Claim: On its official Facebook page, the Nasarawa State Government posted a picture of a ‘before and after’ construction of a road it claims to be in Sisinbaki-Kwarra, Wamba Local Government Area of the state.
Verdict: Analysis shows that the ‘after’ image was truly that of Sisinbaki-Kwarra road in Wamba Local Government Area. The ‘before’ was, however, an image of a road under construction in Camaçari Metropolitan Road in Lauro de Freitas, Brazil back in 2015. As such, this claim is misleading.
Social media has become an acceptable part of our daily lives as a means of information dissemination. While there are ongoing debates about its efficiency, organisations and sectors continually use it to promote their agenda and activities.
It is in light of this reality that the official Facebook page of the Nasarawa State Government shared a ‘before and after’ picture of a road it claims to be in Sisinbaki-Kwarra, Wamba Local Government Area of the state.
The Facebook page has over 13,000 followers and contains thousands of other pictures that convey the achievements of the state governor, Abdullahi Sule.
The governor, who is an entrepreneur and businessman, was elected in 2019 under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). The Facebook page captures his achievements since assuming office.
Comments on the page show that many depend on the page for authentic news about the state and take it as a reliable source. For instance, a user wrote this in praise of the page: “It brings to the people what the government is doing with(out) any distortion but as it is.”
How true is this particular information from the page?
The post, which presents the picture of the ‘before and after’ road construction, attracted over 200 reactions and over 70 re-shares. Even more, the same picture with apparently the same narrative is featured on other Facebook users’ pages and also on Twitter.
For example, a user, Akashe Abdullahi Ari (@AkasheAri), on Twitter, tweeted a picture of the road with the caption: “Before and after construction of 15.5km Sissinbaki-Kwarra Road in Wamba. Thank you, Governor Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule.”
However, not convincing enough for some users, they challenged the authenticity of the picture. “In Wamba Nah halfway to” Ibrahim commented. Also, another user, Joan, who doubted the picture challenged that “the picture of the road above is not in Nasarawa State. This is not true.”
Nasarawa State is a state in the North-central region of Nigeria, bordered to the east by Taraba and Plateau states, to the north by Kaduna, to the south by Kogi and Benue, and to the west by the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Verifying the ‘before’ picture of the road
To verify the ‘before’ picture in the narrative, a Yandex reverse image was conducted to trace the actual source of the ‘before’ picture of the road.
In fact, the Newspaper Grand Bahia, a leading publication in Brazil, reported on several levels of the road’s construction. Even more, the article credited the picture to Mateus Pereira of the Jornal Grande Bahia.
The current governor of Nasarawa State, Mr Sule, to whom the alleged road was referenced, came into office in 2019, while the ‘before’ image of the road has been in existence since 2015 as found in the Jornal Grande Bahia.
Thus, the alleged image used to depict the ‘before’ conditions of the road in Sisinbaki-Kwarra, Wamba local government council, Nasarawa state Nigeria, is false.
Verifying the ‘after’ picture of the road
When a google reverse image search of the alleged ‘after’ conditions of the road was conducted, results from multiple credible news sources show the image was truly that of the Sisinbaki-Kwarra road, Wamba Local Government Area.
In a news story by Eggonnews, the governor was reported to commission the Sisinbaki-Kwarra road in Wamba local government council, Nasarawa State Nigeria, on May 22, 2021.
In another report by Afridailynews, the governor was also reported to commission the same Sisinka-Kwarra road on the same day as that of the initial report, May 22, 2022.
Both reports featured the image of the road ‘after’ completion. Even more, one image shared on Afridailynews showed the governor beside a signpost with the details of the Sisinbaki/Kwarra road project.
DUBAWA visited the location to further verify the claim. Findings at the location revealed that the purported ‘after’ picture of the road is actually true of the road project.
Community members who confirmed the claim admitted that the ‘before’ picture of the road is nowhere near their environment. However, they ascertained that the ‘after’ picture was genuine and even took DUBAWA to the actual location.
John Joel, a member of the Sisinbaki community who took DUBAWA around, said that the claim by the state government is indeed misleading.
“The ‘before’ picture is not from this part, this is not anywhere in Sisinbaki/Kwarra axis. I was here before and after and I can’t recall this location. But the ‘after’ is true, I even know the location, and I can take you to the exact place.”
Similarly, Abdullahi Muhammad, a bike rider who acknowledged the same narrative offered to take this reporter to the location.
DUBAWA’s findings uncovered that the Sisinbaki/Kwarra road project was actually constructed and even commissioned in 2021 by Mr Sule. However, the picture shared to depict the ‘after and before’ condition of the road is misleading.
Further attempts made to contact the Facebook page of the Nasarawa State government for comments were not successful. Neither the messages sent on Facebook nor the ones sent via the email address provided on the page were replied to.
Likewise, two of the governor’s media aides also did not respond to calls and messages placed to their known telephone numbers as of the time this report was filed.
While DUBAWA has uncovered that the ‘before’ picture of the completed Sisinka/Kwarra road in Wamba LGC, Nasarawa State is false and extracted from another location, the ‘after’ picture is truly that of the completed road project. The claim by the state government is misleading.
This fact-check was produced by DUBAWA in partnership with Code for Africa’s PesaCheck, with support from ICFJ.