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EXPLAINER: Why Nigerians Should Worry With Inflation at 17.71%

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As inflation continues on an upward trend, the resultant effect on Nigerians is becoming more worrisome, especially the impact it will have on the purchasing power of Nigerians.

Inflation in newspapers

The latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics shows that the inflation rate for May stands at 17.71 per cent, which is the highest figure in 11 months. 

According to the NBS, the average price of 1kg of white beans rose on a year-on-year basis by 37.22 per cent from N382.37 in May 2021 to N524.70 in May 2022.

“Also, on a month-on-month basis, this increased by 1.09 per cent from N519.05 in April to N524.70 in May, it stated.

The report showed that the average price of 1kg of a yam tuber increased on a year-on-year basis by 37.87 per cent from N269.98 in May 2021 to N372.23 in May 2022.

NBS stated that on a month-on-month basis, the average price of yam increased by 3.05 per cent in May 2022, compared to what was obtained in April.

Similarly, the average price of 2kg pre-packed wheat flour rose by 34.92 per cent on a year-on-year basis from the value recorded in May 2021 at N785.87 to N1,060.26 in May 2022.

“On a month-on-month basis, it increased from N1,047.74 in April to N1,060.26 in May 2022 indicating a 1.20 per cent rise,’’ it stated.

The report showed that the average price of a bottle of palm oil increased by 42.81 per cent from N593.36 in May 2021 to N847.39 in May 2022.

The report showed that the average price of 1kg of boneless beef rose by 34.11 per cent on a year-on-year basis from N1,513.43 in May 2021 to N 2,029.59 in May 2022.

It added that the average price of one bottle of groundnut oil stood at N1,040.88 in May 2022, showing an increase of 47.99 per cent compared to N703.36 in May 2021.

“On a month-on-month basis, it rose by 3.29 per cent from N 1,007.68 in April 2022,” the NBS stated.

Daily Trust on Sunday reports that many households are already feeling the heat, especially with consumer goods such as groceries, beverages, food items and provisions haven doubled in prices since last year.

Asides household, many Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises operating in the country have also recorded hike in their operating cost while others have to shut down as they lack the financial stamina to continue. 

Possible reasons for inflation and why Nigerians should worry

Russia/Ukraine War

Checks by Daily Trust on Sunday has shown part of up reasons for the inflation can be the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. 

The war, which is in its fourth month now, spiked supply chain disruptions which had existed at the onset of Covid-19.

Multi-year highs were recorded in the inflation rate across many advanced economies. 

The inflation is now affecting the Nigerian economy through high prices of imported consumer and capital goods.

Insecurity

In the same vein, the persistent insecurity situation in the country has made matters worse especially in the north western part of the country as farmers are denied access to their farms while others are killed in the process. This in turn has contributed to rising price levels.

Another reason could be the rising transportation cost as well as currency depreciation.

For instance, during the just concluded primary elections of the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party, delegates were alleged to have been bribed with dollars.

The week preceding the election witnessed huge mop up of foreign currency which further weekend the naira to trade about N610 to $1 in the parallel market.

High Cost of Transportation

Just recently, diesel marketers warned that the price of diesel could rise to N1,500/litre citing the increasing global oil price, the effect of the Russian Ukraine war and a general supply gridlock across the world. Diesel prices immediately rose to N800/litre from about N650/litre in May. Diesel prices, which used to be N350/litre has more than doubled in prices in the last few weeks.  

The resultant effect on prices of goods and services is now evident as trucks that consume food items and other goods are now charging double for delivery, while wholesalers and retailers transfer the burden to consumers. 

Electricity prices

In Nigeria, small and medium businesses depend on power to carry out their operations, however the unavailability of power and the over reliance on generating sets have mounted more pressure on inflation.

The national grid has collapsed many times in 2022, leading to consistent darkness as distribution companies cry over insufficient energy allotted to them to distribute.

Also, there are indications that electricity prices are also likely to be increased as another tariff review approaches in the next few months. Tariffs have more than doubled in the last two years for Nigerians even as power supply remains epileptic.  

Implications 

The inflation figures currently seen in the country is a red flag indicating that all is not well with the exchange rate crossed N600/$1 which was the first time in Nigeria’s history that the exchange rate had crossed N600/$1 widening the disparity with the official rate to about N180/$1.  

This has also had a devastating effect on Nigerian Stocks which are currently down 5.3 percent month to date and on track to close the month in losses. 

