Edo State

  • Misleading headline leads readers to believe President Buhari is dead

    Claim: A news headline outlines that “JUST IN: Buhari Shot Dead By Gunmen In Edo” 

    The claim

    The headline is misleading. The Buhari in question was not the president but a driver with Hart land Construction Company. 

    Full Text

    Headlines are crucial in telling a news story. Misleading headlines and sometimes half-truth carved captions have misinformed and even misdirect people’s sense of reality. 

    Even notably, a recent headline reads, JUST IN: Buhari shot dead by gunmen in Edo”. It was first shared on PM NEWS and reappeared on ther platforms carrying the same headline. 

    As expected, the headline drew serious attention from the public who thought the story was referenced to the President, Muhammadu Buhari. 

    On Facebook, the post attracted multiple comments. A user, Nasiru Mohammed, wrote, “God forbid, death at your door but not our president”. Several other users questioned, “which of the ‘Buhari?” 

    Another user, James Kamar remarked that “Oh my God, this is a bad way for the president to die. May his soul rest in peace.”

    As reshared on Facebook

    The actual Narrative, not the headline

    While the headline did amass traction, the narrative was nothing more than a usual news story. 

    The Buhari in question was a driver with Hartland Construction Company. Simply identified as ‘Buhari’, he was reported to have  been shot dead in Benin, the Edo state capital, by Unknown gunmen believed to be kidnappers.

    According to PMNews, two police operatives on guard duty were also shot at by the gunmen, before kidnapping an expatriate worker. 

    Although the event took place, the president’s name in the headline gave the story rather unusual attention. While some users took time to read the actual narrative others took it as it was; the president is dead!!!

    Conclusion

    Headlines tell what a story is about. Nonetheless, in this case, the headline is rather misleading as the Buhari in question is not the President but a driver. 

  • WhatsApp Video Claims Interpol Uncovered £20M In Obaseki’s UK Account But This Is False

    A video circulating on WhatsApp claims that Interpol uncovers £20 million Edo State Funds in Governor Godwin Obaseki’s UK account. The video was also uploaded to Facebook by a page with the name POI Mandate 2020 and has generated 1,000 reactions. The short video, which claims to have originated from FCTV, uses a robot voice over and features a video insert with some people yelling “Obaseki Ole!”

    A fact-check has also  revealed that the story is untrue. The claim that Interpol uncovers £20 million in Obaseki’s UK account is false and misleading. 

    Full Text 

    A one-minute-and-fifty-seven seconds video claiming that Interpol uncovered £20 million in Governor Obaseki’s UK account was circulated widely on WhatsApp. 

    “Interpol uncovers £20 million Edo funds in a UK account,” the video claims. 

    “After his tenure as a governor in Edo State, South-South Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Obaseki may be facing charges bothering corruption and money laundering here in France. 

    “This is following a confession made by a Commissioner of Culture and Tourism Mr. Osemwingie-Ero who was arrested in November 2019 with about £2 million in France. 

    “According to our sources, Mr. Obaseki who was in the company of his aide Mr. Osemwingie, was not arrested due to his immunity as a sitting governor,” the video added. 

    “However, the Interpol has yet again, relying on investigations through confessions made by the suspect, another £20 million has been uncovered stuck in a UK account in London by the Governor Godwin Obaseki. 

    “The money was lodged in five different transactions of five million, two million, eight million, three million and two million pounds, between February 2018 and August 2020.

    Technical Analysis 

    Using Keyframes video analysis tool on the Fake News Debunker by InVID, the logo used on the video was traced to Khatni Khabar K, an Indian news page on YouTube. 

    While FCTV (Falmouth Community TV) exists, the video logo of the television is totally different from the one in the video which, according to KeyFrame analysis, was taken from the YouTube page mentioned above. 

    Using VeeScore Youtube analysis, the voice over the video was found to be using a poorly produced robot generated spoken audio via  Application Programming Interface (API). 

    Commissioner, not Obaseki, faces money laundering charges

    Newspapers reported that Edo State Commissioner  for Art, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Osaze Osemwingie-Ero, was arrested in France for alleged money laundering in December 2019. 

    “Osemwingie-Ero was reportedly arrested and detained by INTERPOL in France in November for being in possession of $2m,” The Punch reported. 

    “Rumour had it that the money was given to him by Governor Godwin Obaseki as he accompanied the governor on the foreign trip.

