SEVERAL fake and misleading information have found its way to the cyberspace during and following the aftermath of the EndSARS protest that rocked Nigeria.
One of such claims is a post shared with the FactCheckHub on October 24, 2020. It shows two images of a tarred road being destroyed by a group of persons alluded to be Nigerians in Nigeria destroying Nigerian roads.
In one of the images, an individual raised what appears to be a digger, while others stood by watching.
The photograph was attributed to the EndSARS protesters as they expressed their grievances demanding actions against Police brutality and bad governance in Nigeria.
It had the caption, “#ENDSARS against the roads. FG, State roads being destroyed. Me: What concerns roads again?”
That the photos show #EndSARS protesters destroying a section of a highway to protest Police brutality, bad governance in Nigeria.
The EndSARS protests erupted in Nigeria in early October across major cities in the country to push for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). The protest was largely championed by young persons.
The SARS unit, which focuses on cases of kidnapping, robbery and high-profile crimes, was repeatedly accused of extortions, extrajudicial killings, corruption and human rights’ abuses. As a result, the protesters sought a complete overhaul of the NPF among other demands for a better nation.
Image traced to South Africa
The FactCheckHub‘s check on the images using the Google Reverse Image Search, shows that the viral images did not originate from Nigeria but South Africa.
The image surfaced on the internet last month – September – and the incident was reported by several South African media organisations.
The road being damaged was part of a protest exercise which occurred along the R33 road on September 22.
The R33 road is a major highway in South Africa that stretches through three provinces Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. It links Pietermaritzburg with Greytown, Paulpietersrburg, Carolina, Belfast and Vaalwater.
The aggrieved demonstrators had protested against poor government performances in providing basic infrastructure such as electricity, water.
Some of the protesters particularly from uMzinyathi District Municipality and Msinga Local Municipality had decried poor access to water.
Nomonde Nzimakwe, Head of Communications for uMzinyathi District confirmed the incident to local (South African) newspapers.
Petros Mthandeni Ngubane, Umzinyathi Mayor criticised the actions of the protesters, while noting that “it’s not the Mayor’s fault,” that the community lacks electricity.
The South African citizens through the South African Citizen Satisfaction Index (SA-CSI) monitor deliverables of government authorities in comparison with public expectations and executed projects.