2023: Effect Of Social Media Posts On Governorship, State Assembly Polls

The 2023 general elections may have come and gone except for a few states where supplementary elections are expected to take place in April as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

However, unofficial results and other misleading information that flooded social media posted by supporters of different parties cannot be ignored as they played a key role in influencing Nigerians.

Daily Trust noted that many Nigerians were misinformed by fake results put up on social media by influencers and other social media enthusiasts.

The information misled not only ordinary Nigerians but also the international community and diplomats.

Key among the false information circulated included viral post that Senator Aisha Binani of the All Progressives Congress had won the governorship election in Adamawa, as well as Oladipupo Olatunde Adebutu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State.

Others include the dismissal of Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour as the candidate of Labour Party (LP) in Lagos State, and the collapse of PDP structure in the state among others.

Binani elected as Adamawa State governor

The social media was agog shortly after the governorship election with reports that the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Aisha Dahiru Binani, has won the Adamawa governorship.

Subsequently, congratulatory messages were circulating on different social media platforms. In one of such messages, the APC candidate was seen in a living room surrounded by people who posed for pictures and referred to Binani as “Her Excellency”.

In the results that circulated online, Binani reportedly polled a total of 409,909 votes to defeat incumbent Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of the PDP who is her main challenger.

Because the outcome of the results meant she will be the first democratically elected female governor in the North, many Nigerians began to flood their timelines with congratulatory messages including the outgoing British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Liang.

Liang congratulated Binani “for being the first democratically elected female governor in Northern Nigeria”.

In a tweet which has now been deleted, the envoy said, “Great news! Huge congratulations to Aisha Binani. I hope you will be a trailblazer for other elected female governors. @ElectHER_NG @unwomenNG,” @UKinNigeria

Gumsu Sani Abacha, daughter of a former head of state, General Sani Abacha, and wife of Governor Mai Mala Buni, who has just been re-elected in Yobe, also joined those who “celebrated” what was considered as Binani’s feat.

Tweeting via her handle, @G_sparking, the governor’s wife wrote, “Alhamdulillah. This victory is for every Nigerian girl child/and woman. This victory is ours. Binani you have made history today… you have made us proud…congratulations Adda am.. Allah hokke djam.”


Daily Trust checks showed that as of the time the messages were circulating, 20 out of the 21 local governments in Adamawa State had been announced by the INEC with only one local government left, which is Fufore.

The results so far announced at the INEC Collation Centre in Yola showed that the PDP candidate was leading with over 35,000 votes after polling 401,115 while the APC candidate had 365,498 votes.

Subsequently, the elections were declared inconclusive with INEC scheduling 15th April for supplementary elections.

Adebutu declared winner of Ogun State elections

On March 18, 2023, hours after voting had been concluded, a Twitter user tweeted that Oladipupo Olatunde had just won the Ogun State gubernatorial election.

“Bye bye to Dapo Abiodun! Baba Ijebu’s billionaire son, Oladipupo Olatunde is the governor-elect of Ogun State,” he tweeted.


Daily Trust checked and found out that on March 18, 2023, INEC declared Dapo Abiodun of APC as the winner of the just-concluded governorship election in Ogun State.

Dapo Abiodun, having scored 276,298 votes, was re-elected for a second term. His closest rival, Oladipupo Adebutu, scored 262,383 votes.

The claim that Oladipupo Adebutu is the governor-elect of Ogun State was FALSE. INEC declared Dapo Abiodun as the winner having scored the highest vote of 276,298 contrary to the news that was circulating on social media

A letter on social media alleged that Lagos State chapter of the Labour Party (LP) had replaced its governorship candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.

The letter, which was signed by Sam Okpala, secretary of the party in the state, identified Prof. Ifagbemi Awamaridi as the governorship candidate of the party and it was circulating a few hours before the election.


Daily Trust verification showed that the claim as well as the letter were false. Sam Okpala, the secretary of Labour Party in Lagos State said the letter did not emanate from him and should be totally disregarded.

Meanwhile, while speaking with journalists shortly after casting his vote at polling unit 045 Oshifila Anifowoshe Ikeja, Rhodes-Vivour expressed confidence that he will win the election, although he lost the election to the incumbent governor of the state and candidate of the ruling APC, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Daily Trust confirmed that the letter in circulation was fake. Also, the secretary of Labour Party in the state, Sam Okpala, told Daily Trust to disregard the letter, saying that it did not emanate from him.

PDP collapsed structure for LP in Lagos

Twitter was awash with claims that the Lagos chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had collapsed its structure for LP governorship candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.

The trend on Twitter was a few hours before the governorship elections in Lagos State.

However, Daily Trust contacted the state chapter of the PDP and it debunked the claim.

Also, the Director of Strategy and Communication, Lagos PDP governorship campaign, Seun Soyinka, told Daily Trust that the claim was false.

In the same vein, PDP’s Lagos State Publicity Secretary, Hakeem Amode, in a statement said the party’s candidate, Abdul-Azeez Adeniran, popularly known as Jandor, joined the gubernatorial race to promote worthy causes that would enhance the collective well-being and security of Lagosians and Nigerians in general.

Amode said, “The PDP candidate is independent-minded and will not cave into the rapacious desires of reactionary forces. He has proved that he can hold his own on a number of occasions.”

Lagos State never experienced violence in gov’ship elections

A member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adamu Garba, claimed that Lagos State never experienced violence during governorship elections.

He tweeted saying, “I’m currently in Lagos & I can tell you that there is no any violence as the online mercenaries want you to believe. It was part of their plot to create chaos, but Lagosians said NO. That is why they take to online space to project what’s not happening on the ground. Ignore them!,”

However, Daily Trust reports that there have been several reports of violence in different parts of the state.

Incidents of violence were reported at Ilasa, Oshodi Isolo and Agungi in the Lekki Eti Osa areas of the state.

Also, the NFC had confirmed a violent incident in PU 039 in Sabo, Oniba, Ojo, Lagos and Desa polling unit at Ibeju Lekki, of the state.

Also in a live report, several television stations documented incidents of violence in some parts of Okota in the state, as such Daily Trust confirmed that the tweet was false and misled thousands of Nigerians who were following the APC member.

Elections were conducted in 28 states of the country with 18 registered political parties fielding over 400 governorship candidates in the states.

Two state governorship elections were declared inconclusive which are Kebbi and Adamawa, as well as a few state assembly elections. They are expected to be held on April 15th as declared by INEC.

This fact check is produced in partnership with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD)

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