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?