    However, “Edo State Government in its reaction on Monday said the alleged arrest of Osemwingie-Ero had nothing to do with Governor Obaseki.” 

    An undisclosed government official told The Punch that “the state government was aware of the questioning of Odemwingie-Ero by INTERPOL for an offence committed before he was appointed by Obaseki.” 

    Conclusion 

    Although the Edo State Commissioner was arrested by INTERPOL in France for money laundering, there is no evidence that the money belongs to the governor of the state. 

    No new revelations by INTERPOL has suggested that the international security operatives are investigating Governor Obaseki, as the video claims. The claim is false.

    This fact-check is produced per HumAngle partnership with the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in Nigeria 

  • #QuickChecks: Edo Election

    1. A Facebook user claims that Obaseki has emerged victorious in his polling unit. 

    Nasir Ayitogo, a Premium Times reporter, confirmed that in the result announced at the polling unit, PDP had 80 votes while APC got 51 votes. Also, reports from other news outlets including Punch and TheNation confirmed the claim to be true.  Obaseki voted at the Emokpae Model Primary School, Polling Unit 19, Ward 4, Oredo Local Government Area. This claim is true, Obaseki actually won his polling unit.  


    2. The Cable in a twitter post claims there was violence when PDP candidate and incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki, arrived his polling unit.

    Information from an observer on the field, Alao Abiodun, confirms there was an attempt by a young man to disrupt the process upon Obaseki’s arrival. Video evidence sent across also shows some people involved in mild violence. He noted however that the governor has voted.


    3. Security‌ ‌Operatives‌ ‌Barricading‌ ‌roads‌ ‌leading‌ ‌to‌ ‌Polling‌ ‌Unit‌. Source:‌ ‌‌Twitter,‌‌ ‌19‌ ‌September,‌ ‌2020‌

    Wahab‌ ‌Olalekan,‌ ‌PTCIJ‌ ‌observer‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌area‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌there‌ ‌are‌ ‌blockades‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌roads‌ ‌leading‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌polling‌ ‌unit‌ ‌and‌ ‌several‌ ‌voters‌ ‌said‌ ‌they‌ ‌had‌ ‌to‌ ‌find‌ ‌alternative‌ ‌route‌ ‌to‌ ‌enter‌ ‌the‌ ‌polling‌ ‌unit‌ ‌after‌ ‌being‌ ‌stopped‌ ‌by‌ ‌the‌ ‌uniformed‌ ‌military‌ ‌officers‌ ‌


  • #QuickChecks: Edo Election

    1. PDP Vanguard, tweeted using its twitter handle, @PDPVanguard, a photo of Former APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, casting his vote for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Edo election.

    The photo has been doctored. An online search, usingVeracity, a verification tool, showed the ballot in the original image is blank, while the portion showing the party he voted for was not captured in the photo. A twitter user, Dagilogba Mohammed posted the original photo on his handle, @Integrity1991. A video of Oshiomhole casting his vote, posted on twitter by Abdultoyeed using the handle, @Jattomicine, also showed the photo circulated by PDPVangaurd was doctored.


    2. Edo Decides: They are rigging me out- Gov Obaseki cries out.” Source: Daily Post, 19 September 2020

    A review of the statement, on which the story was based, shows that Obaseki or his aides did not make the statement he was quoted as saying in the headline. Newspapers like Premium Times and TheCable, which also published stories from the statement, had no such attribution. The governor’s aide, Crusoe Osagie, who sent the statement to media houses only expressed his grievances on the conduct of the election so far.‌


    3. Some Twitter users claimed that the portal showing the results of the ongoing Edo governorship election is fake and does not belong to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). 

    INEC indeed has an online portal for checking results. The portal address is www.inecelectionresults.com. The electoral body has also been uploading the results of the ongoing Edo poll on the portal for the public to check.

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-5.png

    The claim is FALSE.


    4. Twitter User post a picture of result sheet claiming it to be Edo election result at local government level. Source: Twitter

    Dubawa got in contact with PTCIJ observers in the local government listed in the picture and most of them are still at the RAC centres while others at the local government level are yet to finish collating results. 

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-5.png

    False


    5. A twitter handle, PDP Vanguard (@PDPvanguard) claims that Obaseki won at  Ize-Iyemu’s polling unit.

    Nasir Ayitogo, a reporter with Premium Times who was at the scene, confirmed that Ize-Iyamu polled 292 votes while Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party got 21 votes, which makes Ize Iyamu the winner. The APC candidate voted at 9:30 am at polling unit 26, ward 5 in Iguododo community, Orionhwon Local Government Area. Other media sources like ThePunch and TheNation also confirmed Ize Iyamu’s victory. Hence, this claim is false.

