deliberate propagating of false information with an intent to cause harm), and is out-rightly FALSE!

Adejumo Kabir is a student journalist at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He is a great researcher with many investigative journalism awards to his name. He loves community journalism and supports all aspects of public enlightenment. He has experience writing well-researched papers for online publications. He was Finalist for Best Student Fact Checker category of the African Fact Checking Awards, South Africa in 2018.

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