Also, over N2 trillion has been pumped into treasury bills despite the negative real return of the interest rates suggesting that investors are flying to the safety of government-backed securities.  

The implementation however is not only in Nigeria alone as events across the global economy are also pointing to a possible global economic contraction.

Some analysts are already predicting a global recession that could trigger a major financial crisis, especially in Western economies. Already, the impact of rising inflation in the west has led to record increases in interest rates in the US, EU and UK forcing a market sell-off that has rocked cryptocurrencies and equities.  

This implies that it will force companies to increase their prices, even further stifling demand for goods and services as the purchasing power of Nigerians gets decimated. The exchange rate could fall to N700/$1 much sooner than we expect and yet remain scarce to find.  As companies struggle amidst waning demand, they could be forced to cut their losses by downsizing, triggering mass unemployment.  

What Monetary Authorities Can Do 

Financial analysts are already projecting that with the high rate of inflation, Nigeria could be headed for hard economic crisis riddled by the high cost of goods and services and a contracting economic growth rate if it does not take urgent steps to address the situation. 

A financial expert, Musa Jauro said “Large Eurobond offering might help soften the challenges even though this will also come at a cost especially if we do not find the revenues to pay for it in future.” 

He added that “Nigeria can also run cap in hand to the IMF and World Bank to raise forex, especially via fresh multilateral loans. This will come at a significant cost and conditions, one of which might be to fully deregulate the downstream sector (removing subsidy) and allowing the naira to float. As we have seen with Ghana, this option is great for markets but not a silver bullet. It comes with considerable pain except that it is one that leads to a cure of the disease.”

EkitiDecides: How BVAS Will Transmit Election Results

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The Independent National Electoral Commission has explained how the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) will transmit results in the ongoing governorship election in Ekiti State.

Prof. Sam Egwu, Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Niger State who also doubles as INEC’s Supervisory Officer for the Ekiti gubernatorial election stated this in an interview on Saturday during the exercise.

He said contrary to claims that the commission is conducting electronic voting, it is rather conducting electronic transmission.

He said, “It is important for Nigerians to know that there is a difference between electronic voting and electronic transmission. Although the Electoral Act provides for electronic voting, what INEC is doing today to improve the process is electronic transmission of results through BVAS.

“The process begins from the polling unit after polls are cast, sorted out, collated and tabulated then the results will be entered into form 60E which is meant for all voters to see and afterwards, the result is snapped by the BVAS and uploaded on the server as recommended by INEC.”

Egwu said there would not be conflicting results from the polling unit, adding that results uploaded by BVAS would be accurate.

He also noted that “the document transmitted is the hard copy of the results that has been photographed.”

Mr. Festus Okoye, INEC’s national commissioner on voter education had said BVAS had been deployed to every polling unit.

“In any polling unit where we have more than 750 registered voters, we are going to deploy an additional BVAS to those polling areas,” the INEC national commissioner had said.

“We have a total of 2,445 polling units that will be used for this election, but we have deployed a total of 3,346 BVAS to Ekiti State. So, we are going to have redundancies in every registration area.

“We have also trained enough registration area technical assistants who can intervene at very short notice if there is any challenge with the BVAS. From the test runs we have done, we are confident that the BVAS will perform optimally and that every person who is genuinely and legally registered to vote in this election will have an opportunity of exercising his/her right,” he added.

BVAS is an electronic device designed to read Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and authenticate voters using the voters’ fingerprints to confirm that they are eligible to vote at a particular polling unit.

BVAS usage entails either scanning the barcode/QR code on the PVC/Voter’s register or entering the last six digits of the Voter Identity Number or typing in the last name of the voter by the Assistant Presiding Officer (APO 1) to verify and authenticate the voter.

Sleeping With Cap, Scarf, Does Not Cause Brain Stroke.

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Claim:

A picture has been going viral on different social media platforms espousing that sleeping with cap, scarf or socks can cause brain stroke and the image was attached with the logo of the World Health Organization (WHO) in a bid to show that the international organization endorsed it.

Verdict: False

Background:

In an article on Wikipedia, “brain stroke” occurs when the blood supply to parts of the brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissues from getting oxygen and nutrients which results in the death of some brain cells.

It added that its symptoms can be trouble speaking and understanding what others are saying as well as numbness of the face, arm or paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg.

