Claim: A Facebook user shared images of presidential aspirant Peter Obi with Pope Francis with the insinuation that the politician is meeting the clergyman for blessings ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
Our findings show these images date back to 2019 and have nothing to do with the 2023 presidential election.
Peter Obi, the presidential aspirant of the Labour Party (LP), like other presidential candidates, has continued to be the subject of conversation on social media platforms.
Recently, a Facebook user, Victor Ifeanyi Ugwu, shared a picture of Pope Francis and Peter Obi with a note that the presidential aspirant met with Pope Francis for the “tasks ahead.”
The claimant shared the images, with the caption “JUST IN…PETER OBI MEETS POPE FRANCIS,TO RECEIVE BLESSING FOR TASKS AHEAD..”
Many other Facebook users, such as Boldoracle House, also have similar a claim on their pages.
Although the author of the post didn’t specifically mention the 2023 election, commenters took the image as an endorsement from the pope.
For instance, Victor Ifeanyi Ugwuw replied with a comment suggesting, “We Move an OBEdient servant towards ASO ROCK 2023.”
Another commenter said, “This is awesome” while Emmanuel Ebbi commented, “The movement is on..”
Aya Goolu commented on Boldoracle House’s post, “Na jew go come vote for him na😃make he no forget Putin ooo”.
DUBAWA chose to fact-check this claim to inform electorates about the actions of the presidential candidate as it can have a significant impact on the electorate’s decision.
DUBAWA carried out a keyword search to ascertain if the presidential aspirant met with Pope Francis recently.
We found that The Eagle Online reported the meeting of Pope Francis and Peter Obi in 2018 when the latter was the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party. However, the image attached to the story differs from the images shared by the claimant on Facebook.
Hence, DUBAWA initiated a Google reverse image search of the images attached to the post by the claimant.
This led us to a tweet by Peter Obi in 2019. The tweet reads thus: “Nigeria continues to be underdeveloped because of the scant attention to education. I am excited to be working with the Pontifical Foundation Scholas Occurrentes, @InfoScholas, an initiative of @Pontifex, to bring development to our #education and #sports in Nigeria. -PO”
The Herald also reported the meeting of the Pope and Peter Obi in 2019. As tweeted by Peter Obi, the purpose of the meeting with the Pope is to bring development to Nigeria’s education and sports sectors.
We found that the images attached to the post date back to 2019 when Peter Obi met with Pope Francis. The images have nothing to do with the supposed “tasks ahead” which many took to be the presidential election of 2023. Hence, the claim is false.