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-5.png

    False


    6. Several Twitter users shared pictures of an “APC Akara Spot” with comments depicting that the spot came up ahead of the 2020 Edo State gubernatorial election. 

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-5.png

    Checks by Dubawa indicates that the pictures are from the 2016 Edo State gubernatorial election and not 2020. In the build up to the 2016 election, which the incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki, contested under the flagship of APC, the party supporters distributed akara, a staple snack, to woo voters.


    7. Polling  booth moved to hotel owned by APC Chieftain

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-5.png

    Abasi- Ibiangake Udoka, PTCIJ Observer in Egor confirmed that there is a polling unit beside Play House Hotel at Okhoro and not inside the hotel as claimed in the post. The owner of the open field initially didn’t allow the space to be used and the parking space of the hotel was suggested but was met with opposition. Peace has returned to the polling unit and the initial space allocated for it is being used.


    8. Twitter Video claims Buhari gave Nigerians a quick message after Ganduje lands in Edo

    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-5.png

    Checks by Dubawa indicates that the video is old. It went viral on 25 June, 2019 when the President made a comment about his commitment to serving Nigerians and Nigeria. 


    9. APC Edo state, via its Twitter handle, claimed that voting process was disrupted in Esan North East Council, Uromi Ward 8 PU 8. Source: Twitter, 19 September, 2019

     PTCIJ Observer, in the area, Ajiboye Stephen, confirmed that the Ward mentioned in the claim only has 6 polling units and there is nothing like Polling unit 8 in the ward. Also, voters from other wards could not confirm any disruption.


    10. A‌ ‌twitter‌ ‌user,‌ ‌David‌ ‌AbdulrazakAttah,‌ ‌‌tweeted‌‌ ‌using‌ ‌his‌ ‌handle,‌ ‌@abdulaziz-abdulazizthe_davidatta,‌ ‌that‌ ‌the‌ ‌Peoples‌ ‌Democratic‌ ‌Party‌ ‌(PDP)‌ ‌is‌ ‌losing‌ ‌the‌ ‌governorship‌ ‌election‌ ‌in‌ ‌Edo‌ ‌State.‌ ‌ ‌

    ‌The‌ ‌tweet‌ ‌is‌ ‌misleading‌ ‌as‌ ‌voting‌ ‌is‌ ‌still‌ ‌ongoing‌ ‌in‌ ‌Edo‌ ‌and‌ ‌INEC‌ ‌is‌ ‌yet‌ ‌to‌ ‌start‌ ‌the‌ ‌collation‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌results‌ ‌to‌ ‌show‌ ‌the‌ ‌party‌ ‌that‌ ‌is‌ ‌losing.‌ ‌INEC’s‌ ‌‌guidelines‌‌ ‌show‌ ‌that‌ ‌there‌ ‌are‌ ‌six‌ ‌stages‌ ‌of‌ ‌vote‌ ‌collation‌ ‌before‌ ‌results‌ ‌are‌ ‌announced‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌governorship‌ ‌election.‌ ‌These‌ ‌stages‌ ‌don’t‌ ‌start‌ ‌until‌ ‌after‌ ‌the‌ ‌last‌ ‌accredited‌ ‌voter‌ ‌has‌ ‌voted.‌ ‌ 


    11. A user on twitter shared a photograph with the claim that bundles of cash are stashed in Oshomole’s house and a suggestion that the money would be shared to voters. The same picture was shared on Nairaland with a suggestion that the money belongs to APC leader, Bola Tinubu.

    A Google, Yandex, and Bing image reverse search could not trace the photograph to any source. Although the location and source are unknown, there are no pointers or clues within the picture that depicts the money is stashed in Oshomole’s house or that it belongs to Tinubu. There is not enough evidence to prove these claims. They are misleading.


    12. APC share money through youth employment programme on the eve of Edo state governorship elections!  

    The Video was traced to its original source. It was uploaded on Twitter, on 16 September 2020 by Gloria Adagbon. While the video clearly shows vote-buying, careful examination of the video at different frames shows indication it was Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with their logo printed on the shirt of the person sharing the wrappers and an umbrella having the party colours.

    INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE

  • Obaseki Exaggerates Edo’s 2016 Total Debt Figure

    Obaseki claimed that his predecessor “borrowed recklessly” and left him with a debt burden of 120 Billion Naira.

    False

    Full Text

    Ahead of the Edo State governorship elections which is currently underway, Channels Television organised a debate between the candidates of the two major political parties in the gubernatorial race – The All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The debate is a platform for the two contestants to defend their motives for competing for the governor’s office and provide answers to important and relevant questions to the people of Edo.

    While answering questions during the Debate, the incumbent Governor of Edo State who is also contesting in the elections, Godwin Obaseki, said: “With a debt burden of 120 billion Naira, we have been able to service and still ensure that we undertake economic projects.” 

    Verification

    To verify this, Dubawa identified when Obaseki was sworn in as Governor of Edo state, then consulted the Debt Management Office’s (DMO) website to know where the state’s debt stood before his administration.

    After conducting a keyword search, Dubawa found that Obaseki was sworn-in November, 12th 2016. After that, we searched for the earliest debt record to the inauguration in the Debt Management Office’s archives. There, we found data from less than two months after his assumption of office – December 31st. According to DMO,  Edo state’s domestic debts stood at N45.1bn while its external debt amounted to $183.64m

    Dubawa converted the External debt figure ($183,641,998.74) which was in Dollars to Naira. This was done using the dollar rate at the time (NOTE: As contained on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s website, the Inter bank rate for Dollar as at December 2016 was 305.22) before summing it with the Domestic figure (45,091,949,113.97) to give the total debts acquired by Edo in 2016.  The sum of the two figures equals N101bn  (N101,143,159,969.3928) which is less than the 120 Billion Naira claimed by the governor.

    Further, we converted the external debt with the current data rate (N381 – CBN price of a dollar as of August 2020) and summed it up with the domestic figure, still, we did not get N120bn but N115bn.

    Conclusion

    The claim that Obaseki met 120 Billion Naira Debt is False as Data from the Debt Management Office contradicts the figure presented by the Governor of Edo state.

  • True! Obaseki Introduced Edo State Health Insurance Scheme

    Godwin Obaseki said he introduced the Edo state health insurance scheme to help with paying for health care. 

    TRUE

    Full Text

    As the race for the Edo state governorship election lurks in the corner, the governorship candidates on September 13 took to the stage for a debate organised by Channels Television ahead of the September 19 poll. 

    The debate, which was between the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Godwin Obaseki and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Osagie Ize-Iyamu lasted over an hour with the candidates defending their eligibility for the position. 

    During the debate, the candidate of PDP and the incumbent governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki claimed he introduced the Edo state health insurance scheme to help with paying for health care in the state

    In his words, “What is important is care, how we deliver health care to our people and underlying that is who pays and what we have done is to address the core issue of payment by introducing the Edo state Health Insurance Scheme, once people are able to put something aside for their health care, then it becomes easy to pay for care and to get investments into the healthcare system.”

    Verification

    On October 31 2019, media publications reported that the Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki launched a health care insurance scheme in Edo state as an initiative under the Edo State Health Improvement Program (Edo-HIP). The programme according to the Governor’s media aide, Crusoe Osagie, “is to strengthen the primary healthcare  system; provision of access to specialist care for most common ailments and healthcare financing to ensure the system is sustainably run”

    Also the State’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Patrick Okundia said the scheme “is aimed at delivering quality healthcare to the doorsteps of the people across the state with a view to achieving universal health coverage.”

    The Federal Government through its minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire also commended the scheme saying the scheme is in line with the mandate of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

    Edo-HIP also has a website where the governor is captured to have said that “Edo-HIP is a series of government-led intervention aimed at increasing access to efficient, effective and sustainable quality health care services with the central focus of improving the health status and well-being of citizens of Edo State”

    Findings show that the enrollment is still ongoing as the governor in December 2019 was reported to have promised to have at least 1 million people enrolled in the scheme before the end of 2021 

    Obaseki said citizens were mandated to enrol and would “be given a card that will enable you to access healthcare in the state provided you are enrolled. For civil servants and local government workers in Edo State, they will be compulsorily enrolled into the scheme from January 1, 2020” 

    On the issue of funding, the governor’s media aide, Crusoe Osagie  said funds  will be sourced from the basic healthcare provision fund and equity fund

    The Basic Health Care Provision Fund was part of the National Health Act (NHAct) signed into law in October 2014 by former President Goodluck Jonathan. 