A report by Mayo Clinic said its type can be of Ischemic stroke or Hemorrhagic stroke, stating that the former can happen when the brain’s blood vessels become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow. “Blocked or narrowed blood vessels are caused by fatty deposits that build up in blood vessels or by blood clots or other debris that travel through the bloodstream, most often from the heart, and lodge in the blood vessels in the brain.” While the later occurs when a blood vessel in the brain leaks or ruptures.

On its part, the WHO points out that it is a medical emergency, which requires prompt treatment and advised that early action can reduce brain damage and other complications.

Ways to prevent it

While admitting that it is not possible to prevent strokes entirely as some issues that led to its increase in the body can’t be changed, the Nation Health Service (NHS) advocates for eating a healthy diet because an unhealthy one can increase the possibility of stroke through increase in blood pressure and cholesterol levels but a “low fat, high-fiber diet is usually recommended, including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (5 A Day) and wholegrains.”

Similarly, engaging in regular exercise can help lower cholesterol in the body and keep blood pressure healthy.

It also encouraged a stop to smoking as it significantly increases risk of having a stroke because it narrows the arteries and makes blood more likely to clot and not smoking will improve general health and reduce the risk of developing other serious conditions like lung cancer and heart disease.

Treatment

The service added that the ailment can be treated through the use of administered injections or drugs such as anticoagulants, aspirin and other antiplatelets, thrombolysis – clot buster medicine, thrombectomy, blood pressure medicines, statins and surgery.

Verification Process:

In a bid to ascertain the authenticity of the message, if it was indeed endorsed by the World Health Organization, Daily Trust subjected the picture to verification, which revealed that the logo of the WHO was photoshopped into the picture.

Also, while checks by Daily Trust showed that although excessive sugar consumption could cause diabetes, there was no evidence that it could also cause brain damage.

Daily Trust also searched the website of the WHO on the columns of its advisory, publications and releases to see whether such statements have been released to the public at any point in time, but the results turned out empty.

Speaking to Daily Trust on the subject, a medical practitioner at the Federal Medical Centre Keffi, Dr. Oluremi Ajamu, said all the rules stated in the picture cannot be taken as a rule.

“They cannot be taken as a rule as they are just medical tips for healthy living not that they cause any disease in the body, let alone brain stroke. Also, I don’t think number six is true. Most of us here sleep with our hoods and caps on during the rainy season. You don’t want to freeze in your sleep and therefore there is nothing of such,” he said.

A doctor, Dr. Tinam Saidu, simply tagged the assertions as False. “To be sincere, all these are fake gist,” she said.

According to her, “Some of the points have interactions with the brain, but not brain damaging or causing a stroke. These claims are highly non professional,” she added.

Speaking on the ailment, Dr. Saidu added that “You may develop sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis in the face, arm or leg. This often affects just one side of the body. A simple way to confirm is if you try to raise both your arms over your head at the same time. If one arm begins to fall, you may be having a stroke. Also, one side of your mouth may droop when you try to smile.”

She added that “When one begins to have problems seeing with one or both eyes or suddenly has blurred or blackened vision in one or both eyes, it could be an early sign of stroke.

She said a sudden or severe headache, which may be accompanied by vomiting, dizziness or altered consciousness, is also an early indication that one is having a stroke.

Conclusion:

The use of a scarf, cap or socks while sleeping has nothing to do with brain stroke, as such, the claim has no medical verification.

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CDD ELECTION ANALYSIS CENTRE (EAC) POST-ELECTION STATEMENT ON EKITI STATE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION HELD ON 18 JUNE, 2022

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The first of two off-cycle governorship elections was conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ekiti State, on June 18, 2022. The election is the seventh in the state since the return of the current democratic dispensation in 1999. Following a 2010 Court of Appeal verdict, which removed then Governor Segun Oni, and declared Dr. Kayode Fayemi the rightful winner of the 2007 governorship election, Ekiti became one of several states holding off-cycle governorship elections. The June 18, 2022 Ekiti State gubernatorial election is the very first to be conducted under the amended Electoral Act, 2022.
Following the conclusion of voting, collation and declaration of results in the June 18 2022 Ekiti Governorship election, the Centre for Democracy and Development Electoral Analysis Centre (CDD-EAC) is issuing this post-election statement on its overall findings on the conduct of the poll. This CDD-EAC post-election statement provides further updates, following the earlier releases of two preliminary statements. CDD-EAC observes that following the declaration of the results of the election by the State Collation Officer appointed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the post-election environment has remained calm and peaceful.
CDD-EAC calls on all political actors in Ekiti State to maintain the peaceful and calm disposition during the post-election period. As the conclusion of the election leads to the peaceful transfer of political power from the current administration to the incoming one, CDD-EAC further urges the contestants in the election to exhibit the spirit of true sportsmanship, which is one of the hallmarks of true democrats. On the basis of data received from CDD-EAC field observers, CDD confirms that the collation process leading to the declaration of the Governorship election result by INEC, was smooth and free of hitches.
The Ekiti State Governorship election result as declared by INEC shows that the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Olatunji Oyebanji scored 187,057 votes (53.16%) to defeat his closest challenger, Mr. Segun Oni of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who polled 82,211 (23.37%) of the votes, while Mr. Bisi Kolawole of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came third with 67,457 (19.17%) of the votes.

Read the Full Statement in the PDF Below

FACT CHECK: Were Ballot Box Snatchers apprehended by men of the Nigerian army in Moba LGA?

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Verdict: False

Claim:

A post was spotted trending on Twitter and Facebook with the claim that some ballot box snatchers have been apprehended by the Nigerian Army at Moba Ward 1, Unit 4.

Verification Process:

According to the claim, two men were arrested in Ise-Ọrùn, Ekiti State for allegedly disrupting elections in one of the wards and snatching ballot boxes. The two men also allegedly shot sporadically at Odo-Moba Ward 1 unit 4 forcing voters to flee before snatching the ballot boxes, after which they were caught by men of the Nigeria Army while attempting to escape. To verify the authenticity of the claim, CDD contacted our observer situated at Moba ward 1, unit 4. He confirmed that no ballot box was snatched at the polling unit, and neither did the army place any arrests. He also added that elections at the polling unit were violence-free, with no records of shooting.

Conclusion:

CDD can confirm that the claim is false, as our field observer confirmed that the election at Moba Ward 1, Unit 4 was peaceful, and two men were not arrested by the Nigerian Army for shooting or snatching ballot boxes.

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CDD ELECTION ANALYSIS CENTRE (EAC) PRELIMINARY STATEMENT ON THE CONDUCT OF JUNE 18, 2022 EKITI STATE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION

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With voting in the June 18, 2022 Ekiti State Governorship election already underway across
the 16 Local Government Areas of the State, the Centre for Democracy and Development
(CDD) through its Election Analysis Centre (EAC) has been closely observing the election.
CDD-EAC deployed 205 trained and accredited observers who are currently collecting data
on key processes in the election. CDD-EAC observation of the Ekiti State Governorship
election has the objective of ascertaining if the election is free, fair, credible, and reflects the
supremacy of the vote of the Ekiti State electorate. CDD-EAC has also set up a fake news
hub aimed at tracking and fact-checking misinformation and disinformation capable of
undermining the credibility of the election. The following are the CDD-EAC preliminary
findings on the conduct of the election based on data received from 168 field observers out of
the 205 deployed.
General Atmosphere of the Election
Reports from CDD field observers indicate that the general atmosphere in which the election
is being conducted has been peaceful and voting has largely proceeded smoothly without any
reported incidents of violence or disruption of the process.
INEC Deployment
Data from the areas covered by our observers indicate that 86 percent of INEC officials had
arrived at their polling units by 8:30am. Data from CDD-EAC Electronic Observer Platform
further showed that 74 percent of INEC poll officials addressed voters before the 8:30am
official time of poll opening. CDD-EAC observers also reported a significant increase in the
number of female INEC officials, with the data showing that eight polling units had poll
officials who were exclusively female. The CDD-EAC data further showed that while four
Polling Units had no female at all; all the others had both male and female INEC officials
present. In terms of availability of important election materials, CDD-EAC data indicated
that in at least 83 percent of polling units critical election materials like ballot papers, BVAS
devices, results sheets, ballot boxes and the voter register were available for the conduct of
the election. In most of the polling units, CDD-EAC observers did not see or report any form
of campaigning; however, in 11.3 percent of polling units campaigns and display of campaign
materials was reported.
Party Agents
Observer data showed all Polling Units reported the presence of at least one party agent.
However in Polling Unit 003, Ward 06 in Ekiti West LGA, only one party had an agent.
BVAS
CDD-EAC data showed that in all 168 Polling Units, BVAS was available; however in
polling unit 010 Ward 10, in Irepodun Ifelodun LGA, there was no BVAS at the time when
poll was expected to commence.
Centre for Democracy and Development West Africa | cddwestafrica.org 2

