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FACT CHECK: Did Zulum celebrate Salah with Borno’s ‘poorest’ ?

Professor Babagana Umara Zulum [Photo credit: Premium Times] 3 mins read

A viral message, which emanated from Whatsapp and was later posted on the Facebook page of a national newspaper, claimed that Borno State governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, celebrated Sallah with the poor citizens in the state.

Even though Governor Zulum appeared in the said photograph, it was not taken during a Sallah celebration but during the distribution of relief items to one of the IDP camps in the state. The image is a misrepresentation of the event it was used to depict, and is therefore MISLEADING.

FULL STORY

A message, which was widely shared on the messaging app, WhatsApp, showed Borno State governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum sitting with some of the poor citizens in the state.

A screenshot of the WhatsApp message claiming Governor Zulum celebrated with the poor on Salah day.

The caption added to the photograph in the broadcast message suggests that Governor Zulum celebrated Muslim festival, Eid al-Adha, with the ‘poorest’ in Borno State.

The photograph and the caption which also appeared on Vanguard’s Facebook account has garnered over 630 comments, 1,500 reactions and have been shared over 300 times.

Reacting to the post, a Facebook user, Frank Pere wrote: “This Governor always melt(ing) my heart, kudos to one of the best performing governors. I just fell in love with you sir. You’ve shown PMB what leadership entails not just sitting and acting like a programmed robot.” (sic)

VERIFICATION

Checks using the Google Reverse Image search revealed that the photo first showed up on the internet on Friday, July 31, 2020.

Although Prof. Zulum really did appear in the photo with some citizens, the photo was not taken during a Sallah celebration, further checks indicate.

To further ascertain the truth of the said visit, Dubawa reached out to Governor Zulum’s spokesperson, Isa Gusau, who said the Governor “was in Maiduguri for sallah.”

“He returned from Monguno a day to sallah,” he added.

When asked if the Governor celebrated with the poor on Sallah day, Gusau said: “It’s not true. He was in Maiduguri. Maybe the photo was from one of his humanitarian activities.”

When pressed further on when and where the photograph was taken, Gusau said: “This is Governor Zulum with an aged internally displaced woman during his humanitarian activities in northern Borno, the same period he came under attack in Baga. It was in Monguno a day or two, before Sallah.”

VERDICT

Even though Governor Zulum appeared in the said photograph, it was not taken during a Sallah celebration but during the distribution of relief items to one of the IDP camps in the state. The image is a misrepresentation of the event it was used to depict, and is therefore MISLEADING.

The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with (insert newsrooms name) to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.  

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