    The fund is 1 percent of the federal Government’s Consolidated revenue for the provision of health care services to all Nigerians and for the organisation and management of the health system.

    Conclusion: The claim that Obaseki introduced Edo State Health Insurance Scheme is TRUE

  • Ize-Iyamu’s claim and controversies around security votes in Nigeria

    In the recently held Edo State governorship debate Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu claimed that the Edo State government receives 600 million naira monthly as a security vote. 

    Misleading. The claim that the Edo state government receives 600million naira in security votes is misleading. Within limits, records for the past four years of federal allocation of security votes to Edo State show figures less than that.

    FULL TEXT

    In the recent Edo State governorship virtual debate organised by BBC Pidgin, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the coming election, claimed that the Edo State government receives 600 million naira in security votes monthly while talking about the state of security in Edo State. 

    About 24 minutes into the  debate, he said “if you calculate the money wey d governor de collect for security vote, it’s close to 600 million every month”.

    Image:BBC Pidgin (2018)

    Mr Ize-Iyamu made this same claim on twitter on August 27, 2020  and he reiterated it in another debate organised by The Morning Show of Arise News Channel, the broadcast arm of THISDAY

    The Edo State governorship election appears to be a race between the incumbent Governor, Godwin Obaseki of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the candidate of the major opposition party All Progressives Congress (APC), Osagie Ize-Iyamu. The elections will be held on Saturday, 19th September 2020. 

    WHAT ARE SECURITY VOTES? 

    Security votes are monthly budgetary allocations provided to the 36 states in Nigeria by the federal government. These funds, which run into billions of naira, are provided for the sole purpose of financing security within the states. The percentage of allocation is dependent on the level of security in the state. For instance, states which suffer to a large degree pipeline vandalisms, violent kidnappings, and terrorism are likely to receive higher security votes. 

    Image: Transparency International Defence and Security Report (2018)

    The State governments are encouraged to apply their own discretion in disbursing these funds. According to Transparency International’s Matthew T. Page in a 2018 report titled, Camouflaged Cash: How ‘Security Votes’ Fuel Corruption in Nigeria these votes have not been widely accepted by citizens, as there is no accountability or transparency to the manner in which these funds are disbursed. 

    Another reason it is greatly criticized is that it is an initiative adopted from the era of military rule in Nigeria. Chief Robert Clark, a senior advocate of Nigeria and a critic of security vote had argued that there is no actual constitutional backing for security votes in the democratic era. 

    Image: Transparency International Defence and Security Report (2018)

    It was widely viewed as an avenue for corruption by past military rulers. In this defence and security report, Transparency International dates the inception of security votes as far back as the 1960s during the rule of General Yakubu Gowon. The lack of transparency and accountability by state governments with the rising levels of security in Nigeria currently proves the inefficiency of these allowances.

    Transparency International is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit research agency working with over 100 countries to demand transparency in government and end corruption.

    VERIFICATION

    To confirm this claim, Dubawa reached out to the Ize-Iyamu Campaign team. The Director of Communication and Media for the campaign, Prince John Mayaki, said that the claim of 600 million naira was contained in the budget. When asked to validate the claim with documentation he said that the claim was contained in a supplementary budget.

    “The point I am trying to make is that security votes are in the budget. There is a supplementary budget where the money was increased”. 

    In search of budgetary verification for this claim, Dubawa reached out to BudgIT, a civic organization that applies technology to simplify budget and public data for public accessibility and participatory governance. An assessment of the Edo State budget for 2020 shows an allocation of 5 billion-naira (5,000,000,000) security votes under recurrent expenditure (personnel and overhead cost). When asked about the claim the Principal Lead/CEO of BudgIT, Gabriel Okeowo, said that Nigerian security votes are usually “shrouded in obscurity”. 

    Transparency International estimates that these secretive, unaccountable, cash expenditures total to over $670 million (N241.2 billion) annually. In their analysis of 29 state budgets, as 7 states could not provide any data, shows an average of $580 million (N208.8 billion) in total spending each year on security votes. The Transparency International Defense and State Security Report Annex B: State Security Vote Data show security vote allocation to states from 2015 to 2017 the MDA in charge of receiving and disbursing these funds in Edo State is the Office of the Governor. MDA stands for Ministry, Department and Agency. 

