False claim circulates that former Kano Emir, Sanusi endorsed Peter Obi in viral article


A VIRAL article attributed to the former Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, analysing the uniqueness of at least three presidential candidates contesting Nigeria’s 2023 election, has surfaced on social media.

In the article attributed to Sanusi, he analysed the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi, Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

A news blog, Naija24news, published the article with the headline: “Emir Sanusi Endorse Peter Obi for 2023 presidency.”

READ: 2023 Off-cycle elections: Claims fact-checked ahead of Nov. 11 governorship polls

The article also appears on other blogs (here and here) with titles suggesting that Sanusi authored the quotes in support of Obi’s 2023 presidential bid.

The write-up reads:

“One peculiar thing about the top three guys battling it out for the 001 seats, is that neither of them is there for the money.

1. One has milked Nigeria well enough systematically and just wants to answer President by all means.* *He lives in Dubai full-time and only comes around every 4 years to contest for the Presidency.

He doesn’t understand the struggle of the average Nigerian. He doesn’t care so much. If he loses this one, he will go back to Dubai and wait out the next 4 years before coming out again.

Besides the fact that his ambition is scary, we can’t afford to have a Paul Biya of Cameroun as President.

2. Another has been controlling Lagos treasury since 2003. He just wants to fulfil his lifetime political ambition of answering President, even if he dies the next day after swearing-in.

He would properly share Nigeria-like cake with his boys….just like he did in Lagos. At the end of the day, he would teach us what being “fantastically corrupt” actually means.

3. The other was already a billionaire before 2003, and quite content with himself. He doesn’t need your money for anything. He wants to be President to reset things and lay the foundation for systemic governance in future.

He relates with the struggles of the average Nigerian, understands what Nigeria needs, and has volunteered himself to save us from impending catastrophe. Win or lose, he would most likely not contest again.

It is up to us to choose wisely.”

~ Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

Attached to the article, as seen on some social media accounts, is a photo collage of the duo.

A pro-Obi Facebook page, Peter Obi Labour Supporters posted the quote with a caption: “Peter Obi wrote.”

The post has garnered over 700 likes and 500 shares on Facebook as of Monday, 20th of June, 2022.

Another Facebook page, Peter Obi for President, also posted the article with a caption: “See Sanusi describing our presidential candidates.”

This has also generated over 100 likes and more than 60 shares on Facebook.

Beyond Facebook and Twitter, the article was widely circulated in WhatsApp groups by users.


That the former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, wrote an article analysing Peter Obi, Atiku and Tinubu’s candidacy.

Screenshot of the viral article.


Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE.

Munir Sanusi Bayero, Danburam Kano, and Chief of Staff to His Highness, Khalifa Muhammad Sanusi II, CON in a statement published by Daily Trust on Monday debunked the article.

“Our attention has been drawn to an article circulating the online media space analysing the motives of the three presidential candidates in the 2023 elections.

“We would like to emphatically state that this was not authored by His Highness, Khalifa Muhammad Sanusi II as is being widely attributed,” the statement read.

He further clarified that the former Emir does not bear Sanusi Lamido Sanusi any longer, saying he is now referred to as ‘HH Muhammad Sanusi II.’

“We also take this opportunity to encourage readers to scrutinize the information they find online to identify false and misleading information purported to have come from eminent personalities and thought leaders,” he counselled.

Similarly, our fact-checker observed that none of the social media users who posted the article disclosed their source(s) publicly, thus raising a red flag.

Also, a keyword search on Google did not reveal anywhere or when the former Emir made the statement. 

Moreover, no credible media organisation in the country reported the article attributed to Sanusi.

Further findings by The FactCheckHub traced the claim to a post made by Doyin Okupe, the former Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to a former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo. He attributed the article to an individual identified as Mohammed Sanusi but misconstrued it as written by the former Emir.

Further checks led to a different article written in Hausa and published in Premium Times, clarifying that the Emir did not author the quote.

The article, written in the Hausa language, was authored by Murtala Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah mosque in Kogi state. He is also a regular columnist on Premium Times.

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Part of the article translated using the Google Translate – a language translation platform – reads:

“Dear brothers and sisters, as we wrote yesterday, we have spread the English language to attract the attention of the people, and today we are spreading the Hausa language.

“As you know, there is an article by a man named Sanusi Mohammed or Mohammed Sanusi who writes on social media, criticising politicians, insulting and abusing other politicians, but some people, who have a purpose in life, and who do not know who the author is, spread the word, claiming that it was written by His Highness the Emir of Kano Khalifah Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II.

“Therefore, we are trying to persuade the people to know that the attempt by some to link the writings of that man, Mohammed Sanusi, to the King is a great injustice. So, let’s be careful please!

“We further draw the attention of the entire nation to the fact that the author of this article, Mohammed Sanusi, is not the Caliph of King Muhammad Sanusi II. It’s just a person, a social media guy doing this post.

“And sadly, it is the writing of this man, Mohammed Sanusi, that you can see promoted by some great politicians to achieve their own ends!

“As we have seen, Mr. Doyin Okupe is spreading this false text, even claiming that it is from the Caliph, which, by the way, is false, not true at all. So please, people, let’s be more careful.”

The FactCheckHub also reached out to Murtala, the Islamic scholar. He was found to be a close associate of the Emir. He, however, confirmed that the former CBN governor did not write the article.

“The article which is trending on social media was not written by him (Emir Sanusi), and that’s why we wrote and explained to people that they should stop displaying the article as an article written by him.

“We even discussed seriously with the Emir Sanusi regarding one Mohammed Sanusi writing on social media and that people are mistakenly attributing it to him.”


The claim that the former Emir of Kano authored the viral article attributed to him is FALSE; as Sanusi’s spokesperson debunked the claim.

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Nurudeen Akewushola is a fact-checker with FactCheckHub. He has authored several fact checks which have contributed to the fight against information disorder. You can reach him via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 via Twitter.


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