Following the declaration of Alex Otti as the winner of Abia State gubernatorial election held on March 18, 2023, netizens have repeatedly shared a post on social media with the claim that he is the first elected governor under the platform of the Labour Party in Nigeria.
The result of the election was announced on March 22, 2023, by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Returning Officer, Professor Nnenna Oti, with the candidate of the Labour Party, Alex Otti securing 175,467 votes to defeat his major rival, Okey Ahiwe, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
A Twitter user, @ObedientDentist tweeted the claim with a caption that read:
”Congratulations Alex Otti, the first Labour Party Governor-Elect. Uphold the intentions of labour party and lead your people well.”
Similarly, another Twitter user, @exquisiteOG tweeted the claim with another caption thus:
”Introducing the first Labour Party Governor-elect. Mr Alex Otti; Governor-elect Abia State.”
A Facebook user, Chinenye Annah also posted the claim with a caption thus:
”Officially, labour party now have a governor. The first governor LP is producing, Governor Alex Otti emerging from Abia state. Congratulations to Abia state people and congratulations to all obedient family, you people made it possible”.
Another Facebook user, Chima Benjamin posted the claim with a different caption:
”CONGRATULATIONS HIS EXCELLENCY DR ALEX OTTI THE FIRST LP GOVERNOR IN NIGERIA. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL WELL-MEANING CITIZENS OF ABIA STATE GOD HAS DONE IT AND HE WILL DO IT AGAIN.”
Alex Otti is the first elected Labour Party governor in Nigeria.
Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE.
Labour Party was created in 2002 initially by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and was previously known as Party for Social Democracy (PSD) but changed the name in 2003 after Nigeria’s general election at the time.
The party had Sylvester Ejiofor, a veteran of many labour struggles as its first national chairman. After the change of name, Dan Nwanyanwu and Alhaji A.A. Salam took over the mantle of leadership as national chairman and national secretary respectively.
In 2006, Nwanyanwu formally presented Olusegun Mimiko, to the people of Ondo state as the party’s gubernatorial flag-bearer for the 2007 election in the state.
In 2008, the Ondo state Election PetitionTtribunal nullified the election of Olusegun Agagu, governorship candidate of the PDP and declared Olusegun Mimiko who contested under the Labour Party (LP) platform as the winner of the April 14, 2007 gubernatorial election.
The judgement of the tribunal was upheld by the Appeal court in Benin which stated that Mimiko won 25 per cent of the valid votes in 13 out of the 18 local government areas in the state.
The claim that Alex Otti is the first elected Labour Party governor in Nigeria is FALSE; findings revealed that Olusegun Mimiko became the first governor to be elected on the platform of the Labour Party in 2009.