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Misleading! Video depicting protest in Ilorin not recent 

Claim: Footage of Ilorin residents protesting hardship outside the emir’s palace.

Verdict: Our findings show that the video is outdated and is being recirculated as a recent occurrence. The claim is misleading.

Full Text

In recent times, Nigeria has witnessed a series of protests over economic hardship. As the cost of living continues to rise, a video began to make the rounds on social media. According to Facebook users, the clip was speculated to be taken from a protest in front of the emir’s palace in Ilorin on Feb 16, 2024.

In the 27-second footage, many young protesters could be heard chanting “Ebi ń pàlú, ” which means “the community is hungry.” This clip has been shared across WhatsApp groups and Facebook with captions, including “BREAKING: Hunger: Emir Of Ilorin Reportedly Runs Out Of His Palace As Nigerians Occupy It Seeking For Food.” 

This video has been featured on other platforms, including here, here, here, here, here and here. DUBAWA initiated this fact-check in response to its widespread circulation.

Verification

DUBAWA observed that only one version of this video had been circulating. We extensively searched the internet for any similar footage but found none. Subsequently, we compared the depicted scene in the video and the actual appearance of the Emir of Ilorin’s palace, and they matched.

We further conducted a series of keyword searches on Facebook, leading to the same video on the internet since May 2021. Shared by a Facebook user, Rufai Solomon, wrote: “The people of Ilorin trooped in their thousands to the Palace of the Emir of Ilorin to protest against Hunger in the land.” 


Also, corroborating our findings, the Emir of Ilorin, Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, has debunked the footage as not recent. In a statement released to journalists on Feb. 18, 2024, he said that the event leading to this protest occurred before the 2019 general election.

The statement reads in part: 

“We want to state categorically that the video was part of the events characterised and witnessed during the build-up to the 2019 general elections. The video does not connect with the country’s current situation. Recall that on such occasions, the Emir always expresses his concern about ensuring that peace and harmony continue to prevail in society.”

Conclusion

Our verification reveals that the video is outdated and is being recirculated as a recent occurrence. The claim is misleading.

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