Back to Africa Check

No, video of police action in Kenya, not Boko Haram attack on Nigerian governor

A video of cars speeding along a road while people run, explosions are heard and smoke fills the air is circulating on Facebook with the claim that it shows a Nigerian governor under attack by Boko Haram insurgents.

“Governor of Borno comes under attack again by Boko Haram. 3 rd time now,” reads its caption in one post, dated 29 September 2020.

“Barely 48 hours when some members of the dreaded Boko Haram ambushed convoy of Governor Babagana Umara Zulum along Cross Kauwa-Baga in Borno state leaving over 30 people dead including 10 policemen and 4 soldiers, another set of insurgents laid ambush along Monguno-Maiduguri axis and attacked the returning convoy on Sunday evening.”

Babagana Umara Zulum is governor of Borno state in northeastern Nigeria.

Another post of the video adds that journalists attached to Zulum who were riding on a bus confirmed the incident and further investigation found there had been no casualties in the ambush.

Fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province, a Boko Haram splinter group, did reportedly open fire on Zulum’s convoy near the town of Baga on 27 September. But does the video show the attack?


January protest in Mumias, Kenya

We extracted frames from the video using the InVID verification tool and ran them through a Google image search. This led us to a 19 January article on Kisasa News that revealed the video was taken in Mumias, a town in Kakamega county, western Kenya.

Political leaders opposed to a Building Bridges Initiative meeting set to take place in the town attempted to hold a parallel rally. The video shows them being dispersed by police with teargas.

The video can also be found on the YouTube channel of the Kenya Television Network, featuring in an 18 January news bulletin. It’s titled: “Chaos and teargas in Mumias as police disperse crowds opposed to Bukhungu BBI meeting.”

The video was shot in Kenya in January, and does not show the attack on Zulum in September. – Grace Gichuhi


Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.