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All Progressives Congress rep didn’t spend N10 million on small wooden bridge in Nigeria

“Sometimes I feel like Nigeria was made for stand up comedies,” says a Facebook post published by Nigeria Politics Today on 24 January 2019.

The post shows an unidentified man cutting a ribbon to open a small and rickety wooden bridge over a muddy stream.

It exclaims: “JUST IN: A Member of House of Reps (APC) in Zamfara State commissioned a wooden bridge which was constructed at a cost of N10Million.”

News and media website?

Ten million naira is about US$27,600. The post’s suggestion is that the overpriced bridge was commissioned by an All Progressives Congress member of Nigeria’s House of Representatives.

Nigeria Politics Today describes itself as a news and media website. But the link to its website returns a blank Wordpress blog sample page.

Yet the post has so far been shared more than 2,900 times and attracted over 700 reactions and 294 comments. Some commenters were quick to point out that the photo was not taken in Zamfara.

“We’re in Zamfara, this is not Zamfara State. Never our heritage. We expect this press to be highly objective based on facts and not mere fabrications,” wrote one user.

Photo first published as ‘humour’

The photo is not recent. The earliest online version we could find was from 6 February 2017, when the Kenyan website Nairobi Wire published it as “humour” in a gallery showing “some of the craziest images doing the rounds on the internet”.  

On 26 February 2017 South Africa’s current finance minister, Tito Mboweni, tweeted the photo with the comment: “At least he is doing something to help the people cross a river. A bit unsafe though. Effort!!”

Further reverse image searches show the photo was used on a Kenyan Facebook page, Chepalungu Constituency Wembe room, Bomet, on 21 August 2017.

In September 2018 President Muhammadu Buhari’s aide Lauretta Onochie apologised to Nigerians after sharing a fake picture that she claimed showed ongoing construction on the Nasarawa-Jos Road project, calling it one of the president’s achievements. - Motunrayo Joel (31/01/2019)

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