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Video of hunger protest at Nigerian monarch’s palace in Ilorin not from 2024, has been online since at least 2021

IN SHORT: A video showing people protesting at the palace of the emir of Ilorin in Kwara state, Nigeria, is old. Claims of protest at the palace in February 2024 have been denied.

In February 2024, several Facebook and Instagram posts with a video claimed that a protest took place at the emir’s palace in Ilorin, Kwara state in western Nigeria.

The video shows people protesting and chanting “e bi n palu”, a Yoruba phrase which figuratively means “people are hungry”.

One 17 February 2024 post reads, in part: “Breaking News: Serious protest at the Emir's Palace in Ilorin Kwara State! ‘ We are Hungry, The state is Hungry’.”

An emir is an Islamic military commander, governor of a province, or a high military official. The current emir of Ilorin is Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, the 11th emir of Ilorin.

This is yet another claim stemming from rising inflation and a spike in living costs in Nigeria which has led to protests in some parts of the country. 

Similar claims can be found on Facebook here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here, and on Instagram here, here, here and here.

But what does the video show?


Video is old

Africa Check found no reports of the protest in any reliable media organisations in the country.

But we found a similar video on a Facebook post from 2021, with a similar caption that said people were hungry. Using the keywords from that video, we found several videos that were posted on Facebook in 2021. This made us suspect that the video circulating in 2024 shows a protest from three years previously.

The emir’s palace has also debunked the video. According to reports, in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Abdulazeez Arowona, the emir said such a protest did not happen at his palace.

“Our attention has been drawn to a video in circulation on social media platforms where some people are shouting and lamenting over poverty and hardship in front of the Emir’s Palace in Ilorin,” read the statement, in part. 

The emir said that the protest happened during the “buildup to the 2019 general elections” and did not have any connection to Nigeria in 2024.

Fact-checking rumours of protest is important for preventing the spread of misinformation that could lead to damage to lives and properties.

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