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Viral video depicting Boko Haram’s takeover of Niger state is false

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Claim: A viral video on Facebook claims that Boko Haram hoisted its flag in Niger State, Nigeria.

The claim

The claim that Boko Haram has hoisted its flag in Niger State, Nigeria, is false. The incident shown in the footage was discovered to have taken place at the Ajdabiya western gate in Libya during the country’s civil war back in 2011. Hence, this claim is false.  

 Full text 

The growing rate of insecurity in Nigeria is no doubt alarming. A wide range of  the growing concern amongst the citizenry is linked  to the increase in  banditry, kidnapping, terrorism, and clashes between farmers and herders across the country.  This reality has over the years made security issues a topic of growing concern that induces frenzy. Therefore, talk of insecurity has dominated the Nigerian information space and seems to be building up fear amongst Nigerians. 

As the recent turn of events announces the presence of Boko Haram in Niger state of Nigeria, a specific claim maintains that Boko Haram has hoisted its flag in the state. 

The claim, which was shared on Facebook as a video, depicts an array of gunmen, trooping in vehicles while shooting sporadically into the air in what appears to be a jubilant display. The video was headlined “Boko Haram hosted their flag in Niger state, 2hrs drive to Abuja can’t you see that Nigeria is no longer Nigeria?” This statement implyies that the gunmen in the video were members of a jihadist group was located not very far from Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital.

Like most security topics of its kind, the claim has amassed almost 3,000 reactions, 262,000 views, over 8,000 shares and garnered close to 2,000 comments that  cut across different opinions at the time this report was filed. 

One of the commenters, Obehi Francis Ekeoba, stated that “Nigerians should all get ready and be prepared for war. It is coming and the earlier we are prepared the better for us. War is inevitable at this time” while another user, Hussain Hussan Suleiman Dogonyaro, argued that “the whole road to Niger doesn’t have this kind of fine road, even inside Niger many places don’t have this kind of road so which side is this in Niger that we don’t know.”

Verification 

DUBAWA first uncovered that the same video under scrutiny had once appeared in 2014 with a different narrative purporting that Boko Haram had taken control of Giwa barracks in Borno State. 

Subsequently, however,  when key-frames of the video were analysed on InVid video verifier,  results showed that the video first appeared online in 2011, depicting a scene displayed by Libyan soldiers loyal to Moammar Gadhafi as they jubilantly entered the  city of Ajdabiya, through its western gates.

Footage of the original video first shared on December 14th, 2011 depicting Libyan soldiers jubilantly approaching the western gate of Ajdabiya, a major city in Libya.

Even so, further proof shows the purported video actually took place at the western gates of Ajdabiya in Libya and not in Niger stated, Nigeria, as claimed. 

1mage 1

The image above is extracted from the acclaimed video that was purported to have taken place in Niger state, Nigeria. Notice the same gate in image two, outlined in red.

Image 2

A photo attached to a news story during the Libyan civil war in 2011,  apparently taken at the Ajdabiya western gate in Libya, not in Niger state, Nigeria as acclaimed in image 1. 

Evidently,  the Ajdabiya western gate is a prominent location in Libya and not anywhere in Niger state, Nigeria. 

The western gate of Ajdabiya as showcased on Wikipedia 

Conclusion

The incident in the video purported to have occurred in Niger State, Nigeria, is confirmed to have apparently taken place at the western gates of Ajdabiya in Libya, during the Libyan civil war in 2011. Therefore, the claim is false. 

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