Fact CheckPolitics

Video shot in Ghana used to depict support for Atiku

Claim: A Twitter user claims youth in Adamawa State burnt brooms to show their support for Atiku Abubakar.

Video shot in Ghana used to depict support for Atiku

DUBAWA discovered that the video was taken during Bugum Chugu, a fire festival that takes place in Ghana. It is neither related to Nigeria, nor has anything to do with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate.

Full Text 

As the 2023 presidential election draws near, the Nigerian social media landscape has been awash with discussions around the major contending candidates.

Recently, some social media users began to circulate a TikTok video suggesting that the youths of Adamawa State are out to show their support for the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.

“Millions of youths burning brooms in Adamawa after receiving Atiku yesterday, well, this is just the beginning. 2023 is going to be mad. #AtikuKawai,” one of the tweets reads.

Video shot in Ghana used to depict support for Atiku
The viral video

Video shot in Ghana used to depict support for Atiku
The post has amassed a number of retweets

The video shows a crowd, matching on the street with fire sticks in their hands as loud music blasts in the background.

The video has confused social media users. While some believed it was Adamawa youth burning brooms in support of the PDP presidential candidate, others claimed that the video was from Ghana. 

Therefore, DUBAWA opted to verify the accuracy of the video.

Verification 

After close observation of the video, DUBAWA found two overlapping usernames. Although blurry, they were two different user identities. 

TikTok is known for automatically attaching its users’ names to their videos. However, the original version of a TikTok video is not supposed to have more than one username, indicating a form of manipulation on the video. 

Video shot in Ghana used to depict support for Atiku
The manipulated video shows two intersecting tags

When DUBAWA conducted a keyword search on TikTok, similar videos shared by other users were uncovered.  

The earliest version of the footage revealed it was taken during a Ghanaian festival that took place on the 9th of August, 2022. This is contrary to the circulating version. In the original version, emphasis was the cheers of the crowd in the background and not music. Also, the people were waving a bunch of thatch lighted with fire and not brooms as claimed. 

Video shot in Ghana used to depict support for Atiku
Video shot in Ghana used to depict support for Atiku
Comments from spectators of the festival

Bugum Chugu Fire Festival

The Bugum Chugu Fire Festival is an annual event that takes place in the Northern region of Ghana. The occasion is marked by the “lighting of thatch torches, matching along approved routes, chanting war songs.  The event is marked to celebrate the beginning of a new year in the traditional month of Bugum Gɔri, known among the Dagomba people as ‘Ʒiɛm’.”

Video shot in Ghana used to depict support for Atiku
Celebrants lighting up their torch during the festival. Photo: Bonkingdom.com
Video shot in Ghana used to depict support for Atiku
Bugum Festival Celebrants with their torch. Photo: Bonkingdom.com

According to legend, the people upheld this event many years ago, after a missing son of their king was found asleep under a tree.

Conclusion

Our discovery shows that the circulating video emanated from an annual fire festival that took place in the Northern region of Ghana. It is not related to Nigeria or the PDP presidential candidate. The claim accompanying the video is false.

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