The presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar; and his running mate, Peter Obi, made some claims during their outing on The Candidates, a forum sponsored by the McArthur Foundation and aired by the NTA in collaboration with Daria Media on Wednesday.
The following are some of the candidates’ claims and the facts of the matter:
Claim: Peter Obi claimed that when PDP was handing over in 2015, the nation’s GDP growth rate was 6% and that it is currently at 2%.
Fact check: False. According to information available on www.stastista.com, although Nigeria’s GDP growth rate was 6.31% in 2014, it reduced to 2.65% in 2015. PDP handed over in May 2015. The current rate is 1.93%.
Claim: Obi said Atiku Abubakar did not establish his American University of Nigeria, Adamawa for financial gains.
Fact check: False. The university, which offers its students American style of education, is one of the most expensive universities in Nigeria. Fees are even paid in dollars in the university. Obi’s claim may not be true.
Claim: Obi claimed that as Anambra State governor, he never deported beggars from the state as being alleged.
Fact check: False. There are media reports to prove that Obi’s administration, in 2011, deported beggars that came from Akwa Ibom and Ebonyi states. For example, a report by Leadership Newspaper on December 4, 2011 showed that 29 beggars (including children) were arrested in Awka and Onitsha, warned and repatriated back to their respective states of origin that include Ebonyi and Akwa Ibom states. Another national newspaper, Champion, also of December 4, 2011, reported the same event.
Claim: Obi said Atiku and the Adamawa State Government were the two major employers of labour in the presidential candidate’s home state.
Fact check: Largely correct. At a point, a socio-political group, Adamawa Think-Tank, even claimed that Atiku was the biggest employer of labour in the state, through his companies such as the Faro Group, Gotel TV and Radio stations and the American University of Nigeria, among others.