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FACT CHECK: Osinbajo, not Tinubu, in group photo of Corona schoolchildren

FACT CHECK: Osinbajo, not Tinubu, in group photo of Corona schoolchildren
November 22
18:52 2022

A group photo of students with their teacher has been making the rounds on social media as that of Bola Tinubu, the presidential flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and his classmates.

The educational qualifications of Tinubu have been mired in fresh controversy since the presidential primary of the ruling party.

The presidential candidate told the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that he did not attend a primary or secondary school.

While providing academic qualifications to INEC, the former governor of Lagos left the spaces for primary and secondary schools attended blank, listing only the Chicago state university, where he earned a BSc in business administration (accounting) in 1979.

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Several social media posts have claimed that the schoolboy at the far left of the front row is Tinubu.

The picture appeared to have been posted on Facebook in June by one Chidi Cali.

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Recently, a screengrab of the Facebook post has made its way to WhatsApp, the popular instant messaging platform, where it is been shared with a broadcast message. 

“Congratulations Nigeria. Hurray…they finally found his classmates. Never mind the change of name… having to explain the transmutation from Amoda Ogunkere Yekini to Bola Ahmed Tinubu was the challenge why it was a torturous journey to finally find his classmates, so I believe with this ‘discovery’, our learned Festus Keyamo will be scratching his head on how to re-spin the theory of homeschooling for his super-intelligent paymaster, former adversary and now boss. If he was 9 in 1947, he is 84 now,” reads the WhatsApp broadcast.

Checks by TheCable show that a Twitter user with the name, Jubril o Sudan till 2023 also posted the image on June 28, 2022, claiming that “it’s a shame that people fell for a cheap lie” that Tinubu never attended a primary school. 

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The tweet has generated over 108 likes and 54 retweets.

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Verification

However, a reverse image search by TheCable showed that the photo had been earlier published on Linda Ikeji’s blog, in 2015, with the caption, “Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (1st from left – front row) as a pupil of Corona School. 

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An extensive check further revealed that on October 5, 2021, Osibanjo used the picture as a frame in a video shared on his Facebook page

In the less than 5-minute video, the former Lagos attorney-general eulogised the impact of his teachers on his career, using the picture of his primary school classmates and his teacher to drive home his message. The picture shows up 55 seconds into the video.

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Meanwhile, in a report published by the AFP in July, Laolu Akande, the spokesperson of the vice president, said “the image has gone round several times. It’s the VP.”

Verdict

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The claim that Tinubu was in the group picture showing school children with their teacher is false. The schoolboy in the picture is Osinbajo and his classmate in Corona primary school, Ikoyi. 



This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.

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