Claim: An image shows Bauchi State Governor’s mansion, discreetly constructed amidst poverty in the country.
Verdict: The claim is false. Findings revealed that the image in question has been online since 2020. Contrary to speculations, it shows the entrance to an estate that belongs to Adron Homes and Properties in the Ogun state.
The ongoing economic downturn in Nigeria is well-known to its citizens. Recently, residents in areas like Minna Kogi and Kano took to the streets to protest the escalating daily cost of living, a trend seen in other states, including Bauchi.
While this went on, rumours surfaced on social media that Bala Mohammed, Governor of Bauchi State, is discreetly constructing a mansion amidst the “multidimensional poverty” afflicting the nation.
Taking to Facebook, several users like Elijah Ajanu-Ojo, Innocent Kokobili, Julius Omorogbe, Elvis Erams, and Benedict Ewubor shared similar narratives with an image of a big house still under construction. Describing this tower as the new residence of the governor, they wrote:
“NOW TRENDING: This is not an International AIRPORT or HOTEL. It is allegedly the residence of the GOVERNOR of Bauchi State, His EXCELLENCY Bala MOHAMMED, and is under construction. Many are wondering how he would live in such a mansion in the midst of the multi-dimensional poverty of his people. How does His EXCELLENCY expect to maintain it after leaving office? Finally, how would it be shared by his children after his death? ‘VANITY UPON VANITY, ALL IS VANITY !!!! Truly, we are being led by Beasts in human flesh.”
The story has generated debates within political forums, especially on WhatsApp, thereby creating a pool of diverse opinions from people. Simultaneously, derogatory remarks have followed this claim, with Facebook users like Peter Obiri drawing parallels between the governor’s alleged action and insanity.
“Madness, or what name can you call this?” he commented.
Nonso Ogbonna, another user, perceived the act as “wickedness.”
Due to the rising tension in the country, a claim like this could instigate hatred if left unchecked. DUBAWA, therefore, decided to step in with this verification.
DUBAWA conducted a reverse image search on the viral image, uncovering it to have been on the internet since 2020.
Against the circulating narrative, the image was taken during the construction of the main entrance to an estate located at Simawa, a few kilometres away from the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) campground in Ogun State.
Map showing the exact location of the property in Simawa, Ogun state. Source: Google Maps.
Apart from the original image published on its website, we also found a video advert which gave a drone shot of the property. In addition, multiple pictures captured from the site were uploaded on Nairaland in 2021, among which was the one in circulation.
The viral image was taken from an old publication and recycled to drive an unrelated narrative. Hence, the claim that Mr Mohammed is secretly building a mansion is false.