Post uses old photo to misleadingly claim that dual rallies were held for Nigerian ruling party candidate

With election fever ramping up in Nigeria, supporters of the leading candidates have been holding rallies in major cities. Recent posts on social media shared a split image with claims that it showed rallies held simultaneously for the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu in Lagos and Kano states. But the claim is partly false: AFP Fact Check found that the picture labelled “Kano” was taken in 2019 in Plateau state when President Muhammadu Buhari was vying for reelection.

ST in Lagos Daddy in Kano (sic),” reads a tweet published on October 22, 2022.

A screenshot of the partly false tweet, taken on October 25, 2022

ST is a contraction for Seyi Tinubu, the son of APC presidential candidate Bola Tinubu, who led a rally in Lagos on behalf of his father on October 22, 2022, as reported by Nigerian news channel TVC News.

The tweet implies Bola Tinubu was campaigning at the same time in Kano state. An image showing crowds at two locations was labelled “Lagos” and “Kano”.

Another Twitter account shared the image with the caption: “Today, Kano stand still for JAGABAN, GAWUNA&GARO (sic).”

Bola Tinubu is popularly referred to as Jagaban, a chieftaincy title he was given by the Emir of Borgu in north central Nigeria in February 2006. Tinubu was the governor of Lagos state in southwest Nigeria at the time.

Like Tinubu, Nasiru Gawuna and Sule Garo are members of the APC. The former is vying for Kano state governor with the latter as his running mate.

The same dual image was shared by a pro-Tinubu Facebook account here.

Although it did not make any specific reference to the photo combination, it said that “unbiased Nigerians from Lagos to Kano” will vote for Tinubu in February 2023 when the country goes to the polls to elect Buhari’s successor.

However, the claim that the other photo was taken at a Kano rally is false.

Photo from 2019 Buhari rally

AFP Fact Check conducted reverse image searches and found that one of the pictures was unrelated and therefore falsely labelled.

The Lagos photo was the one identified correctly. It was shared by several social media accounts affiliated with the APC, including Buhari’s special assistant on new media Bashir Ahmad, who tweeted four photos from the rally held at the Police College in Lagos and led by Tinubu’s son.

A screenshot shows similarities between the photos in the misleading claim and the one shared by Bashir Ahmad

However, the “Kano” photo was published by at least three media organisations in January 2019.

Daily newspaper PM News explained that the photo showed a “mammoth crowd” at a rally held at the Rwang Pam Township Stadium in Jos, the capital city of Plateau state in north central Nigeria for Buhari. He was seeking reelection as the candidate of the APC at the time. News outlet The Cable also published the picture in 2019, reporting that Buhari was unable to speak at the rally.

A screenshot shows the picture published by The Cable in 2019, taken on October 27, 2022

Nigerians go to polls next February and March to elect a president as well as lawmakers and state governors. Tinubu is among the key candidates to succeed Buhari, who steps down after two terms governing Africa’s most populous nation.

Lagos and Kano currently have APC governors. Unlike Lagos where the governors elected since 2007 have all been Tinubu loyalists, Kano is considered a swing state.

AFP Fact Check has debunked several false or misleading claims linked to the 2023 election. You can find our coverage here.