Fake News
CDD-EAC Fake News Hub tracked and fact-checked a number of fake news and
misinformation trending on Election Day. A major trending item was the purported
withdrawal letter of the SDP candidate Segun Oni, and his endorsement of the PDP
candidate, which circulated across social media. This claim was subsequently confirmed to be
‘false’. Regrettably, this might be cited by the party as a reason for any poor performance.
Another claim on Twitter was that 9 million voters are expected to vote in the Ekiti 2022
gubernatorial election. This claim was checked by CDD-EAC fact checkers, who returned a
verdict of “false” for the claim. CDD checks further showed that there are 988,923 voters
registered by INEC for the Ekiti Governorship election. Another fake news was tracked
relating to claims that in Ido/Osi soldiers were preventing voters from going to their polling
units. CDD-EAC fact checkers verified this claim from field observers and found it to be
false. Similarly in Ikole polling unit 8, Ward 10, CDD-EAC fact-checkers tracked a claim
that INEC officials were addressing voters in Yoruba only because they can’t speak English.
This claim was also checked and found to be false, as it was verified that INEC officials
spoke to voters in both English and Yoruba.
Conclusion
CDD-EAC observers will continue to keep a close watch on the election up till when voting
ends, and counting and collation of results begin. Further updates on findings will be
provided at the end of voting.

Signed:
Professor Adele Jinadu, Chair, CDD-EAC
For Media Enquiries, contact:
Mr. Damien Ihekoronye
Coordinator, Election Analysis Centre (CDD-EAC)
(+2348087185684 | idamian@cddwestafrica.org )

FACT CHECK: Was a voter caught and cautioned by security agents for snapping his ballot paper?

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Verdict: True

Claim:

An image making the rounds on social media claims that a voter was caught by a security agent while snapping his ballot papers for Party Agents in Ola Oluwa Grammar School Ado LGA Ekiti.

Verification Process:

The observer deployed by CDD to the polling unit observed voters with picture evidence showing their already filled ballot paper to unidentified persons sitting around the supposed private voting centre before casting it in the ballot box.

Conclusion:

CDD observer at the location confirmed the claim.

FACT CHECK: Were voters seen showing ballot papers to party agents at polling units?

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Verdict: True

Claim:

A viral image on social media claims that voters showed their ballot papers to Party Agents in Ayetoro Oponu, Ido-Osi LGA Ekiti in a bid to get paid for selling their votes.

Verification Process:

The observer deployed by CDD to the polling unit observed voters with picture evidence showing their already filled ballot paper to unidentified persons sitting around the supposed private voting centre before casting it in the ballot box.

Conclusion:

CDD can confirm through intensive investigation that the said claim is true.

FACT CHECK: Was a Party Affiliate Arrested By EFCC Operatives Over Alleged Vote-Buying at a Polling Unit In Ola Oluwa Grammar School, Ado Ekiti?

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Verdict: True

Claim:

A picture was spotted by CDD fact-checkers posted by @DejiAdesogan on Twitter with a write-up stating that EFCC operatives arrested a party affiliate over alleged vote-buying at a polling unit in Ola Oluwa Grammar School, Ado Ekiti.

Verification Process:

CDD fact-checkers noted that the post was made on June 18, 2022, at 11:03 am. To verify the claim, a call was placed to one of CDD’s observers at Ola Oluwa Grammar School in Ado-Ekiti who confirmed the claim to be true.

According to her, the operatives arrested a man at the same polling unit due to possession of a large sum of money, suspected to be intended to buy votes. It was also suspected that he had some form of political affiliation, but the political party he was supporting was not confirmed.

Conclusion:

A call to one of CDD’s observers at Ola Oluwa Grammar School in Ado-Ekiti confirmed the claim to be true. EFCC operatives arrested a man, suspected to be a party agent due to possession of a questionably large sum of money, aimed to buy votes.

FACT CHECK: Was a wrong sticker used for the governorship ballot box in Ekiti Governorship Election?

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Verdict: True

Claim:

A picture spotted online shows that a senatorial sticker was used to label a governorship ballot box in Ijero Local Government for the Ekiti Governorship election.

Verification Process:

An analysis of the image and a confirmation from our observer and an INEC official in the polling unit proved the claim to be true.

