IN SHORT: Some Facebook users claim that this video shows bandits chasing Nigerian police. But the video was first posted by a Nigerian Shi’a Muslim group, in solidarity with the Palestinian people of Gaza.
A video has been posted on Facebook with the claim it shows bandits chasing Nigerian police officers in the northwestern state of Kaduna.
One 19 November 2023 post is captioned, in part: “Look at Bandits pursuing police in broad daylight. *This what happened in Kaduna yesterday just as in other parts of this country*”
The term bandits is used in Nigeria to describe armed criminal groups involved in illegal activities.
The country continues to grapple with the presence of bandits, particularly in its northwestern region, where there are an estimated 30,000 bandits, according to the Institute for Security Studies. The groups range in size from 10 to over 1,000 fighters.
But does the video show Nigerian police officers being chased by bandits? We checked.
Video is from a different event
Africa Check broke down the keyframes in the video using the video analysis tool Invid. We found the original video on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter, posted by a group called the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) on 16 November 2023.
The account posted two videos on 16 November, including the one circulating on Facebook, and said they showed IMN followers protesting in solidarity with the “oppressed people of #Gaza and #Palestine”.
The IMN was founded by Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, often described as the Shia leader in Nigeria, who has been accused of planning an Islamic revolution in Nigeria, similar to the one in Iran in the 1970s.
(Note: The majority of Muslim Palestinians are Sunni, but Hamas is believed to be supported by Shi’a majority Iran, who also support the Lebanese Shi’a group Hezbollah.)
The skirmish filmed in the video was between Nigerian police and pro-Palestinian protesters, not criminal “bandits”.
Misinformation about security personnel can contribute to the spread of panic and fear in an already vulnerable society.
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