Kwara state

  • DUBAWA Trains Kwara Journalist on fact-checking

    Nigeria’s independent fact-checking platform, Dubawa, recently trained journalists based in Kwara State on fact-checking and verification tools.

    The training, the first of its kind for journalists in the state, was organised by the SOBI FM chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) as part of the activities marking its press week.

    It was aimed at equipping media practitioners in the state with skills and tools for fact-checking given the myriads of false information that spreads.

    In his opening remarks, the chairman of Sobi Chapel of NUJ, Dare Akogun, said the training will not only help in promoting credible information dissemination in Kwara state and Nigeria as a whole, but also equip media practitioners in carrying out their core mandate of giving the right information to the people.

    “We are in an era where all manner of information is accessible on social media,” he said. “It has become necessary for journalists to become educated, skilled, equipped in the act of fact-checking.

    “This training will enable journalists to independently confirm information in their various positions before sharing to others to debunk or disregard them, because the advent of social media has heightened the negative impact of fake news and misinformation,” he added.

    The Editor of Dubawa, Kemi Busari, who took to participants on introduction to journalism said people’s biases at times influence how they gather and interpret information before sharing.

    He took the participants on the information disorder ecosystem, fact-checking and the importance of verification.

    Silas Jonathan, a Dubawa researcher took the second session bordering on tools needed for fact-checking.

    He emphasized that as a fact checker a great deal of patience needs to be exercised while trying to get the right information about a statement, comment, video or picture.

    The Sobi FM Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kwara State Council,  which commenced, on Monday, December 13, 2021, also featured a medical examination and health talk for members of the chapel and other staff of the station.

  • Image of a village of statues recently went viral. Does this village truly exist in Nigeria?

    Claim: A Facebook User, Olododo Media, put up a post with images of statues depicting them to be that of a town where the ancient occupants turned to statues. The user claimed the village is in Esie, Kwara State. 

    The statues in the Facebook post are not soapstone statues in Kwara state but the artificially built stones of the Saradiel Village in Sri Lanka.

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    On August 23, 20121, a Facebook user, Olododo Media made a post tagged “This is the town where all the entire people in the town became statues.’

    The post further reads, ‘The town is in Esie, Kwara State.’

    Screenshot of the Facebook Post

    The post, as of August 31, had garnered 292 likes and 1.6 thousand shares.

    Screenshot of more images of the post


    Nigeria has a creative custom that dates back thousands of years. While much of the country’s early art had a spiritual or religious significance, many of the traditional arts and crafts progressed over time to include practical and decorative items.

    Normally, the concept of art can be found in the fact that human beings express their knowledge and values through this means and that is why the art and culture of Nigeria symbolizes the glaring image of the country’s culture and history.

    So, is Esie town really the one in question where all the entire people in it became statues as depicted in the post?

    Esie Museum in Kwara state.

    Esie is an ancient Yoruba town in Irepodun local council area of Kwara state and is generally known as a home to about 800 soapstone figures. Esie museum happens to be one of the early museums in the country, and inside it stands some mysterious statues whose origin has remained unknown till date.

    Esie sculptures are made from stearate (soapstone) and come in various designs and sizes- depicting an array of social roles but mostly featuring men and women who are seated or kneeling while holding on to agricultural or musical instruments.

    This researcher contacted the Acting Curator of Esie Museum, Johnson Ajayi, to confirm if the statues in question can be found in Esie museum.

    Mr Ajayi responded, saying “This information is not authentic as these cannot be found in Esie museum. We have statues here but they are not like that.”

    Image of statues in Esie Museum             Excerpt: Nigeria Galleria

    So, where are the statues of human beings in the pictures situated?

    A Google reverse image search of the images show that the figurines can be found in Saradiel Village. It is said to be the true habitat of Sri Lakan Robin Hood named  Soora Saradiel, and it is situated in Uthuwankanda- Mawanella.

