CONTEXT: In a one-hour exclusive interview on Arise TV, the former Vice President of Nigeria and presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar made several claims that are fact-check worthy.
CLAIM 1: Atiku claimed that the power generation capacity in 1999 was 4,000MW.
CONTEXT: The rights activist and presidential candidate of African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore claimed that the former President Olusegun Obasanjo-led administration failed to solve the nation’s electricity problems to which the former Vice President of Nigeria responded “When we came in 1999, the total generation (capacity) was about 4,000 Megawatts. We initiated the building of nine additional power stations and by the time those nine were finished, the capacity has gone up from 4,000 Megawatts to about 13,000 Megawatts.
VERIFICATION: Responding to a letter from the House of Representatives Committee on Power and Steel, probing the expenditure in the power sector between 1999 and 2007, then President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote in a letter dated 12 May, 2008, that his administration inherited an installed capacity of 6,000 Megawatts even though only 1500MW was being generated.
CLAIM 2: 90% of Nigerians from the northern part of the country are not on social media.
VERDICT: Insufficient Evidence
CONTEXT: Atiku, while expressing his thoughts on Peter Obi’s chances in next year’s presidential election, said 90% of Nigerians from the northern part of the country are not on social media.
“…They were saying through social media, that they have more than one million votes in Osun State but how many people voted for Labour Party? And there again mark you, you are talking about social media, in the North 90 per cent of our people are not tuned to social media,” .
VERIFICATION: To verify the claim, our partners at Daily Trust explored the Statista database which asserts that 110 million of an estimated 200 million Nigerians have access to the internet, with 53.15 million on social media as of 2022.
Following a check of the culmination of followers that Atiku and Peter Obi has on the three main social media platforms, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, it was evident that Atiku has way more followers on social media than Peter Obi.
Several twitter and Facebook profiles are dedicated to Hausa, the most common language in the northern part of Nigeria such as BBC News Hausa, Premium Times Hausa. Although one can safely say that there is a higher number of social media users in the South compared to the North following a report by National Bureau of Statistics which puts the number of active internet subscription in the North at 68.5m and the South at 77m. This indirectly translates to active social media users as its one of the key uses of data subscription unlike Atiku’s claim that has no known data supporting his assertion that 90 per cent of Northerners are not on social media. Hence the basis of Atiku’s claim is unfounded.
WHY WE FACT-CHECKED THIS: CDD fact-checked these claims to help the electorate hold politicians accountable during the electoral season
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