    A record attributed to BudgIT on budgetary allocations reveals that Edo state received an allocation of 4 billion naira in 2017, 5.3 billion naira in 2016, with no record for 2015. In 2019, Edo state received a total of 6.5 billion naira and in 2020 an approved revised provision of 5 billion naira. To bring us to the monthly security vote allocation, we divide 5 billion naira by 12 which amounts to approximately 417 million naira monthly.

    Do all states use security votes? 

    According to Matthew T. Page, not all states use security votes. Since 2008, Lagos State has modified its approach to security funding by adopting a public-private Security Trust Fund (STF). This funding provides supplementary finance for security services. The Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) is independently audited every year and operates more transparently according to the TI. Ogun, Osun, Kano, Oyo, Imo and Ekiti states have adopted this initiative and now claim to have set up similar STFs. On average, State Security Trust Funds are backed by legislation and managed by a board of trustees of government and private industry. 

    CONCLUSION

    Ize-Iyamu’s claim that the Edo state government receives the sum of 600 million monthly is misleading. These allocations are often secret with no records to authenticate the claim. Yet, considering the data for the past four years, a summation of 600million naira is not factual.

    The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with NewsWireNGR to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country. 

  • Is Edo unemployment rate 19 percent as claimed by Obaseki?

    The Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, during Channels Television election debate claimed that the unemployment rate in the state is now 19%.

    TRUE

    Full Text

    Ahead of the September 19 governorship election, Channels Television, organised an election debate on Sunday, September 13, 2020.

    The debate was between the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Godwin Obaseki.

    Channels Television had earlier conducted a poll which allowed the public to choose two candidates they would love to appear in the debate. The candidates of the  APC and PDP emerged top of the poll.

    During the governorship debate which lasted for over an hour,  the candidate of the PDP, Godwin Obaseki, claimed that the unemployment rate in the state reduced from 25% to 19% in his tenure. 

    The governor noted that this figure is verifiable with the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report.

    “The NBS statistics is clear, when we came in it was 25 per cent and we have been able to reduce it to about 19 percent so that tells you how much jobs have been created.”

    Excerpt of Obaseki’s statement.

    Verification

    A keyword search by Dubawa showed that in August 2020, a report by The Nation indicates that the unemployment rate in Edo state has reduced to 19%. 

    The report which quoted a Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report, noted Edo State has the lowest unemployment figure in the South-South region, compared to five other oil-rich states in the region.

    Screenshot of The Nation’s report.

    Also on August 14, 2020, Premium Times published a report on the unemployment rate of Nigeria for 2018. According to the report, the national unemployment rate has risen to 27.1%. Although the report covered the state with the highest rate of unemployment which was Imo state, it did not make reference to the regional breakdown or breakdown by state for Edo.

    Screenshot of Premium Times report.

    On August 15, 2020, Vanguard reported that Imo State leads in unemployment in Nigeria. 

    Screenshot of Vanguard’s report.

    Screenshot of Vanguard’s report.

    The Punch also published a similar report stating Nigeria’s unemployment rate has risen to 27.1%.

    screenshot of the Punch report.

    A study of the NBS Unemployment and Underemployment Report (Q2 2020) showed that the report findings were presented both at the national level and state level. This  was classified by gender, urban and rural areas, age group, and educational group.

    Under the statistics for states, the unemployment rate for Edo State was recorded at  19% and its poverty rate is at 10%.

    Screenshot infographic from NBS report.
    Screenshot of Labour force statistics Table.

    The report also covered the international unemployment rate which showed that  Nigeria’s recent unemployment rate at 11.7% makes it the 41st country with the highest unemployment rate out of 181 countries with rates published within the last 2 years.

    Screenshot of International unemployment table.

    Credit: NBS Unemployment and Underemployment Report (Q2 2020).

    Conclusion 

    From the NBS data studied and the reports available, the claim that Edo state unemployment rate is now 19% is true.

  • The vacant skirmish over the ownership of Edo Modular Refinery

    The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a recent tweet claimed that the Edo Modular Refinery is the “project” of Governor Godwin Obaseki, explaining that the governor “invested millions as counterpart funds” in its development.

    Claiming the Edo Modular Refinery is the “project” of Governor Obaseki is misleading as the refinery is owned by a private company. The state government has also admitted it does not own the refinery.

    Full Text

    As the Edo state governorship election draws nearer, there have been recurring claims and counter-claims over whether or not the Edo Modular Refinery can be considered Governor Obaseki’s “project”.

