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Truth-Checking the Fiction: Misinformation plagues Nigeria’s presidential election

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This pattern is an enormous discredit to Africa’s most populous nation, the place election rigging, technical failures, and violence usually are not unusual. The latest February 25, 2023, vote has fueled rampant misinformation as a consequence of transmission delays and technical glitches.

In accordance with Kemi Busari, the Nigeria publishing director of the fact-checking group Dubawa, it is a important downside in Nigeria. He laments that “folks do not care about fact-checks. All they care about are their prejudices.”


After the presidential election, candidates who trailed the declared winner, Bola Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar, and Peter Obi, challenged the outcomes. Specialists predict that these appeals will attain the Supreme Court docket, as was the case within the earlier presidential election in 2019.

The AFP fact-check service has dismantled dozens of false info circulating across the election, together with a photograph that allegedly confirmed President-elect Tinubu bribing the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court docket, Olukayode Ariwoola.

Nonetheless, the picture from 1996 reveals Tinubu in London with then-opponent Dele Momodu, who has refuted the allegations on social media.


Social networks like Fb, WhatsApp, and TikTok, with some 36 million customers in Nigeria, have facilitated the unfold of rumours and false info.

Some actions of the manager energy lately had already undermined residents’ confidence in justice, such because the police search of the properties of two Supreme Court docket judges in October 2016, who had been ultimately cleared of all suspicion.

Finest-selling novelist Chimamanda Adichie summarised the frustration felt by many Nigerians when she wrote in an editorial for The Atlantic that “the bitter disillusion felt by many Nigerians is due not a lot to the truth that their candidate didn’t win however that the election that they had dared to belief turned out to be flawed in such an unacceptable and inexcusable method.”


The Unbiased Nationwide Electoral Fee (INEC) has been focused by “a collection of determined smear campaigns by troublemakers,” in line with its spokesman, Rotimi Oyekanmi.

To restrict the unfold of false tales, Afolabi Adekaiyaoja, an skilled on the Heart for Democracy and Improvement, means that justice and INEC ought to provoke extra dynamic communication. He argues that entry to info performs a job in decreasing residents’ issues about these electoral and judicial processes.