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Dramatic photo of person covered in blood-stained Nigerian flag from play, not #EndSARS protests

A photo shared on Twitter in Nigeria shows a young man carrying what appears to be a woman covered with a blood-stained Nigerian flag.

The tweet lists a number of hashtags trending in Nigeria in October 2020: #LekkiMassacre #EndSARS #SalarioRosa #EndPoliceBrutalityinNigeraNOW

#BuhariResignNow #Genocide #StopNigeriaGovernment #LekkitollgateMassacre.

On 10 October, several protesters gathered at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos were reportedly shot dead and wounded when soldiers opened fire. The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said about 25 people had been injured, but only one person had died. 

Elsewhere the media have reported at least 12 people were killed.

Some Twitter users have said the circulating photo has nothing to do with the #EndSARS protest. We took a closer look. 

Photo from play, Christian organisation confirms

One social media user claimed the photo was taken during a play at the Akwa Ibom state chapter of the Nigeria Christian Corpers’ Fellowship, or NCCF, in the south of the country. 

The NCCF, whose members are also known as Jesus Corpers, is a Nigeria-wide Christian organisation unaffiliated to any particular church.

On 22 October the NCCF chapter issued a statement about the photo. It made clear that the “picture trending online” was from the “stage drama night tagged ‘Lord, Heal Our Land’ on 1 October 2020” and “the lady in question is alive”. 

It ended: “We are standing with the youth on the #EndSARS and #EndPoliceBrutality peaceful protest. We call for a new Nigeria where peace, righteousness and justice reigns.” – Motunrayo Joel


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