Claim: An alleged picture of Ebuka Uchendu, a popular TV host putting on the Tinubu signature cap as a mark of support has surfaced online.
Verdict: False. The alleged image featuring Mr Ebuka with the Tinubu trademark cap was doctored.
As the election season draws nearer, political actors and their supporters continue to wish and seek celebrities’ public endorsement of their preferred candidate. This ploy has continuously stirred the waters of disinformation as many supporters have created false images and videos of celebrities to align them with certain politicians.
So when a Twitter user, Moore (@accoid), posted a picture of Ebuka Uchendu wearing a sky blue agbada with a Tinubu signature cap, suggesting that the media personality has pledged support for the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, it became controversial.
The picture was posted with the caption, “Ebuka go hear am from Obidients.”
There were those who reacted to the tweet and seemed to think the image wasn’t altered.
TJboss (@OyewoleAdetunji) seem to hold the picture to some credibility:
“Boy wey smart pass them,” he wrote, insinuating that Mr Ebukas’s choice to support Tinubu is a smart decision.
However, Arc AJ-Ojo (@ojoojadedapo) argued that the image was doctored and simply dubbed it photoshop. “Na photoshop though,” he wrote.
As of Monday, February 6, 2022, the tweet has garnered 34.5K views, 34 comments, 64 retweets and 339 likes.
The image has also made its way to WhatsApp and has been shared on Facebook by Prince Charles Ekanem, an aide to the Cross River State Governor.
Who is Ebuka Obi-Uchendu?
Chukwuebuka Obi-Uchendu is a Nigerian media personality from Anambra State, Nigeria. He is known for hosting the reality show Big Brother Naija and other shows, including the long-running talk show Rubbin’ Minds on Channels TV, co-hosting The Spot and Men’s Corner on Ebonylife television.
Celebrity endorsement has become the poster child for politician gimmicks. So, a controversial narrative such as this one has the potential to mislead many and influence their voting decisions in upcoming elections.
To validate the veracity of the alleged picture, DUBAWA first looked through Ebuka’s images on Twitter to see if he had posted the picture on his official handle like he normally does.
However, the last image posted by Ebuka was this picture on New Year’s Eve, and the alleged image was nowhere in sight.
DUBAWA also checked through his Instagram and saw that he had posted the actual image, where the cap did not carry the Tinubu signature embroidery. He made the post on Sunday, February 5, 2023, during his appearance at the Big Brother Titans eviction shows that evening.
The actual image without Tinubu’s signature embroidery on the cap.
Has Ebuka endorsed any candidate?
A search through the media personality social media shows no affiliation or endorsement of any sort to any political candidate.
On his Instagram, Ebuka has no recent picture with any of the candidates. A name search of the four major candidates on his Twitter showed that the last time he mentioned the name “Bola Tinubu” was in a tweet he made on December 29, 2022, and it was about the “Top 10 most fascinating Nigerians of 2022.” The list also had Rufai Oseni, a TV on Arise TV, Musicians, Oxlade, Tems, Portable and Asake.
It also had Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, which was also the last time he was mentioned in any of his tweets. There is, therefore, no evidence that Ebuka has endorsed any candidate.
The alleged image featuring Mr Ebuka was doctored with the Tinubu signature embroidery to indicate support. The claim is false.
The researcher produced this fact-check per the DUBAWA 2023 Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with CrossRiverWatch to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.