Olalekan Adetayo (Punch Newspaper) made the right call to fact-check claims by PDP candidates, (see Fact-checking Atiku-Obi claims on The Candidates for details). Unfortunately, the attempt at fact-checking quickly went off track and became opinionated and misinformation.
Let’s examine claims made by Atiku and Obi and fact-check ‘Lekan’s “opinionated fact-checks”
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%.
‘Lekan rated this claim as false His reasons: 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%.
Our Fact-Check: Peter Obi is CORRECT, nominal GDP for 2014 was 6.31%, please note that, annualized data for 2015 wasn’t available as at May when PDP handed over to APC. Observe, GDP is calculated every quarter, quarterly results are annualized at the end of the year to produce a single result. Investors reacted to Buhari’s election (which was known during the first quarter of 2015) by pulling their funds/investments out of Nigeria, unlike Nigerians, foreign investors were aware of Buhari’s 1983-1985 anti-development agendas. Obi was being kind when he said our current normal GDP is 2%, it is actually 0.8% (as at 2017) – reported economic data for 2018 are undergoing review, accepted result will be available on IMF and World Bank websites eventually.
Claim: Obi said Atiku Abubakar did not establish his American University of Nigeria, Adamawa for financial gains.
Lekan rated this claim as false. His reason: 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.
Our Fact check: ‘Lekan jumped the gun, while his first fact-check is borderline ignorance of GDP, his second fact-check is purely opinionated. Observe, no business minded person will site his business in a rural area when he can get large tracts of land in Abuja, Lagos, Ibadan, Kaduna etc (by virtue of his position and influence), except if he/she REALLY WISH to help his/her people. American universities are known for expensive fees, and for great scholarship to those who cannot afford it, but who show great potentials in sports and academics - click here to download 2017 scholarship list. Again, Obi is correct
’Lekan’s remaining “opinionated fact-checks” are not worthy of further consideration. Fact-checking is hardwork, it involves phone calls, research, research and more research. It is not for the faint hearted – and GOD have mercy on an opinionated fact-checker, he/she will rue the day he picked up his pen/tablet/or keyboard to fact-check another.
Final Verdict: ‘Lekan was wrong, while Atiku and Obi were correct. ‘Lekan’s fact checks are inconsequential, it is opinion journalism.
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