IN SUMMARY: Religion plays an important role in Nigerian politics. But a claim that the ruling APC party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 election criticized a “like-faith” ticket in 2015, and then in 2022 turned around and chose that ticket, is an embellishment on what he actually said.
A screenshot going around Facebook dating tinubou ballpresidential candidate for Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), saying he would never endorse a “same faith ticket”.
He shows a photo of Tinubu and says: “In 2015, I gave Osinbajo my right because the Muslim-Muslim formula will destabilize Nigeria. God will destroy me and my family any day I support the same faith.”
Nigerians will vote in the February 2023 presidential election. The north of the country is mostly Muslim and the south is mostly Christian. Religion is an important factor in their politics.
A “same faith” ballot in the Nigerian presidential election means that a party’s candidates for president and vice president (or running mate) are either Muslim or Christian.
The current president Muhammadu Buhari, first elected in 2015, is a Muslim. His deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, is Christian.
Tinubu, a Muslim, won the APC ticket in June 2022. He was expected to choose a Christian running mate, but he controversially opted for Kashim Shettima, also a Muslim.
The screenshot suggests that Tinubu cannot be trusted, as he appears to have changed his mind in his stance against a like-faith presidency.
But did Tinubu really say that Nigeria would be destabilized if it were ruled by a president and vice president who were Muslims?
Additional – false – words added to the citation
An online search using the phrase “I gave Osin under my right” reveals that the first part of the quote was widely reported by several major media outlets.
But the second part, about the destabilization of the country and the phrase “God will destroy me and my family any day I support the same faith,” is not in any of the reports.
Another source is a June 2022 video of Tinubu addressing APC leaders in Abeokuta, southwestern Nigeria.
The context is that Tinubu said that he was asked to nominate three people for the vice-presidency. Osinbajo was third on his list.
“They asked me to present three names, Yemi Cardozo, Wale Edun and Yemi Osinbajo. But I insisted on submitting only one name because I was the one who wanted to give up my right.”
Tinubu said he spoke out against a Muslim-Muslim ticket in 2015. But he didn’t say he would destabilize Nigeria, or that his family would be destroyed if such a ticket came up.
Oluremi Tinubu, the candidate’s wife, was also recently falsely quoted as saying that Tinubu promised to guarantee a Christian-Christian presidency should he win the election, and had served two terms.