    The PDP in a tweet on Monday, August 24, claimed that the Edo Modular Refinery is the “project” of Governor Godwin Obaseki.

    “The Edo State government under @GovernorObaseki, invested millions as counterpart funds in the development of Edo Modular Refinery. The refinery is the Governor’s project as well as other laudable achievements of @GovernorObaseki. Ize-Iyamu is a liar. #EdoNoBeLagos,” the party tweeted, in response to the claim of Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the APC governorship candidate, that the Edo governor has no project in the state.

    In Nigerian political vocabulary, saying a politician owns a project or that it is his legacy means that he facilitated the project or that the said project was initiated or completed during the governor’s tenure. Most times, the funding channels are usually not taken into consideration.

    However, the PDP’s claim appears to contradict an earlier statement by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that the Edo Modular Refinery is privately-owned and does not belong to the government.

    The party had accused the Obaseki-led state government of laying claim to the refinery which it claimed is wholly owned by a private company. It, therefore, asked the state government and the PDP to desist from claiming ownership of the refinery.

    “The state government must come forward and show its exact contribution to the project in question,” the Edo State Campaign Council of the APC said through its spokesperson, John Mayaki.

    Does Obaseki truly claim ownership of the project?

    Legit.ng conducted a keyword search on the Edo Modular Refinery and found no media reports where the governor specifically claimed ownership of the project.

    In a report published by The Guardian on August 5, Governor Obaseki, through his spokesperson, Crusoe Osagie, said the refinery was “birthed through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).”

    However, just like the PDP, Osagie also referred to the refinery as a key “legacy project” of Governor Obaseki.

    He said the modular refinery is “among the growing list of ongoing legacy projects through MoU with local and international private investors.”

    Osagie’s statement regarding the refinery was also published here.

    Meanwhile, Osagie in another separate response to the APC did not debunk the party’s claim that the project does not belong to the state government.

    The spokesperson only said that the “APC has been having sleepless nights after being confronted with facts about the role the governor played in the establishment of the Edo Modular Refinery…”

    Also, Jack Obinyan, a senior special assistant to Governor Obaseki on new media, said in a tweet that the APC’s claim that Obaseki or the Edo state government claimed sole ownership of the project is a lie.

    “We told them about the modular refinery MOU, they laughed at it and tagged it as ‘Mr MOU’,” he tweeted.

    “When they saw the MOU was coming to reality they quickly spin-doctored and lied on us that we said the refinery belonged solely to Obaseki/EDSG.”

    The owner of the Edo Modular Refinery and the role of the Edo state government

    The refinery, Edo Refinery and Petrochemical Limited is “fully owned and developed” by AIPCC Energy Limited.

    “It is located in Ologbo, Ikpoba Okha LGA of Edo State. The project is executed in two trains of 1,000BPSD; and 5,000BPSD, and will be fully operational by September 2020.”

    Speaking on the role of the Edo state government on the project, Frans Ojielu, Global Advisor, Edo Refinery and Petrochemical Limited, said the company “is a beneficiary of the Edo state government policy of attracting investments to the state. 

    “The state government supported this project with a support fund of N700 million which will be paid back to the government when production commences.

    “This was a catalyst to the project to ensure quick take off and an incentive programme to attract manufacturing companies to the state.”

    The Edo state government also corroborated Ojielu’s statement, confirming that “the Edo State EXCO approved the release of N700 million as redeemable preference shares (investment)” for the project.

    Does having a redeemable preference share in the project make Edo state government a part-owner?

    Taiwo Oyedele, Fiscal Policy Partner and West Africa Tax Leader at PWC, said:

    “Generally preference shareholders are not entitled to vote as ordinary shareholders, and they are not eligible to the residual value of the company. 

    “Redeemable preference shares are technically debt to be treated as a loan which does not entitle the holder to be a part owner of the business beyond their claim to the loan granted.”

    Oyedele, however, noted that one may need to get a copy of the preference share agreement to conclude whether or not the Edo state government can claim being a part-owner. 

    While AIPCC and Edo state government do not make available the details of the preference share agreement on their respective websites, AIPCC had said in a statement that the state government’s “support fund” will be “paid back to the government when production commences.”

    Conclusion

    The refinery project, as the APC claimed, is not owned by the Edo state government. However, contrary to the APC’s allegation, the state government did not claim ownership of the project. PDP’ s claim is misleading.

