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Photo shared by Dino Melaye is not from #EndSARS protest but it’s misleading his audience

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Claim: Senator Dino Melaye shared a photo of his G-Wagon SUV riddled with bullets at the back with Endsars written in the caption. Although the Senator did not mean to suggest the damage to his car was done during the #EndSARS protests, the photo has misled many. 

While Melaye was talking about his previous experiences with the police, many thought the photo was from the #EndSARS protests. That is not true. 

Full Text

Former Nigerian senator from Kogi West Senatorial district on Tuesday shared on October 20, 2020 a photo of his G-Wagon riddled with bullets at the back on his Instagram and Twitter

He captioned the post thus: “My G wagon riddled with Bullets. Thank God am alive today. Endsars.” Although the Senator did not mean to suggest the damage to his car was done during the #EndSARS protests, the photo might be misleading. 

Some of the responses to his post suggest that some people think it was from the #EndSARS protests which are currently ongoing across the country and in some cities across the world. 

Nigerians have in the past two weeks taken to the street to demand the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a controversial and dreaded unit of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF). Even after the unit has been disbanded, the protests have continued with further demands which include a total reform of the Nigerian police. 

To join the conversation, Senator Melaye has been posting old photos of his several encounters with the police but some people however believe this particular photo is from the #EndSARS protest. 

For instance Twitter user @footballchiefng while responding to the post wrote; “Thanks for joining us in the protests sir. God will bless you with more cars.” 

Another Twitter user @insidedeltang tweeted with the belief that the photo was from the #EndSARS protest; “Dino, this was not done by the protesters. It must be from thugs or the police #EndSARS. ” “OMG! This is so sad. A whole G Wagon riddled with bullets. It’s a really great comparison to bodies riddled with bullets,” 

Also, Olubunmi with the Twitter account @BuFamz tweeted berating the Senator for talking about his car when people have lost their lives. 

Another responder Lisa Rose (@Lisa_rose5) was not pleased with Melaye’s post and wrote; “Talking about G-Wagon riddled with bullets while the body of many Nigerian youths are riddled with bullets and their bloods flowing in the street for demanding good governance.”    

“We thank God for your life Sir. Some of us aren’t that lucky, despite how studious, gifted, talented and hardworking we are, we still cannot live well. Now they are event hunting us, and now that we turn they say it is violence! Hmmm! What a country! I weep for this nation,” Tosin Agbaje (@AgbajeTosin8) wrote in reaction to Senator Melaye’s post. 

Verification

A simple image search revealed that the photo was from March 2018 when he claimed it was from assassination attempts on his life

The image search on Google revealed that the photo has been on the internet since March 2018. It was the senator himself who posted the photo on social media. 

The one-time Kogi State governorship aspirant at that time claimed to have survived three attempts on his life. In March 2018, he posted the photo and wrote ”After facing death in the face in kogi twice, will you want to be set up to die in Kogi again? Watch this”.

Conclusion

The photo Melaye shared on his Twitter and Instagram is not recent and also not from the #EndSARS protest. 

The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with Pulse.ng to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country. 

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