    The creator of Saradiel village is Dr. Ariyasena U. Gamage, it was declared open in 2012. The artificially built village spans across 6 acres and showcases different life courses and notable moments in Saradiel’s life.

    Screenshot of statues in Saradiel village     Excerpt: Daily FT


    The statues in the Facebook post are not soapstone statues in Kwara state but the artificially built stones/statues of the Saradiel Village in Sri Lanka.

    The researcher produced this fact check article per the Dubawa 2021 Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with Crest FM to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

  • FOI: Media practitioners and the challenges of accessing information in Kwara State

    Relying on the provision of the Freedom of Information Act, a Kwara based journalist Abdulkareem Ayinde who was writing a report on the school renovation project of the state government, had approached the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development to provide information on the actual contract sum, identity of contractors, and the funds released for the various renovations. 

    The request did not elicit any response from the ministry, despite several follow-ups, reminders, and efforts to remind the ministry of the provision of the Section 39 of the Nigeria Constitution and even Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognize that “Every person shall be entitled to the freedom to receive and impart information without interference. 

    For media Practitioners in Kwara State, North Central Nigeria, it is easier for a camel to pass through the hole of a needle than for them to get official information or documents from government officials, parastatals and agencies, because the FOI Act according to the state government is yet to be domesticated. 

    This omission has not also helped with the non-disclosure policy of the state government initiated early this year which criminalized giving out information by government officials. 

    This is despite the fact that the Court of Appeal has ruled that Nigerian states have no powers to deny requests filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FoI). 

    In a March 27, 2020 decision at the Akure Division, the Court of Appeal ruled that the requests for information, particularly around public expenditure, under the FoI, are made in the public interest and should be honoured by all states. 

    This is an appeal case of ALO v. SPEAKER, ONDO STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY & ANOR CITATION: (2018) LPELR-45143. 

    The decision was made in an appeal filed by Martins Alo who requested the audited report of Ondo State Government between 2012 and 2014 to properly assess how

    public funds are utilised in the state. But their request was rejected,which made him seek judicial redress.

    Ten years after the Freedom of Information Act (FoI) was promulgated, concerns are rife over journalists’ frustration to use the act efficiently. 

    Specifically, the act, which was signed into law in May 2011 by the country’s immediate past president, Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, was aimed at making public records and information available to whoever needs it as long as it is consistent with public interest. 

    Under the act, an organisation must provide the needed information within seven working days and in case of failure to comply; the journalist can approach the court. 

    Analysts and stakeholders have argued that COVID-19 pandemic and the corruption in high places that are being unveiled by the day were enough to show that journalists were not doing enough. 

    According to Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Lagos, Ralph Akinfeleye, who is also a Council member, World Journalism Education Congress, said, “FOI Act prevents hoarding of information and spread of fake news. 

    Although the state governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq initiated a policy called the ‘social auditing process’ which he described as the first in Nigeria, the policy allows civic groups and communities to monitor government projects in the state to ensure that quality jobs are done. 

    As part of its activities commemorating the 2021 Democracy Day, a Kwara based anti-corruption Civil Society Organization which has been in the forefront of the domestication of the FOI Bill in the state, the Elites Network for Sustainable Development, ENTSUD, reminded the State House of Assembly that the Freedom of Information is part of the gifts and gains of democracy that Nigeria is celebrating that today. 

    ENetSuD Coordinator, Dr Abdullateef Alagbonsi, in a statement made available to newsmen, berated the Kwara Assembly for refusing to legalize free access of Kwarans to public information that will lead to a citizen-focused anti-corruption fight in the state. 

    The anti-corruption body considered the inaction of the state assembly as a show of legislative rascality, which is anti-democratic, anti-transparency, and anti-accountability. 

    The Governor of Kwara State, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq had requested the assembly on July 23, 2019 to do a minor amendment of the FOI Bill before his assent.

    The group wondered why it has taken the legislators about 2 years without changing 7 days to 14 days, and 100,000 naira to 500,000 naira as requested before the Governor’s assent. 

