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Did PDP ask Okowa to resign as Atiku’s running mate?

A video is currently circulating on social media showing a large number of people protesting against the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party…

A video is currently circulating on social media showing a large number of people protesting against the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.

The 56 seconds video which was shot at night and is currently circulating mostly on WhatsApp, had the caption “Breaking News: HAPPENING Now. PDP in disarray….

“Atiku Abubakar escapes lynching in Abuja at PDP meeting as members of the party asks(sic) Okowa to step down as Atiku’s running mate,”

The protesters in the video were also heard chanting, “No representation by proxy. This is an insult. “Okowa must go; No more governance by proxy and we can’t continue like this”.

Verdict: False and Misleading

Verification:

In verifying the authenticity of the video, Daily Trust subjected it to verification, using the Invid video verification tool and found out that it first emerged on the internet on November 6, 2022.

Subsequent checks showed that the video was shot at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja where the first series of town hall meetings with presidential candidates, which were centred on security, took place.

The town hall series was jointly organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development and Arise News Group.

Further checks by Daily Trust revealed the cause of the protest was the introduction of Mr Ifeanyi Okowa who will be representing the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar. However, that didn’t go down well with the audience which created a row and the debate was brought to a halt for some time. 

However, the town hall meeting, which was anchored by Dr Reuben Abati of Arise Television, later continued and. Okowa represented Atiku, the PDP presidential candidate, at the meeting.

The series also had the candidate of Labour Party (LP) Mr Peter Obi, New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and the candidate of the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) Mr Kola Abiola.

Consequently, Daily Trust can confirm that Mr Atiku was not present at the venue of the town series and the video was not from any meeting of the PDP as suggested.

Background

On November 6, 2022, Daily Trust reported the first leg of the town hall meeting for presidential candidates which had a former governor of Kano State and presidential candidate of the NNPP, Rabiu Kwankwaso; a former governor of Anambra State and presidential candidate of the LP, Peter Obi; the governor of Delta State and vice-presidential candidate of PDP, Ifeanyi Okowa, who stood in for his principal, Atiku Abubakar, and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Kola Abiola.

The presidential town hall series focused on two issues: security and the economy.

However, the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar and that of APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, were conspicuously absent.

Their absence created a rowdy session, until the chairman of Arise Group, Prince Nduka Obaigbena, announced that the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu, would join subsequent series.

The protest by the crowd was further aggravated when Obaigbena announced that Okowa would stand in for Atiku, an explanation that supporters of other presidential hopefuls rejected and escalated their protests.

In protesting, they chanted: “No representation by proxy. This is an insult. We need Atiku and Okowa should go; No more governance for by proxy.” However, the town hall meeting continued.

Conclusion: Verification by Daily Trust shows that the video in question did not emerge from any PDP meeting. Also, the alleged call for Okowa’s resignation is false and misleading, as it was a group in the audience that was demanding that Mr Okowa should not stand in for the party’s presidential candidate, who was absent at the town hall meeting. As such, the video in circulation is false and misleading.

This Fact Check is produced in partnership with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD)