Fact Check

Old video shows attack on Botswana minister’s car, not a robbery in Nigeria

Copyright © AFP 2017-2024. All rights reserved.

As Abuja experienced an upsurge in violent crimes in recent months, a social media account claimed that a video showed a robbery at a traffic stop in Nigeria’s capital city. But the claim is false: AFP Fact Check found that the video had been online since February 2022 and was of an attack on Botswana’s health minister Edwin Dikoloti.

“This happened at a traffic light somewhere in Abuja,” reads a Facebook post published on April 26, 2024.

A screenshot shows the false claim, taken on May 6, 2024

Viewed more than 400,000 times, the post features a 55-second video that shows five men emerging from a roadside thicket at night to attack cars waiting in traffic. One of the cars was a red four-door sedan while another looked like a dark-coloured SUV.

The video has been linked to other countries, including South Africa, where it was published on X on April 22, 2024.

Both claims, however, are false.

Old video from Botswana

To verify the claim, AFP Fact Check took a screenshot of the clip in the posts and carried out a reverse image search.

We found that a Botswanan news outlet, Mmegi Online, published a longer version of the video on its YouTube channel on February 11, 2022 (archived here).

The caption explained that the video showed “thugs in Gaborone” attacking “motorists”.

In an article published on its website days later, the outlet reported that Botswana’s health minister Edwin Dikoloti was among those whose car was targeted by the thieves (archived here).

Botswana’s health ministry confirmed the attack in a Facebook post on February 13, 2022 (archived here). It said Dikoloti was “stable and doing all his normal duties as always”.

Moreover, Nigeria changed to right-hand driving in 1972, but the cars in the clip appear to be on the left side of the road, which is the correct driving lane in Botswana (archived here).

Violent crimes in Abuja

Abuja has seen an uptick in violent crimes, including kidnapping and robbery, since the beginning of the year (archived here).

A local newspaper reported that residents blocked a major highway to protest rising cases of kidnapping (archived here).

The report also blamed a shortage of bus parks and the proliferation of unlicensed taxis for the rise in highway robberies.

Another local newspaper reported on May 8, 2024, that about 13 villagers just outside the city were kidnapped days earlier after a short lull in criminal activity (archived here).


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