    The group had in January this year, while featuring on an Ilorin based radio station SOBI FM programme titled “Rebirth Half Hour,” explained to Kwarans why the 9th Kwara State House of Assembly (KWHA) should be held responsible for the non-domestication of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act in Kwara State yet. 

    Alagbonsi explained that, though the FOI bill was passed by the Rt. Hon. Ali Ahmad-led 8th KWHA, it remained a bill unless it had the Governor’s assent in accordance with Section 100 of the Nigerian Constitution. 

    “Consequently, the Governor requested a minor amendment on the bill before his assent, but the 9th KWHA under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Salihu Yakubu Danladi has refused to act on the bill since July 2019,” he lamented. 

    ENetSuD told the House and her members that their attitude on the FOI bill is against the public interest and that their actions and inactions will be counted for or against them alone. The legislature is headed by the Speaker, and the executive is headed by the Governor, while each arm of government should bear its name and be responsible for its actions and inactions. 

    The group said “If not that the Governor introduced Social Audit as an executive creation, how could the people have been having access to information on some Kwara state projects that we have audited and are still being audited. 

    The researcher produced this fact-check per the 2021 Kwame Karikari Fact-checking Fellowship partnership with Sobi 101.9 FM to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

  • No plane crash at Ilorin Airport as widely reported

    Claim: Several social media  platforms claim that there was a plane crash at the Ilorin International Airport on the 22nd of July 2021. It was also tweeted by Sahara Reporter and  BBC English News among others. 

    Findings revealed that although there was a tyre burst of an airplane while it was taxiing at the Ilorin International Airport, there was no crash and no casualties.

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    The Ilorin airport became an International airport in 2007 with both a domestic and International terminal.

    In order to boost the standard of the airport, the then administration of Kwara state led by Dr. Bukola Saraki, upgraded the airport to an International Standard, including the construction of a Cargo shed to create employment and improve the state’s gross domestic Product (GDP). 

    But recently, aviation activities were boosted with more airlines landing and taking off, resulting in improved economic activities in the state.

    Air peace, the owner of the purported plane that was claimed to have crashed, began aviation business in Ilorin on the 11th of June 2021. On the day of its inauguration, the ceremony was delayed because the inaugural plane had a hitch. Consequently, when it had a tyre burst at around 10a.m. on Friday the 23rd of July 2021, various social media platforms were quick to release Headlines such as “JUST IN: Plane crashes in Ilorin as passengers escaped death” This was by a media platform called

    This no doubt caused pandemonium in Ilorin Metropolis and in many parts of the country as every newsroom scampered to make headlines of the report.

      BBC’s news report as regards the acclaimed plane crash

    Screenshots of captions from Daily post and BBC news


    Dubawa called the Head of Corporate Affairs of the Nigeria Airport Authority Ilorin, Adeyeoluwa Oluwakayode who clarified that there was no crash. 

    “Yes, there was no plane crash,  the Air peace plane had a burst tire on landing roll while it was still on the runway of the Ilorin International Airport” Mr. Oluwakayode said. He Added that, “all sixty-six passengers alighted safely from the aircraft. This is just a case of unconfirmed information.”

    Also, in a press release titled “No Air Peace Aircraft involved in accident” signed by Sam Adurogboye, the Public Relations Officer, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the rumour regarding the plane crash was debunked and a more detailed explanation was offered, highlighting the actual situation that took place. Even more, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), also in another Press Release, said the Bureau is not investigating the matter because it is not an unusual hitch with planes at airports.

    Dubawa also visited the airport and found that there was actually a hitch on the runway and the affected aircraft was positioned at a point where other planes were supposed to pitch landing. As a result, flights had to be counseled to clear the runway. However, there is no sign of a plane crash site as flight operations have resumed already at the airport.


    Although it is true that there was a tyre burst of an Air Peace plane B737-500, with registration number 5N-BQR at the Ilorin International Airport, it is not true that the plane crashed as reported by some media platforms.

    The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2021 Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with NTA to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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