Conclusion:

Following thorough investigations, CDD can confirm that there was an incident in which the wrong sticker was used for a ballot box.

FACT CHECK: Is there any Underage Voting ongoing in Ilawe?

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Verdict: False

Claim:

On May 18, 2022, fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a tweet by @YemieFashMedia stating that the under-aged are queued in polling unit 10, ilawe ward 07. Ekiti South West LGA.

Verification Process:

Report gotten from CDD observer at the polling unit stated that the claim that under aged are queued in polling unit 10, ilawe ward 07 Ekiti South West LGA is fake.

Conclusion:

CDD can confirm that no underage voter was spotted on the queue as at the time of the fact check

FACT CHECK: Is the SDP not on the ballot at Jonathan Memorial Church, N/P School, Ajilsun Ado Ekiti?

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SDP logo

Verdict: False

Claim:

An SDP agent claimed that SDP was not seen on the ballot at Jonathan Memorial Church, N/P School, Ajilsun Ado Ekiti

Verification Process:

To verify the claim, CDD contacted our fact-checkers at the polling unit and inquired about the incident. It was confirmed that the ballot box was sighted with SDP seen on the ballot.

Conclusion:

Contrary to the claim by the agent, CDD fact-checkers on the ground at the polling unit confirmed that they sighted a copy of the ballot paper in the polling unit and SDP was also seen on the ballot.

FACT CHECK: Did Erelu Step Down From the Ekiti Governorship Election?

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Erelu Kemi Elebute-Halle

Verdict: False

Claim:

A viral message on WhatsApp is suggesting that the Candidate of the Action Democratic Party, Mrs Elebute-Halle has stepped down from the Ekiti Gubernatorial race.

Verification Process:

Verifying the claim, CDD/Daily Trust findings showed that the ADP candidate affirmed that contrary to speculations she had stepped down for the Social Democratic Party candidate, Mr. Olusegun Oni, she is still in the race.

In a statement released by her, she said it was “a cheap lie from the opposition parties, who were intimidated by her chances of winning the Saturday governorship election.”

Elebute-Halle said she had not collected a dime from any political party or individual, adding that no godfather was bankrolling her.

Conclusion:

The News currently making rounds that ADP candidate in Ekiti, Mrs Elebute-Halle has stepped down, from the race is false as she has released a statement on Saturday morning saying she is still in the race.

FACT CHECK: Did Mr Segun Oni submit a withdrawal letter from the Ekiti Governorship Election?

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Segun Oni

Verdict: False

Claim:

Fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted a Twitter post on a Twitter account by the name TOCHI with a document showing the statement of the withdrawal of the Flag bearer of the Social Democratic Party Mr. Olusegun Adebayo Oni.

Verification Process:

On carrying out the FactCheck, a phone call was placed to the Public Relations Officer of the Social Democratic Party Mr Ganiyu Salau to ascertain the claim but he debunked it. In his word he said ‘‘how can a winning candidate step down?’’

Conclusion:

CDD can confirm that the presidential aspirant, Segun Oni is still in the race and the letter is a doctored image intended to misinform.

FACT CHECK: Is the military stopping the community members of Ido Osi from going to vote?

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Verdict: False

Claim:

A trending news a few minutes ago has it that Mr Segun Oni, the SDP candidate’s home town has been on the parade of military Men to stop community members from going out to cast their franchise. It was also said that all the roads and streets have been blocked.

Verification Process:

The Center for Democracy Development swing into action by calling some CDD observers at Idosi Local Government who out rightly debunked the information. Some of them are Mr Monday Alawo a resident, Mr Femi Oluwatosin an Observer of CDD, Mr Akinbo Olayinka a resident of Idosi, Mr Tosin an Observer of CDD all gave the same feedback.

Conclusion:

The people of Idosi Local Government are going to their polling units to cast their votes. The security men at the various pollen Units are confirmed to be harmless.

FACT CHECK: Are Over 9 million Voters Expected to Vote in Ekiti 2022 Elections?

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Verdict: False

Claim:

In a recently posted tweet on June 18th, 2022, a Twitter user @whyteworld_vp stated that over 9 million voters are expected to vote in the 2022 Ekiti gubernatorial elections.

Tweet

Verification Process:

Checks into the claim revealed that the post was made by 7:47 am on June 18th, 2022, the election day. According to the post, more than 9 million voters are expected to go out to vote in the governorship election. This is, however, contrary to the official figures released by INEC on the total number of registered voters in Ekiti state.

INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) revealed that a total of 988,923 voters captured in the commission’s register will decide who becomes Ekiti State governor in the June 18 governorship poll. This was revealed at a roundtable forum with Media Executives in Ekiti State on June 4th 2022.  Okoye assured electorates of the commission’s readiness to conduct a free, fair and credible election. In his words: “For this particular election, after the commission queued up the voters registers, we came to the conclusion that a total of 988,923 registered voters will vote in this election. In other words, after we have queued up the voters register and integrated those who were previously on the voters registers, and those who registered during the continuous voters registration exercise, we came to the conclusion that the total number of those stands at 988,923”.

Conclusion:

CDD can confirm that the claim is false. Official figures given by INEC reveal that 988,923 voters are registered to vote in the 2022 Ekiti elections and not 9 million as claimed.

Overview of Key Issues in the Pre-Election Period for the June 18, 2022 Ekiti State Governorship Election (Pre-Election Press Statement)

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Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) Election Analysis Centre (EAC)

Introduction

Preamble

The first of two off cycle governorship elections for 2022 will be conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ekiti State, on June 18, 2022. The election is the seventh in the state since the return of the current democratic dispensation in 1999. Following a 2010 Court of Appeal verdict, which removed then Governor Segun Oni, and declared Dr. Kayode Fayemi the rightful winner of the 2007 governorship election, Ekiti became one of several states holding off cycle governorship elections. The June 18, 2022 Ekiti State gubernatorial election is the very first to be conducted under the amended Electoral Act, 2022.

 As voters in Ekiti State head to the polls for tomorrow’s governorship election, the contest is apparently shaping up to be a three horse race involving the ruling party in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC), the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which has clearly emerged as a third force in the election. CDD observes that there are 16 political parties fielding candidates for the election. Only two candidates and seven deputy governorship candidates are women, just as the age range of the candidates indicate low participation of the youth.

 The CDD EAC will be closely observing the electoral process with the objective of collecting data to support evidence-based analysis of key aspects of the Ekiti State governorship election. The CDD EAC will also host a fake news hub for the purpose of tracking and countering fake news and misinformation as it affects the election.

Pre-Election Observations

Based on the observation of the CDD EAC in the pre-election period, the following are the key trends, which have underlined the process.

CDD notes that the June 18, 2022 Ekiti State Governorship election is significant because it will serve as the first dress rehearsal as the INEC prepares for the 2023 general elections. The election will also be the first to be conducted under the Electoral Act, 2022, and the new INEC guidelines and regulations for conduct of elections. CDD EAC further notes that although INEC has made commitments to conduct a credible election in Ekiti State, its success in this regard would depend on its neutrality, professionalism and the level of its understanding and commitment to the new legal framework. The credibility of the process would also depend on how well INEC uses some of its new powers as derived from the extant electoral law, especially the power conferred on the Commission to delay the release of election results, if the Commission needs to take a second look.

The CDD EAC is concerned about violence, money politics and violations of incumbency powers and the possible effects of these on the credibility of the election. CDD EAC notes that Ekiti State, has recorded several incidents of violence during previous elections. In the build up to the 2022 governorship election, pockets of election-related violence have been recorded in places like Ado Ekiti, Efon Alaiye, Oye, Ido/Osi and Oye Ekiti. Other observable issues, which would shape the credibility of the election include; how well INEC is able to effectively deploy technology, particularly the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), impartial security provisioning, the quality of results management, curtailing the role of money, incumbency and god fatherism in the election. Also critical is the need for stakeholders in the election to proactively track, and counter fake news and misinformation. Already, the pre-election period has witnessed the spread of fake news capable of undermining voter confidence and participation in the process. An example is the fake news which trended recently on a purported Appeal Court decision nullifying the primaries of one of the major political parties and, by extension, its candidate. 

In terms of some of the election risk factor, CDD notes that the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities ( ASUU) has crippled the local economy especially in university towns in Ekiti State. This has created a threat in terms of the availability of idle youth being recruited for activities, which could undermine the credibility of the election. By grounding the local economy, the strike has also created the wrong incentives as voters are more likely to see the election as an opportunity for economic survival, thereby exacerbating the risk of vote buying. This becomes even more relevant when it is considered that Ekiti State introduced the issue of “stomach infrastructure” into the Nigerian political lexicon. CDD has also observed that based on history of past violence in elections in the state, the following Local Government Areas, constitute potential flash points in the election; Ado Ekiti, Efon Alaiye, Ido/Osi, and Oye.

