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Edo Election: Report that Ize-Iyamu congratulated PDP, his opponent’s party is FALSE

THE Punch newspaper on Sunday, September 20, 2020, reported that Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the just-concluded Edo State gubernatorial election has conceded defeat and congratulated the People’s Democratic Party  (PDP), his major opponent’s party for winning the election.

Edo, a state in southern Nigeria held it governorship election on Saturday, September 19, 2020.

The Punch Newspaper in the now-deleted news published on their website and archived here stated that Osagie Ize-Iyamu has admitted that he lost the election and has congratulated his main opponent’s political party.

“The candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the 2020 Edo State Governorship Election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, has admitted that he lost the election.

“Ize-Iyamu agreed that the Peoples Democratic Party won the election and he has since congratulated the opposition party.

“Reacting via his Twitter handle, Ize-Iyamu wrote, “Edo people has decided, we thank you all! Congratulations to the opposition party! They have won! Election no be war. It’s time to work more harder for the next 4 years. Congratulations,” the news read in part.

The news was also shared on the verified Twitter and Facebook page of the Punch newspaper.

The Punch newspaper, one of the leading newspapers in Nigeria, has over 3.5 million followers on Twitter and over 1.5 million likes on Facebook.

The news shared on its Facebook page  had over 452 comments, 553 shares and 1700 likes as at 4:16pm September 20, 2020 before it was deleted.

THE CLAIM:

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That Osagie Ize-Iyamu has accepted defeat for the 2020 Edo governorship election and has congratulated his opponent’s party, the PDP.

Screenshots of the archived news report by the Punch newspaper

THE FINDINGS:

The FactCheckHub findings revealed that the Punch newspaper, in writing its report, relied on a tweet from a fake Twitter account (@ize_osagie), masquerading as belonging to Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the APC candidate in the Edo election.

The media house wrote the news based on what was obtained from the parody account with the username @ize_osagie.

The real Twitter account belonging to Ize-Iyamu is: @PastorIzeIyamu and the last tweet on the account as at when the Punch newspaper did its report was tweeted 24-hours ago when Ize-Iyamu was casting his vote.

This account: @PastorIzeIyamu is the only Twitter account linked to the official campaign website of Ize-Iyamu.

The fake account also have a website linked to it. However, after clicking the link, it gives an error information that the website does not exist.

Screenshot of the error message displayed on the website linked to the fake Twitter account.

Although, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had on Sunday afternoon (September 20,2020) declared Godwin Obaseki of the PDP as the winner of the Edo State gubernatorial election but Pastor Ize-Iyamu was yet to react to the development as at the time the Punch newspaper published the report, thus making the claim FALSE.

LEFT IMAGE: Screenshot of the fake account | RIGHT IMAGE: Screenshot of the authentic account.

Ize-Iyamu eventually reacted to the INEC’s announcement, saying he is studying the results and would decide on his next line of action.

He tweeted: “I assure you all that I am studying the results along with other party members and will announce my next move soon.”

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THE VERDICT:

The claim that Osagie Ize-Iyamu has accepted defeat for the 2020 Edo governorship election and has congratulated his opponent’s party, the PDP is FALSE. The Punch newspaper, in writing its report, relied on a tweet from a fake Twitter account (@ize_osagie), masquerading as belonging to Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the APC candidate in the election.

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