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Viral clip of solar plant vandalism not filmed in Sokoto, Nigeria 

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Claim: Sokoto residents allegedly destroyed a solar power plant for obstructing rainfall.

Viral clip of solar plant vandalism not filmed in Sokoto, Nigeria 

Verdict: Contrary to the circulating claim, our findings traced this vandalism to Chalisgaon, a city in India. It has nothing to do with Sokoto or anywhere in Nigeria. The claim is misleading.

Full Text

A video has emerged on Facebook, allegedly showing some residents of Sokoto state using hammers and sticks to vandalise a solar power plant. Their reasoning behind the destructive act is the belief that the solar panels are somehow obstructing rainfall. On X (formerly known as Twitter), we also found the narrative here and here.

Nigeria has struggled with persistent electricity shortages for many years, largely attributable to the unreliable nature of its primary power sources. As part of measures being implemented to reduce the energy deficit cut across the country, the Nigerian government commissioned a 60 kilowatts on-grid solar power plant at Torankawa community of Yabo Local Government Area, Sokoto State.

Could it be the N140 million plant at Torankawa that is being destroyed or another? We conducted this fact check to establish the truth accurately.

Verification

Firstly, DUBAWA observed that the group causing this damage did not speak a language typical of the Hausas and Fulanis, who largely dominate the Sokoto state.

We then made screenshots of keyframes from the clip and conducted a reverse image search. Results showed that the video has been on the internet since 2018 and has been used to push several narratives simultaneously.

During our search, we traced this vandalism and its story to Chalisgaon, an Indian city in Maharastra. In 2018, a group of workers said to have taken part in the plant’s construction, which destroyed it due to non-payment of their wages.

News platforms, including Climate Samurai and The Observers, reported the retaliation.

Conclusion

Our findings revealed that the solar plant vandalism has nothing to do with Sokoto or any other place in Nigeria. The claim is misleading.

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