FACT-CHECK: Did Protesters Block Abuja Airport Road on March 4, 2021?

VERDICT: Misleading

CLAIM: On March 5, 2021, multiple online platforms posted a video online with the claim ‘’Nigerian youths block Abuja Airport road, at Dantata bridge, stops international flight passengers and brings the city to stand still.’’

The video was also shared via WhatsApp with the claim “Another episode of Lekki Toll Gate, repeating itself in Abuja. GOD, PLEASE HELP THIS COUNTRY!”

The video which was also posted on popular discussion forum Nairaland was accompanied with the claim “Some youths have taken laws into their own hands at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Thursday night grounding all activities along the popular Dantata Bridge in Abuja. The popular Bridge was said to have been blocked by the irate youths who are protesting against bad governance under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.”

It showed heavy traffic on an expressway, with an individual saying the Dantata Bridge in Abuja has been blocked by youths in protest.

FACT:

Checks by fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) show that the video is five months old and was recorded on October 16, 2020, #EndSARS protest against Police brutality in Nigeria.

The protesters had blocked the Abuja Airport Road, which links the city centre to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. The road is also a major gateway to Abuja from neighbouring states of Kogi, Niger and Kaduna and the city’s outskirts. The protest was reported by Premium Times, Independent Newspaper and the Tribune

Furthers checks by the CDD showed that there was indeed a protest in Abuja on March 4, 2021, by some individuals calling for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari. The individuals, mainly young people carried their placards within the Central Business District but not Dantata Bridge as widely reported.

Also, the Federal Capital Territory Police Command has reacted to the trending video saying that there was no #EndSARS protest in Abuja on March 4, 2021.

The Police also clarified that the video is from the #EndSARS protest in Abuja last year.

“FAKE NEWS! The Attention of the FCT Police Command has been drawn to a viral video of End SARS protesters in the FCT. We hereby state that nothing of such happened as the video itself is an old video of the previous End SARS protest,” the Command tweeted.

CONCLUSION

The claim that some protesting youths in Abuja blocked the Dantata Bridge leading to the Airport thereby causing traffic gridlock on Thursday, March 4, 2021, is misleading. The video was recorded on October 16, 2020, during the #EndSARS protest.

CDD is urging Nigerians to always verify the authenticity of stories before sharing them.

You can forward suspicious messages for verification via +2349062910568 or contact us on twitter @CDDWestAfrica

#StopFakeNews #StopDisinformation

Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa