FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Nigerians Fleeing From Gunfire?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows a crowd of people running away from gunfire in Abuja, Nigeria.

Verdict: False

The footage stems from an August 2020 incident in Ivory Coast, not Nigeria.

Fact Check:

A popular market in the Nigerian capital city of Abuja was temporarily shuttered May 19 on the orders of government authorities after violence erupted there that left five people dead, according to Nigerian news outlet The Guardian.

Now, a video shared on Facebook claims to show people running from gunfire in the city. It shows dozens of people running down a street, some screaming. “BREAKING NEWS!!! Unknown gunmen in Abuja host a heavy gun battle Crusade, “reads the post’s caption. “Security men and people scampered for safety.”

The clip predates the recent violence in Abuja, however. A reverse image search reveals the same footage was shared by the French-language news outlet LSi Africa on Twitter in August 2020 with a caption that indicates the video was filmed in Bonoua, Ivory Coast, not Nigeria.

“Tense situation in #Bonoua (South-Comoé region, located northeast of Grand-Bassam) where the police are attacked by the populations exits to demonstrate against the candidacy of Ivorian President Alassane #Ouattara,” reads a translated version of the tweet. 

Ouattara, who has served as Ivory Coast’s president since 2010, was reelected for a third term in 2020 after two opposition candidates on the ballot told supporters not to participate in the election to protest the incumbent’s candidacy, according to France 24. Ouattara claimed the approval of a new constitution in 2016 allowed him to run for a third term while the previous constitution limited him to two, the outlet reported. His election sparked widespread violence across the country, according to VOA News.

This is not the first time Nigeria has been the target of misinformation. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim that a Dutch man was running for governor in the country.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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