Claim: Facebook users shared an image allegedly of Okpoko Road to commend the Anambra State government.
Verdict: FALSE. The image shared is not of Okpoko road construction. The image is an old image used to describe several road projects.
Similar to election periods, post-election times in Nigeria are always characterised by misinformation. Politicians and their supporters often use wrong or doctored images to claim that their principals have delivered on previous campaign promises. These claims are endless, from road projects, bridges, buildings, and fighting insurgency.
The article here by Premium Times gives a detailed account of some instances. The electioneering period of 2023 also saw a fair share of these types of campaigns.
During the just concluded general election, a Facebook user, Uchenna Umeh, on March 7, 2023, shared an image with the caption “Okpoko 7/3/2023 Solution is here. I kid you not,” to show the effort of the governor of Anambra State, Charles Soludo.
This was also shared on Instagram by Uchenna Umeh (@Umehucheks).
Another Facebook user, Eche Obed Nwokwu, shared the same image with the same narrative that this was from Okpoko, Anambra State.
But this was quickly countered by a Twitter user, a Former Governor (@Sociallizee), noting the image used was from Ibadan.
In his exact words, “Just for them to deceive Ndi Anambra that Soludo is working, so that they would support him and his Okuko Igbo party on Saturday, Soludo boys went and steal a road project far away in Ibadan and brand it Okpoko road. Fear of Obedients and March 11.”
As of March 14, 2023, this tweet had over 2,000 engagements. Interestingly, the posts with the image @Sociallizee was responding to are no longer available on the pages he quoted.
To ascertain the veracity of this claim which has been questioned, DUBAWA chose to verify the assertion.
We conducted a reverse image search using several search engines and found that the image has been used to describe different road projects.
From the Kugbo-Maraba road by the Guardian in 2016 to the Lagos-Badagry expressway by Premium Times in 2017 and the Kano-Katsina expressway by New Mail in 2017, to the Lagos Ibadan expressway, by the Guardian in 2018 to the Lagos Ogun expressway, by Punch in 2019.
Although the image has been used to describe different road constructions, the first road construction it was used for is the Lagos Ibadan expressway, according to TinEye and Google reverse image search.
To find what Okpoko Road in Anambra looks like, we conducted a keyword search which led to a March 2022 report about Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s promise to fix it. We also found a report of him inaugurating nine Okpoko road projects in September of the same year.
Our search results also reported that construction works had commenced on the roads as of October 2022. We searched on Google Maps for the street view of these roads, but the results available were images from 2020.
We, therefore, visited Okpoko on April 6, 2023, to see the condition of the road. We discovered that there is ongoing road construction and repair, but the state of the road is not the same as that portrayed in the image shared.
Road repair work ongoing on Ede Road, Okpoko, Ogbaru LGA, Anambra state.
Road repair work is ongoing on School Road, Okpoko, Ogbaru LGA, Anambra state.
Road repair work is ongoing on Awalite Street, Okpoko, Ogbaru LGA, Anambra state.
However, none of the images we took from the Okpoko road projects looks like the image used in the claim, as shown below.
A comparison of images used by the claimant with real images from Okpoko road projects
Our findings show that the image used is not that of the Okpoko road construction in Anambra State. The claim is, therefore, false.
The researcher produced this fact-check per the DUBAWA 2023 Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with the newsroom of Wazobia FM and Nigeria Info FM to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.