CDD fact checkers have spotted a trending news report by the Midwest Herald, a Community Newspaper in Nigeria. The news story has been sighted on social media platforms including WhatsApp. The report claimed that the Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr. Adams Oshiomhole is plotting the return of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to the APC to wrestle power from his predecessor, Governor Godwin Obaseki. Pastor Ize-Iyamu was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Edo state governorship election in 2016.
Midwest Herald claimed it received a reliable information that there was a private meeting between the two politicians in Oshiomhole’s Benin City home, where the National Chairman received Pastor Ize-Iyamu with a general feeling of ‘forebodness’.
The report had garnered about a hundred (100) views immediately it was published and had gone viral on WhatApp groups focused specially on Edo State politics. The newspaper quoted its source:
“Oga was shocked to see pastor and he joked with him that he was monitoring him. Pastor requested for a meeting and they agreed to meet in Abuja for discussion.”
CDD Fact checkers contacted Pastor Ize-Iyamu, who refuted the claimed. According to him, he had never had a private meeting with the formal Edo State Governor. The statement made available to our fact checker reads:
“Not true. I have told Orobosa Omo Ojo (the) publisher of the paper about the falsehood. I have never been to Oshiomhole’s house in Benin nor discussed with him about going to APC. We met on Wednesday morning at the Benin Airport and he volunteered to carry me to Abuja with the private plane waiting for him. He extended the same gesture to Pastor and Mrs Charles Osazuwa of Rock of Ages Church. We followed him, got to Abuja safely, thanked him and I left with Pastor and Mrs Osazuwa.”
The position was also corroborated by the newspaper in the report.
While it is true that Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, the Chairman of the APC and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the PDP stalwart met, it is evident that the purpose was not for the return of the later to the APC as claimed in the News Headline. It is obvious that the newspaper caption is fake and misleading and ultimately aimed to disinform by causing disaffection among supported of the political actors. Edo state, which is heading for a governorship poll in 2020 has been in the news recently over alleged dispute between Governor Obaseki and the Mr. Oshiomhole; this news story is therefore aimed to worsen the political crisis in the state.