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Old Image used to depict recent killing in Niger community

Claim: Social media accounts used a picture to depict a recent attack in Madaka community, Niger State.

Verdict: The picture used to depict the recent attack in the Madaka community of Niger State is old and unrelated to the incident. The claim is misleading.

Full Text

On March 21, 2024, tragedy struck Madaka, a community situated in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, as reports emerged of a deadly attack perpetrated by bandits in the community market. The incident resulted in losing an unspecified number of traders and customers.

In the wake of the attack, a picture began to circulate on social media platforms, purportedly showing the aftermath of the violence, with claims suggesting that over 30 individuals had been killed. The photo showed corpses wrapped in white materials lying on the ground in preparation for burial.

An X user, I.G Kagara, who posted the image, said that the corpses were being prepared for a mass burial that would take place on the outskirts of the community.

Ibrahim Kagara, another user who shared a similar image, lamented the attack and announced that the Islamic funeral rites for the deceased had been done. 

The post has garnered 3,000 views and 47 reposts, accompanied by expressions of grief and prayers for the departed. DUBAWA conducted this fact check to verify the authenticity of the claim.

Verification

Through reverse image, DUBAWA discovered that the picture in question had been shared repeatedly on Facebook since 2021. Not only that, it has also been used in different contexts. Below is a table showcasing instances of the image being shared on Facebook at different times.

FACEBOOK POSTSDATE PUBLISHEDSOURCEENGLISH TRANSLATION
POST 1March 16, 2022Nafisa LabarinaThe corpses you see are 42 people who didn’t hear and see yesterday night gunmen attacked them and shot them in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State.
POST 2March 16, 2022Ummi RahabThe corpses you see are 42 people who didn’t hear and see yesterday night. Gunmen attacked them and shot them in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State. May God have mercy on them Amen and when our time comes, may we die with faith, Amen
POST 3July 28, 2022Zuwaira JuwairiyaThese corpses you see are 42 people who didn’t hear and see yesterday night. Gunmen attacked them and shot them in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State. May God have mercy on them, Amen , and when our time comes, may we die with faith, Amen Don’t forget to share with 5 groups so that we can get the prayers of our Muslim brothers
POST 4June 12, 2021Yusuf Ridwan Mai FataMay God bring peace to us in Zamfara, may God bring peace to Zamfara
A table showing places where the image has appeared in the past.  

Apart from the Facebook versions, the International Centre for Investigative Journalism (ICIR) also featured this image under the headline, “Police deny reports that 60 persons were killed in Zamfara attack, say ‘only over 30’ died.” 

The publication, dated June 12, 2021, detailed how 60 people were killed during a terrorist attack in the Zurmi Local Government Area of the state. These indicated that the image had no connection with the recent attack in Niger state.

Conclusion

The picture used to depict the purported killing in Madaka community, Niger State, is misleading. It is not only old but unrelated to the reported incident.

The researcher produced this fact-check per the DUBAWA 2024 Kwame KariKari Fellowship, in partnership with Crest 91.1FM, Ibadan, and News Verifier Africa, to enrich the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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