Fact-Check: Is PDP Deputy National Youth Leader 60-year-old as claimed?
Claim: Following the emergence of 25-year-old Muhammad Sulaiman as People’s Democratic Party (PDP), National Youth Leader, some facebook users claim his deputy, Timothy Osadolo, is 60-year-old.
Verdict: Timothy Osadolo is 36, not 60. A copy of his birth certificate which was sighted by PRNigeria and subjected to digital forensic test, reveals that he was born on May 23rd, 1985 and issued a birth certificate on the same date. The Claim is false.
On October 31, 2021, Nigeria’s media space – both social and conventional – went agog with reports that Muhammed Suleiman, a 25-year-old, has emerged as the national youth leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Suleiman who hails from Kaduna State polled 3,072 votes at the PDP national convention while his challenger, Usman Elkudan, scored 219 votes. Suleiman is barely two years older than the PDP which itself was established in 1998.
Following the victory, some social media users began to mock the victory with spurious claims, suggesting that it amounts to nothing in youth leadership since his deputy is 60-year-old. Others said he was 55.
This Facebook user for instance posted, “Youth Leader – 25 years old Deputy Youth Leader – 60 years old,” and another user posted, “National Youth Leader of that Political Party is Prince Muhd Kadade Suleiman and he’s 25. Deputy National Youth Leader is Timothy Osadolor and he’s 55 years according to reports. They won’t tell you about the Deputy. They’re only ejeculating (sic) about Suleiman…All fake! Hypocrites!!!.”
Emergence of Youth Leadership in Nigerian Politics
With nearly 70% of Nigeria’s population below the age of 35, the clamour for young people to be represented in the country’s political systems has lately remained a vital subject of discussion in the polity.
Consequently, youth participation in politics and their roles in government have gained traction amongst Nigerian youths in the last two decades. Discussing this subject at a well-attended lecture at the University of Texas at Austin on February 9, under the title, “Youth, Politics, and the Future of Nigeria,” Ololade Bamidele, an active member of the Nigerian civil society, a successful career journalist, and currently the secretary to the Editorial Board of Premium Times (the digital news media), commented on the socio-political and economic circumstances of the Nigerian youth, which, he explained, produced the “Not Too Young To Run” (NTYTR) and #EndSARS movements, two of the more recent expressions of youth frustration the status-quo in Nigeria.
In May 2018, Nigeria passed a new law which lowered the age limits for political office from 35 to 30 years in the Senate, and 30 to 25 years in the House of Representatives and State House of Assembly.
Known as the “Not Too Young to Run” bill, the move was intended to reflect the changing demographics of Africa’s most populous nation and help to usher in younger leaders.
Across various levels of politics, the youths have continued to clamour and act towards the realisation of the “Not Too Young to Run” vision but despite certain limiting barriers, feelers are that more needs to be done by the youths in relation to emerging on the National Scene.
That was why soon after the historic convention of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Nigerians expressed mixed feelings with the fact that a 25-year-old has just emerged as the National Youth Leader of the party.
The reason is not far-fetched. Over the years, both the PDP and the APC have formed a habit of choosing individuals too old to be characterized as youths as National Youth Leaders.
The developments have rekindled the hope of many young Nigerians, most of whom have expressed excitement even across party divides.
Who Is Kadede Sulaiman?
Prince Muhammad Kadede Sulaiman, 25, is the newly elected National Youth Leader of the PDP. He was born in 1996 at Nasarawan Doya of Makarfi local government in Kaduna State.
He had his primary education at Nasarawan Doya before he proceeded to Nigerian Turkish International College for his secondary education.
Kadade was admitted into Kaduna State University to study Sociology in the 2015/2016 session but was reportedly withdrawn on academic grounds. In an interview with BBC Hausa, Kadade stated that he is currently studying political science in an unnamed university.
On his Facebook profile, he wrote that he came from a royal family of Nasarawan Doya at Makarfi local government.
He is the grandson of Sarkin Nasarawan Doya and son of late Dan Malikin Zazzau Dalhatu Kadade Suleiman.
Muhammad started politics at a young age in his zeal to contribute to the development of the society and the advancement of young people, as he stated in an interview with Voice of America’s Nasiru Adamu Elhikaya.
He was a grassroots mobilizer and has been actively involved in politics since 2011.
In 2019, Kadade aspired for the governorship of Kaduna State under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party.
Who is Timothy Osadolo?
Timothy Osadolo is the newly elected Deputy National Youth Leader of the PDP and he hails from OHE in Isi clan of Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State.
Born on May 23,1985 to Mr Christopher and Mrs Vero Osadolo, both of Isi clan and seasoned educationists.
Timothy Osadolo attended, Aguebor Primary School, Egba; Egba Grammar School, Egba, and Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, where he obtained a BSc. Industrial Chemistry in 2007 and later an MSc. Policy and Strategic Studies in 2013.
Honorable Osadolo served as Special Adviser to the then Commissioner for Education, Hon Ekpenisi Omorotionmwan, from 2011 to 2013. He then contested and won as Councilor of Isi North, ward 7 of Uhunmwode Local Government area. As a councilor, he was chairman for both the Peace, Security and Information committees and was also the Deputy Chief Whip.
In 2017, he was elected as the State Auditor in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Edo State. A position he held until December 9, 2019 when he resigned and decamped to the PDP.
Honorable Osadolo is a family man. He is married to Mrs. Uwazeme Osadolo with three children. He is the CEO of IESEOSA FARMS located in Isi land.
Upon coming across the claim, this fact-checker conducted a facebook search with the keyword, “PDP Deputy National Youth Leader,” but there were many users with similar names.
However, search results revealed a pattern of congratulatory messages and keyword related search terms all linked to the Facebook profile of a certain Elder Tim Osa Osadolo (Osadolo Osarumwense).
A close examination of the profile timeline revealed certain political activities including at least two very recent press statements released from the “Office of the National Youth Leader Elect.”
In fact, the user’s profile photo features the incumbent Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, which already established a relationship between the Deputy National Youth leader’s name and the area he hails from.
Further steps were taken to examine his photos to establish if the user was actually as old as 55 or 60, but all photos that appeared to be of him portray a hefty young man, at the time of examining the photos.
A message was then sent to the user to confirm if he was indeed the newly elected deputy national youth leader of the PDP to which he responded in the affirmative in less than an hour.
A question was further put to the user to clarify the facts of the controversy surrounding his age, Mr Osadolo denied that he was as old as claimed by some social media users.
He revealed that he was born on May 23rd 1985 at Central Hospital Benin City and issued a birth certificate on the same date
Reacting further, he wrote, “It has been amusing seeing people ascribe different ages to me. It’s funny to have people judging me without bothering to know me. Some just look at my Facebook handle,see the title ‘ Elder’ and run with the notion that this is an old man. Laughable.”
Asked to provide documentary evidence that supports his claims, Mr. Osadolo shared a copy of his birth certificate, noting that it has been what he has been carrying since birth till date. “My public records are there for the public to access,” he replied.
It was observed that the name Osarumwense featured as his first name on the birth certificate while Osadolo followed. However, the name features as his identity on his facebook profile which he confirmed is his native name.
A digital forensic analysis of the document shared by Mr. Osadolo was done using the invid verifier forensic feature and the result showed no signs that the image may have been manipulated.
The claim that the newly elected PDP National Youth Leader, Timothy Osadolo, is 60-year-old is false. Findings show that he is 36, having been born on May 23rd, 1985 at the Central Hospital Benin City and issued a birth certificate on the same date.
The researcher produced this fact check article per the Dubawa 2021 Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with PRNigeria to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.
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