    The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with Legit.ng to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country. 

  • Eight signs of propaganda as Edo, Ondo go to the polls

    By Francis Arinze Iloani

    As the Edo and Ondo States Election approaches, we have identified eight types of political disinformation [otherwise known as propaganda] designed and viciously disseminated to sway the choices of would-be voters. In fact, a recent article, by Iwok Iniobong titled “Edo, Ondo guber: Why politicians, parties must tread softly,” posited that politicians in Edo and Ondo campaigns had deviated from their manifestos in favour of spreading misinformation and disinformation. “If you observe very well, presentation of manifestos is no longer the in-thing, but the campaign is about use of base language and innuendos against opponents,” Iniobong said. 

    Exhibit 1 – there were several opposing information circulated through the media, particularly the social media, on the attack on Governor Godwin Obaseki’s entourage at the Oba of Benin Palace. 

    The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Council, Chief Dan Orbih, alleged that “the attack was a plot to eliminate Governor Obaseki, national officials of PDP and some PDP governors.”

    Conversely, the Vice Chairman, Media and Publicity Committee of the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) National Campaign Council, Mr. Patrick Obahiagbon, alleged that the PDP was responsible for the attack and that Governor Obaseki was planning to arrest and detain the former National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on the eve of the election.

    Bearing this in mind and being conscious of the reality that some media consumers may not have the required media literacy to easily detect propaganda from the legion of information in the media, here are the eight ways to easily detect propaganda in the media: 

    Bandwagon veiled as information

    Politicians veil propaganda as information in the form of bandwagon. The idea here is to convey the notion that if you don’t get aboard you will be left out. A media literate consumer should watch out for politicians who direct their appeals to groups held together by common ties. For instance, politicians at subnational levels in Nigeria are likely to rely on bandwagon effects if their party is in charge at the federal level. It is widely shared that the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari contributed to the victory of some governors and lawmakers. A media literate person should be able to notice media messages designed to appeal to sentiments of voters based on common ties, rather than merits.

    Name calling as against genuine manifestos

    Be careful of politicians who appeal to your hate and fear.  They do name calling by the use of negative words or labels to create prejudice against some person, group or idea. For instance, Dr. Charles Omorodion’s article titled “Edo 2020: Beware of Obaseki’s perfidy, betrayal and Judas Kiss!” published on Bloomshire stated that “as a betrayal, in a deeper sense, Obaseki is sending an ominous signal of how little he cares about, or values his relationship with APC.” A media literate person should judge Obaseki beyond the tag of “a betrayer.” Name calling cuts across all the political campaigners in Edo and Ondo States.

    Reliance on testimonial

    Politicians deploying testimonial propaganda use experts, celebrities, or perceived opinion leaders to offer reasons why they are best suited to be elected.  As the elections in Edo and Ondo States draw nearer, you are likely to see more celebrity endorsements of candidates. For instance, a national newspaper recently reported that  teachers in Ondo State under the auspices of the National Network of Teachers for Good Governance and Quality Education endorsed Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for a second term in office. A media literate news consumer reasons beyond such propaganda and focuses more on Governor Akeredolu’s manifesto for his second term. 

    Read more.


    Fact checks of the week

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    An All Progressives Congress (APC) party leader, Joe Igbokwe, deploys varieties of cheering photographs on Facebook claiming they are that of the recently …


    QandA

    • When is the Edo election holding? 

    The Edo governorship election has been scheduled for September 19th.

    • How many Candidates are on the INEC final list for Edo election?

    According to the final list of candidates released by the Independent Electoral Commission, there are 14 candidates in total. From the 14 governorship candidates, only 2 are females.  The two female governorship candidates are Mabel Oboh of African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Agol Tracy of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).


    What can you do? 

    Be alert, share our tips and don’t share false news! 


    Coronavirus infection count 

    Note: Total cases may be more than officially stated owing to the inability to include unconfirmed cases. Stay safe!


    Tip of the week 


    #FakeNews Alert 

    Questions to ask yourself: Who is the source? Who is your source’s source? Has this been published by another platform? Is this a wrong headline? Is the figure accurate? Has it been Over/Under stated? Be sure to verify the content of this report before sharing.

    Questions to ask yourself:  What is the evidence behind this number? Is there a proof? Is this a misleading statement? What is the intention of the speaker? You may be shocked what you’ll find out.


    Other Fact-checks 

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