POSTS on Twitter and Facebook claim that German Chancellor Angela Merkel said “democracy under Buhari is one of the best in the world.” There is no evidence that Merkel made any public statement of support for Presidential Candidate Muhammadu Buhari.
CrossCheck Nigeria, a collaboration of newsrooms in Nigeria which includes The ICIR, searched the web and social media platforms in both English and German for any evidence of Merkel’s alleged support for Buhari in the upcoming race. There was none.
We also consulted the German Embassy in Nigeria. By email, the embassy stated that “as far as we are aware, she did not make this statement. Kindly consider as fake news.”
Additionally, there is no evidence that Merkel has thrown her support behind any Nigerian candidate.
The last time Merkel visited Nigeria, in August, her discussion centered on trade and migration.
CCN found the first instance of the misleading claim on a Buhari support page on Facebook titled “ISupportBuhari2019,” and subsequently found the claim was first shared a day earlier – February 3rd – by a Twitter account called @trueNija
As at 5:00 p.m. on February 7, posts of the claim on Facebook, also shared on ‘cupsdemocracyinaction’ page, had garnered over 1000 shares. On Twitter, the claim had over 1,500 shares and 2,000 likes.