Labour Party’s flagbearer, Mr. Peter Obi, is enmeshed in yet another misinformation scandal following his false claim that the Falconets, Nigeria’s national U-20 football team, crashed out of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Costa Rica after purportedly losing to the Netherlands in the Semi Final stage.
Obi made the claim in a Twitter message on Wednesday where he said: “Our dear Super Falconets put up a decent game and fought gallantly at the ongoing Under 20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica, until they were knocked out at the Semi Finals stage, by the Netherlands.”
The claim was however false as the Falconets were knocked out at the quarter-final stage, not the semi-final as Obi falsely said. The misinformation has raised further dust on Obi’s alleged reliance on lies, distortions, and fake news to elevate himself to the presidency.
The candidate’s run has been plagued with numerous claims that have been debunked as false and misleading, even by independent fact-checkers.
An example was his embarrassing claim that the American NBA had 100 Nigerians on its roster from a purported 150 registered players, when in reality Nigerians accounted only for 20 players (10 of which are American citizens but originally Nigerians) in the 2022/2023 season out of the approximately 450 NBA players, not 150 as Obi falsely claimed.
He has also invented false data to back his assertions on the state of Nigeria’s economy, prompting criticism from seasoned analysts and fact-watchers who have repeatedly called out his campaign for indulging in falsehood and muddying the election.
Notably too, Obi’s followers ‘the Obidents’ appear to follow his lead with a deliberate disinformation campaign in which false, outlandish claims are spread on social media to prop up the image of the former Anambra State governor.
An example was the claim that he secured clemency for hundreds of Nigerians on death row in Singapore, a claim that was verified and found to be untrue despite gaining virality on the internet.