Signed:

Professor Adele Jinadu

Chair, CDD EAC

FACT CHECK: Did the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan Defect from The APC To PDP?

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Ahmed Lawan

Verdict: False

Claim:

A trending video surfaced online, particularly on Twitter and WhatsApp, where Senator Ahmed Lawan, the president of the Nigeria Senate was seen making an announcement that he was leaving the APC for PDP. The video rider claim reads: “the senate president after losing his presidential bid, met stiff resistance from another candidate of APC who won the same constituency the Senate president is representing, as the candidate refused to give him back the ticket”.

Verification Process:

Checks by CDD fact-checkers revealed that the viral video began trending on June 17th, 2022, on Twitter and WhatsApp platforms with the claim of Ahmed Lawan’s defection. Verification on Invid revealed that the video shared on social media was doctored and cut from an announcement made by Ahmed Lawan on the defection by Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, the Senate Majority Leader on June 14, 2022.  

In the letter read during plenary, the Senate President said on behalf of Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, “It is with deep sense of responsibility that I write to inform your Excellency and indeed my entire colleagues in the senate of my decision to defect from my political party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP”.   The Senate President had vied for the Office of the President but lost out after the party presidential primaries at Eagle Square in Abuja to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate and since then, there has been no official announcement of his defection.

Conclusion:

CDD can confirm that the claim is false because the video was edited to disinform the public, while it is true, that the Senate President contested and lost his bid to vie for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Ahmad Lawan has not dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) contrary to reports on social media.

FACT CHECK: Has Segun Oni, Candidate of the SDP in Ekiti Election, Stepped Down?

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segun oni

Verdict: False

Claim:

On Tuesday, June 14, 2022, stories began to trend, following the visit of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu to Ekiti state, that Engr Segun Oni, candidate of the Social Democracy party (SDP) has stepped down for the candidate of All Progressive Congress (APC) in the Saturday June 18, 2022, gubernatorial election. This claim was also made by a Facebook user, Buharist Reporters, who attributed a comment to the governorship candidate, which reads “After an intensive and extensive talk to my leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and my followers across the 16 local governments of the state and also Considering the good Job my Brother Dr. Fayemi has done to the state, I agree to step down for Biodun Oyebanji to continue from where JKF stopped. This is not an easy decision to take but for the progress, development, peace and stability of the state, I hereby Stepped down. – Engr. Segun Oni addressing reporters.”

Verification:

CDD fact checkers have reviewed several online and offline commentaries and reports, including of “Buharist Reporters.” And contacted some leaders and followers of the candidate of the SDP, Engr Segun Oni to ascertain the claim. Fact checkers contacted Mr Rotimi Ogunlade, a loyalist of party and candidate of the House of Assembly in the 2023 general elections. Mr Rotimi Ogunlade denied the claim, calling it fake, baseless and lies from the pit of hell. In his words, “How could a leading candidate in an Election step down? That’s not possible. We are making reparations towards our mega rally coming up on Thursday June 16th, 2022.

CDD can also reliably confirm that the party has scheduled its mega rally for Thursday, June 16, 2022, at the State Pavilion in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti state. Mega rallies are usually the climax of political rallies for political parties. The APC mega rally was held on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, where the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu represented, President Mohammadu Buhari.

Conclusion:

CDD can authoritatively confirm that Engr Segun Oni, governorship of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has not stepped down from the race. Peddlers of fake news deliberately aimed to misinform and disinform the public. The public is advised to ignore the claim as it is false. In addition, voters, and residents of Ekiti state are encouraged to join the campaign to stop fake news in the election and beyond. If you cannot independently verify any news story, don’t share it.

IMPORTANCE OF NATIONAL COHESION IN BUILDING PEACE

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There is a strong positive correlation between national cohesion, peacebuilding, and
development. However, the task of unifying the various
groups in Nigeria has remained a daunting challenge for every government in Nigeria.

In recognition of the importance of national cohesion in peacebuilding, the Centre for
Democracy and Development, under its Strengthening the Delivery of Peace and Security
(SDPS) Project funded by the UK AID project, implemented peace and social cohesion
messaging on radio and television stations nationwide in English and Pidgin.