Supporters of Nigeria’s main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are circulating an image of a vast crowd as proof that the final pre-election rally for the party’s candidate governor in southern Osun state drew thousands of people onto the capital’s streets. However, this is false; the image was taken in Kwara state and shows Muslims attending a religious event.
“Daivdo is just shutting the streets of Osun down for his uncle Adeleke/PDP,” reads a Facebook post featuring the image, which has appeared in other election-related posts since it was published on July 13, 2022.
Screenshot taken on July 18, 2022, showing the false Facebook post
The same photo showing throngs of people on a tree-lined street was also circulated on Twitter alongside a similar claim. “Osun State no be your mate,” the tweet reads, referring to the state’s perceived superiority over others.
Osun is one of eight of Nigeria's 36 states where governorship elections are not held at the same time as the rest of the country because of legal challenges to previous results.
A few days ahead of the state poll held on July 16, 2022, political parties including the PDP gathered supporters in the capital Osogbo for their final rallies.
Ademola Adeleke contested for the PDP against incumbent governor Gboyega Oyetola and nine other candidates.
Described locally as the “dancing senator” because of his penchant for partying, Adeleke is the uncle of popular Nigerian singer Davido, who joined him on the campaign trail.
But the claim linking the image to Adeleke’s pre-election rally in Osun is false.
Crowds at Eid
A reverse image search on Google led to the source of the photo on the Facebook page of the Kwara state government. It was published on July 9, 2022, and shows Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq with worshippers during a religious gathering in the capital Ilorin.
AbdulRazaq’s media aide also dismissed the claim as false.
“This picture was taken with my office drone after Eid prayer, in Ilorin, on Saturday not at any PDP rally in Osun state,” Yinka Fafoluyi said on Facebook, before predicting a win at the weekend for Oyetola.
Adeleke, however, unseated Oyetola with 403,371 votes to 375,027 in the July 16 ballot.