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No, photo isn’t of Yorubas burning Igbo property in Nigeria - it’s a 2017 protest in South Africa

Two days after Nigeria’s presidential and national assembly elections on 23 February 2019, a Facebook user posted a photo of fires billowing smoke on a road barricaded with rocks.

“HAPPENING NOW!” he wrote.

“Yoruba people led by MC Oluomo are burning Igbos properties and barred Igbos not to open their shops now in Lagos... Make sure this go VIRAL!!!”

By 5 March the post had been shared over 5,700 times.

Protest in near Pretoria in South Africa

But a TinEye image search shows the photo was first uploaded to the internet at least two years ago. And a Google image search reveals it’s of violence in South Africa – not Nigeria.

According to a News24 report from 24 February 2017, the photo shows a protest in Atteridgeville near Pretoria, in South Africa’s Gauteng province. The photo is credited to CICA, possibly the South African Crime and Intelligence Community Awareness group.

In the report, Gauteng police are quoted as saying the protesters blocked streets, threw rocks and burnt tyres, preventing residents from going to work.

The photo was later used to illustrate articles on xenophobia in South Africa – including one on an Africa Check report that debunked a claim about the number of Malawian migrants in the country.

Nigerian police deny rumour

Back in Nigeria, posts on social media and media reports claimed criminals had attacked Igbo traders in parts of Lagos in the days after the election.

But police dispelled the rumour. They said officers had been deployed to crime-prone areas to “assuage the feelings of residents”. - Allwell Okpi (05/03/2019)


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