“Diamond deposits in Kastina, Northern Nigeria - Can we now break up in peace? #FreeBiafra,” reads the post, which has been shared almost 800 times.
It’s illustrated by four photos photos of cut and rough diamonds, and artisanal mining.
The post echoes a popular narrative that the people of northern Nigeria are opposed to an independent Biafra simply because they are afraid of losing the south’s crude oil resources.
But reverse image searches on Yandex and Google reveals that the four photos are from media reports on diamond mining in Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and South Africa – not northern Nigeria. One report is nearly eight years old.
Are there diamonds in Katsina?
The Nigerian government has recognised more than 30 mineral resources – excluding oil and gas – in states across the country.
They include gold, tantalite, coal, bitumen, silver, barite, gypsum, and iron ore. Diamonds are not on the list.
Nigeria is also not on the global Diamond Producers Association list of countries that together mine 99.8% of the world’s diamonds.
Diamonds are said to be one of Katsina state’s “mineral potentials”. But the state’s investment company says its diamond resources have only reached the stage of pitting, usually employed only in the first phase of mineral exploration.
“Yes, diamonds have been discovered in Katsina; I’m involved in the exploration work,” Prof Adekunle Adepelumi, a professor of applied geophysics at the Obafemi Awolowo University at Ile-Ife, told Africa Check. – Allwell Okpi (06/05/19)
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