A viral video making the round on social media claimed a group of bandits were on the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway, waiting for travellers to kidnap.
Checks by Daily Trust revealed that the viral video was posted on a Facebook page, International Association for the Improvement of Colored People (IAICP) on Tuesday, April 5, 2022 at 10:06 pm.
The two-minutes-20-second video was titled “THIS COUNTRY IS FINISH (sic). BANDITS BLOCK ABUJA KADUNA EXPRESSWAY WAY WAITING FOR VEHICLES TO KIDNAP.”
As of 11.30am on Wednesday, the post had garnered 10,000 reactions (including likes and other emojis), 1.4 million views, 6,600 comments and shared 25,000 times.
A frame by frame analysis of the video using InVid, a video verification tool, and a reversed image search of the results revealed that the first version of the video was posted on YouTube by a television station on January 11, 2022.
The video had the caption: “yan-yanzu yadda yan fashin daji suka mamaye titin Abuja zuwa Kaduna (yaran Bello Turji zamfara) – Bello Turji’s men have blocked Kaduna-Abuja Expressway.
In the video, the men spoke in Hausa while a song in the same language played in the background.
Further analysis of the highway showed that it was not the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway as claimed. The expressway is a double lane road as against the single lane captured in the video.
Also, Bello Turji-led bandits operate in the forests between Zamfara and Katsina states as it has been widely reported. However, a critical look at the armed men’s mode of dressing suggests they are bandits.
Also, a random search indicated that the poster of the video, IAICP, only exists on Facebook and is located in Torrevieja, Spain.
An attempt to reach out to the organisation using the phone number on its page prompted a warning on Google that phone numbers in that category are used by scammers in Spain. The page has 12, 994 likes and 32, 737 followers.
CONCLUSION: Based on available evidence, while the men in the viral video were most likely to be bandits terrorising the Northwestern region of the country, the claim that they blocked Abuja-Kaduna Expressway is misleading.