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Nigerian rapper Ruggedman uses 2012 protest photo in tweet on #EndSARS

Popular Nigerian rapper Michael Stephens, known as Ruggedman, is among scores of entertainers who have supported street protests against police brutality in Nigeria.

The #EndSARS protests, which have also drawn support from Egypt, Canada, the United Kingdom and United States, have lasted more than a week with thousands of young people demanding police reforms. 

In one of his many tweets on the protest, Ruggedman shared four photos and a message for the army with his more than 635,400 followers.

Dear @HQNigerianArmy, Do you have health & life insurance? Will your family be taken care of if anything happens to you in the line of duty for the nation? These and more is why people are protesting. Because u deserve better. We all deserve better. #EndBadGovernanceNIGERIA,” the tweet reads.

The first photo is of a large crowd at Ojota in Lagos. The second shows another crowd at Lekki tollgate, also in Lagos, with a billboard that reads: “Soro soke against police brutality.” “Soro soke”, which means “speak up” in Yoruba, is one of the slogans of the #EndSARS protesters. 

The third photo is of a run-down building labelled “Naija barrack”, suggesting it is a photo of a police or military barracks in Nigeria. The fourth photo shows a protest placard with two people sleeping behind it. 

Photo of oil subsidy protest


Using Google reverse image search, we established that the second and fourth photos were taken during the #EndSARS protests. The third photo is of a Nigeria police barracks in Apapa, Lagos, and was snapped more than a year ago.

But while the first photo was taken in Nigeria, it does not show the current #EndSARS protests. It has appeared online several times in the past few years, and we traced it to the Getty Images stock photo website. Pius Ekpei of the AFP news agency took the photo during an oil subsidy removal protest in January 2012

Its caption reads:  “Thousands of protesters gather at Gani Fawehinmi Park to protest the removal of subsidy on January 11, 2012, in the third day of on-going mass strike by labour and civil society to protest the scrapping of oil subsidy by the government.” 

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