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Popular food from Türkiye wrongly used as evidence to support claims of missing male organs in Nigeria

IN SHORT: Posts on Facebook in Nigeria have linked a popular Turkish dish to claims that there is a lucrative market for penises. These allegations have had harmful consequences.

Some social media posts claim that Nigerian men could end up having their penises served up as food.

One post, dated 11 December 2023, reads: “Abuja and Lokoja men please be careful ohh! So they don’t exchange your machines with dollars. Nothing this oyibo people nor fit chop. See all the missing machines here na …

Abuja is the country’s federal capital, while Lokoja is the capital of the central state of Kogi. “Chop” means “to eat” in Nigerian Pidgin, and “oyibo” means “foreigner”, particularly a white foreigner.

We have also found similar claims on Facebook here, here, here, here and here. They typically include images of what appear to be cooked penises. 

The claim may seem trite, but it has had deadly consequences in Nigeria.

In September 2023, a man in the Gwagwalada area of Abuja alleged that another man had removed his penis. The alleged thief was beaten to death by a mob. 

There have been other claims of missing male organs in Abuja, with the suspects often lynched. In October 2023, Abuja police spokesperson Ramhan Nansel told journalists that medical examinations of the alleged victims showed that they had not been attacked or maimed.

The city's police chief warned Nigerians that false accusations would not be tolerated, nor would mob attacks. Some people who made such claims have subsequently been charged.

Are the images circulating proof that there is a lucrative market for male organs? We checked.

NigeriaFood_False

Images show dish from Türkiye

Using Google’s reverse image tool, Africa Check found that the images show a delicacy from Türkiye called şırdan.

Şırdan is made from the abomasum, a part of a sheep's stomach. It is cleaned, stuffed with rice and spices and cooked in a broth. It is a popular street food in the country. 

The images shared on social media have nothing to do with Nigeria or missing male organs.

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