Feature: What To Know About Trending Post-elections Mis-information 

Quadri Yahya 

The Labour Party flag bearer, Peter Obi has sought five prayers before the election petition tribunal challenging the victory of the All Progressive Congress candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, declared president-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission after the Feb. 25th elections.

Though Obi came third in the election, and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, a familiar name on the ballot clinched the second position, the former wants the court to determine whether Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima are qualified to contest in the election. Besides, Obi wants the court to declare him the winner of the election, or cancel it.

As common with Nigeria judiciary system, observers foresee a long running legal battle ahead. 

One hundred and forty-four thousand. That is the total number of petitions by parties challenging all the elections conducted across the country. 

Meanwhile, the singular five petitions (now three) against the presidential election have been gaining increasing attention. This means that candidates aren’t accepting defeat, nor are they going to reconcile without first trying their luck in court. 

“The Labour Party presidential candidate H.E Peter Obi visited the president-elect Tinubu. The reconciliation and nation building has started,” reads a Facebook message. 

“Really???”, a shocked user enquired.

The post was made amid the ongoing court case.

The surprise expressed by many Facebook users is expected for various reasons. First, the consequence of Obi’s visit may be acceptance of defeat. Second, to solidify various speculation that Obi’s candidacy is an APC ploy to ruin Atiku’s dream of becoming president. Meaning, Obi literally handed Atiku’s head to Tinubu on a platter. 

But, Obi could not have let down millions of Nigerian youth with a grain of hope that the judiciary would reclaim their ‘stolen’ mandate and give it back to their preferred candidate, Obi. 

Factcheck Elections found that the viral image showing Obi and Tinubu together has been manipulated.

Other people in the photo include the speaker of the house of representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote and the governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

But the false claim Obi visited Tinubu is not a standalone. Dispensers of falsehood also wrongly claimed that the tribunal dismissed one of Obi’s petitions against Tinubu. However, reports show that the court had adjourned  the LP’s candidate case.

We observed that some of the post-election misinformation flying around is capable of distorting public discourse as Nigerians await  tribunal verdict. 

Furthermore, some days to the inauguration ceremony of president-elect Tinubu is scheduled for May 29, a purported inauguration programme for the new president’s swearing-in has been widely shared online

The deliberately shared programme with misleading content aimed to confuse attendees at the inaugural event.

Similar to this is a viral claim that Tinubu is giving N20,000 as a swearing-in celebration fund. It’s not uncommon to see such schemes attributed to government programmes and politicians; but such funds are mainly orchestrated by scammers wanting to exploit personal information of unsuspecting members of the public

Lastly, a false claim that former minister and Rivers state governor Chibuike Amaechi called Tinubu a drug trafficker made waves amid social media users’ claims go viral on social media.

On a final note, Factcheck Elections beseeches Nigerians following the proceedings at the tribunal as well as the post-election party issues to confirm any piece of information from official sources or credible media outlets. 

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