A claim has been circulating on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) that a councilor in the Hadejia local government area of Jigawa state in Nigeria has distributed swallow (food) to his constituents, to ease their suffering as a result of hardship Nigerians are facing.
Below are the texts of one of the posts in Hausa language:
“WATÀ SABUWA: Wani Kansila Ya Tallafawa Ƴan Mazaɓarsa Da Tuwo
Wani Kansila ya gwangwaje al’ummar mazabarsa da tallafi (EMPOWERMENT) na malmalar tuwo a Hadejia dake Jahar Jigawa.
Wani abin da ya daga hankali a kafafen sadarwa da ya jawo cece-kuce shi ne, yadda duk wanda ya zo amsar tallafin tuwon sai an haska shi a hoto saboda ya zama shaidar ya karɓa.
Ya kuke kallon wannan tallafin ?”
The translation in English reads:
“A councilor supports his constituents with Swallow.
A councilor distributed swallow-food support (Empowerment) to his constituents in the Hadejia local government area of Jigawa state.
One thing that catches the attention of people on social media is how beneficiaries’ pictures are being taken at the moment they are collecting the support to serve as witnesses.
What is your view on this?”
Images show a Councilor distributing swallow-food support (for empowerment) to his constituents in the Hadejia local government area of Jigawa state.
Findings by this reporter show that the claim is FALSE.
After subjecting the images to Google Reverse Image search, it was discovered that the two pictures dated back to 2020 with another claim published by a Hausa news blog: Hutu Dole with an headline that reads: Hotuna: Yadda wani kauye ke raba tallafin tuwo a sakamakon corona.
When translated into English, it reads: “In Pictures: How one village distributes swallow-food as support to cushion the effects of coronavirus.”
There have been multiple narratives surrounding the images which has resurfaced online multiple times.
Although this reporter could not independently confirm the actual narrative behind the images, the photos are not related to any food distribution or empowerment by any councillor in the Hadejia local government area of Jigawa state Nigeria.
Further checks using Who posted what? – a Facebook OSINT tool – revealed that the images resurfaced online and the new claim were posted by one Abū Bakr Algebra who admitted that the post was just another satirical piece.
He made the post on Sunday, October 22, 2023, at 11:25 a.m and it has generated over 110 reactions, over 41 comments, and about 35 shares.
When this reporter contacted Salisu Sogi Hadejia, an Hadejia Local Government official who is also the media aide to the local government Chairman, he debunked the claim.
“We are not aware of anything like distribution of swallow-food to constituents; out of the 11 ward councilors in Hadejia Local Government, not a single one of them conduct such empowerment or any of its kind. We don’t know who is sharing this information or their intent,” Salisu Sogi Hadejia said.
Nigerians are facing severe economic hardship following President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s removal of fuel subsidy, though the federal and state governments have launched many programmes to cushion the effects of the hardship.
The Federal Government approves N5bn palliative for each state and many states flagged off the distribution of food items to their respective citizens to ease their sufferings.
Claim that images showing a councillor distributing swallow-food to his constituents in the Hadejia local government area of Jigawa state, Nigeria is FALSE; findings indicate that the photos have been online since 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic and not related to any empowerment programme in the council area.
* This fact-check was written by Ibrahim Ukashatu Wakili, a fellow of the ICIR’s Countering Misinformation and Promoting Media Literacy project, supported by the German Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria.