ElectionsFact CheckPolitics

Festus Keyamo shares misleading pictures of APC rally in Sokoto

Claim: Festus Keyamo, a spokesperson of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential campaign council, posted an image on Twitter, claiming that the crowd in the image were from the APC’s presidential campaign in Sokoto.

Festus Keyamo shares misleading pictures of APC rally in Sokoto

Verdict: The image used in Mr Keyamo’s tweet was deliberately distorted and taken from its original context to mislead the public. The image was originally taken at the Lollapalooza, Chicago, USA festival in 2021, not in Sokoto, Nigeria, during the APC rally. The claim is false. 

Festus Keyamo shares misleading pictures of APC rally in Sokoto
Keyamo’s tweet with the picture highlighted in blue.

Full Text 

As campaigns towards the general elections intensify, the use of crowds at political campaigns to show political prowess continues among actors and supporters of the top political parties.

On Thursday, February 9, 2023, Barrister Festus Keyamo, Nigeria’s Junior minister of Labour and a spokesperson for the Tinubu/Shettma campaigns, shared a tweet with images purportedly from the All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential rally in Sokoto State earlier that day.

Mr Keyamo shared  the image from his official Twitter handle @fkeyamo with the caption: 

“More pictures from the mother of all rallies in Sokoto! The signs are all there for all to see! But they are playing! Make dem dey play!! In about a forth-night, the jungle will mature.”

One of the photos that depicted a huge crowd of shirtless people seemed to draw more attention than the rest.  One user called out the image for being fake.  Sound Jay (@sound_jay6) argued that the image with shirtless people was fake; fake picture mate,” be challenged.

However, in a concession to the alleged narrative, Ketura (@ketura16647548)  also wrote:

“Jungle don fully matured oh na human being be dis. Jagaban we know Jagaban we vote. Sai ka shiga villa.”

The tweet has been viewed over 280K times, with over 1,654 likes and over 346 retweets. As the election date draws near, political actors are getting more desperate, which can sometimes push them to share contentious content worthy of verification.

Verification 

DUBAWA ran a Tin Eye reverse image search to verify the picture’s integrity. Interestingly, the analysis revealed the alleged image was originally shared by Colin Hinkle (@hinklecolin) on Twitter and dated back to July 31, 2021, when he tagged @Lollapalooza, a music festival that is held in Chicago.

Festus Keyamo shares misleading pictures of APC rally in Sokoto
Image 1: A screenshot of the image shared by Mr Keyamo, the same encircled part is seen in image 2 shared, originally shared by Mr Hinkle on his Twitter page.
Festus Keyamo shares misleading pictures of APC rally in Sokoto
Image 2: A screenshot of the image originally shared by Mr Hinkle. The same encircled parts are seen in image 1, Mr Keyamo’s purported depiction of the APC rally in Sokoto. 

The image was also a subject of an article on Business Insider Africa titled:

“A photo showing the mostly maskless crowd at Lollapalooza 2021 is being compared to Where’s Waldo.”

Festus Keyamo shares misleading pictures of APC rally in Sokoto
Image 3: A screenshot of the article on Business Insider Africa referencing the image.

DUBAWA also found that this is not the first time this image has been used to mislead the public. A Nigerian blogging site, Naijaloaded,  in one of its posts titled: “Ronaldo To Real Madrid or Messi To PSG – Which Of These Is The Biggest Transfer To Happen In Sporting History?” claimed the image was of the fans who came out in Paris to witness the arrival of the Argentina footballer Lionel Messi’s arrival to Paris Saint Germain.

Forensic analysis of the two images

To further verify the alleged image and the original version, DUBAWA conducted a forensic analysis of the two images, subjecting both versions to noise analysis to determine the level of distortion on the alleged image. Results from the analysis, conducted on the same ratings (encircled red), revealed Mr Keyamo’s version (image 4)  was deliberately subjected to noise distortion to reduce the quality of the image, hence the quality of visibility. 

Festus Keyamo shares misleading pictures of APC rally in Sokoto
Image 4: A screenshot of the version shared by Mr Keyamo. Based on the same noise analysis scale as image five below, findings show that Mr Keyamo’s version of the image was distorted (take note of the difference).
Festus Keyamo shares misleading pictures of APC rally in Sokoto
Image 5: the version of the image shared in the article. When subjected to the same noise level analysis, results show the image has not been tampered with. A clear difference with Mr Keyamo’s version is evident.

The Lollapalooza Festival 

The Lollapalooza festival is an annual four-day music festival that features artists from different genres of music and is hosted in Grand Park, Chicago, USA.

Considered one of the biggest music festivals in the world. The event, which started in 1991, has had appearances from Snoop Doggy Dogg, the Prodigy, Kanye West, K’naan, J. Cole, Dua Lipa, amongst others. 

Conclusion 

The image used in Mr Keyamo’s tweet was deliberately distorted and removed from its original context to mislead the public.  The image was originally taken at the Lollapalooza festival in 2021. The claim is false.

The researcher produced this fact-check per the DUBAWA 2023 Kwame KariKari Fellowship in partnership with CrossRiverWatch to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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