By: Sam Doak
February 23 2023
Okinbaloye has not endorsed any candidate in this race.
The Nigerian general elections are set to be held on February 25, 2023. They have been hotly contested, and in this context, several false narratives have arisen concerning the upcoming votes. Among these have been false endorsements, communicated maliciously to convince voters that candidates have the support of high-profile figures.
One example of such a narrative concerns a graphic circulating online featuring the journalist Seun Okinbaloye. Okinbaloye is a political correspondent employed by the Nigerian station Channels Television. He has a large online following, with over 530,000 followers on Twitter alone. The graphic comprises a photograph of Okinbaloye and a quote attributed to him by its creator.
The quote in question reads, "it is going to be a colossal loss to Nigerian Youths to miss the opportunity of voting for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu! Despite the lies and allegations against him. I have studied the 4 major contestants in this election despite not having the oppurtunity to interview Tinubu; to me. He has the most sincere will to bring many Nigerians out of abject poverty."
Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu, a former Governor and Senator, is the ruling All Progressive Congress' presidential candidate in the upcoming elections. This graphic was clearly created to give viewers the impression Okinbaloye has endorsed him in this race.
Logically can find no credible sources that have reported on Seun Okinbaloye endorsing any candidate in the 2023 presidential race. A search of the statement included in this graphic reveals that this quote does not exist outside of this context. The erroneous spelling of "oppurtunity" casts further doubt on the validity of this statement.
Seun Okinbaloye has publicly denied endorsing Bola Tinubu for the Nigerian presidency. In a statement shared on Twitter, the journalist stated, "please disregard the fake news that has been flying around. As a journalist, I have not and will never endorse any candidate. God bless Nigeria."
Okinbaloye's employer, Channels Television, has also denied this narrative. On Twitter, the organization described the story of Okinbaloye's endorsement as "FAKE NEWS" and stated, "Channels TV's Seun Okinbaloye Did Not Endorse Bola Tinubu."
No reputable sources have reported that Seun Okinbaloye has endorsed any presidential candidate, including Bola Tinubu. Okinbaloye and his employer have publicly stated that news of this endorsement is incorrect. This claim has therefore been marked as false.