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Claims Made By AAC Presidential Candidate, Sowore During Town Hall Debate

Some of these claims were analyzed by the Coalition of Nigerian  Fact-checkers and a verdict was given. We did a compilation of some of the claims, the findings and the verdicts.

Claims Made By AAC Presidential Candidate, Sowore During Town Hall Debate

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By Taiwo Babatunde and Fawaz Adebisi.

The African Action Congress(AAC)  presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, made several claims during “The Candidate” Debate in November 2022.

Some of these claims were analyzed by the Coalition of Nigerian  Fact-checkers and a verdict was given. We did a compilation of some of the claims, the findings and the verdicts.

Omoyele Sowore In View

Omoyele Sowore is a Nigerian human rights activist and pro-democracy campaigner, known for founding the online news agency Sahara Reporters. In 2018, he founded the African Action Congress party and ran as its presidential candidate in the 2019 Nigerian general election. Sowore is also running for president in the 2023 Nigerian general election.

Here are the top findings.

Claim 1

CLAIM: Mr Sowore, the presidential candidate of the AAC claimed that based on official figures, oil companies owe Nigeria $6.4billion

FINDINGS: News reports by ThisDay and The Cable in September 2022 quoted Ogbonnaya Orji, the Executive Secretary and National Coordinator of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), as saying the outstanding taxes and fees from the oil companies as of March 2022 is $2.674 billion, not $6.4billion which was the figure in 2019.

VERDICT: FALSE

Roundcheck incorrect

SOURCE: NEITI

Claim 2

CLAIM: Mr Sowore said all countries that are doing well economically, their citizens usually don’t use guns.

FINDINGS: We used two countries with high GDP per capita to fact-check this claim. For instance, the US has a GDP per capita of $69,287, it has a gun per citizen rate of 120.5 per 100 people.

Canada has a GDP per capita of $52,051 and a gun per citizen rate of 34.7 citizens per 100 persons.

On the other hand, Nigeria’s GDP per Capita is $2,085, and has a gun per citizen rate of 3.2 per 100 persons.

VERDICT: FALSE

Roundcheck incorrect

SOURCE: World Bank

In a follow-up comment, he said he meant that prosperous countries do not need arms to ensure security and that the United States should not be used as a measure of prosperity.

Claim 3

CLAIM: Mr Sowore said that Lake Chad shrunk to 10 percent of its original size

FINDINGs: Multiple records, updated up till 2019, show that once one of Africa’s largest lakes, Lake Chad has shrunk by around 90 percent since the 1960s.

VERDICT: CORRECT

SOURCE: European Space Agency, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).

Claim 4

CLAIM: Mr Sowore said Nigeria has “more women qualified to vote than men.”

FINDINGS: News reports by ICIR Nigeria on the 2nd of July 2022 and recently by the Punch on the 2nd of August 2022 show that there are more women than men who have been registered by INEC to vote in the 2023 elections.

VERDICT: CORRECT

SOURCE: The ICIR and Punch, referencing INEC

EDITOR’s NOTE: These fact-checks were done by the coalition of Nigerian fact-checkers during the live presidential debate. ROUNDCHECK only did this compilation and reproduced for publication.

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