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- Video footage posted on Facebook shows a popular Nigerian market that caught fire.
- We found no evidence that the market was set on fire to retaliate against Chinese people.
A video showing billowing, black plumes of smoke as a building burns was posted on Facebook on April 19 with an ominous message: "Nigera… citizens burning Chinese stores in retaliation of what’s happening in China with blacks…"
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
Some people commenting on the video quickly deemed it "fake news." Rather, they said the video showed a fire at a market in Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo state in Nigeria.
"Ppl, check facts before u believe everything," one account said.
There are many markets in Ibadan, but a Facebook post with the same video published four days earlier, on April 15, identifies it as a fire at the Dugbe market. A news report published the same day also included the video and said that shop owners tried and failed to put the fire out themselves.
On April 16, The Guardian, a daily newspaper in Nigeria, reported that "property and goods worth several millions of naira were yesterday destroyed by fire that razed the popular Dugbe Market at the commercial nerve center of Ibadan."
The paper said that "some of the affected traders were sobbing uncontrollably as their goods went up in flames," but the article makes no mention of Chinese stores, as the Facebook post claims. The cause of the fire is under investigation, according to the Daily Post, another Nigerian newspaper. Other news reports said witnesses reported a spark from a welder’s shop started the fire.
While Africans are being evicted in the southern China city of Guangzhou over fears of a second wave of COVID-19 cases, we found no evidence supporting the claim in this Facebook post that Nigerians burned down this building in retaliation.
We rate it False.
Facebook post, April 19, 2020
Facebook post, April 15, 2020
Britannica, Ibadan, visited April 21, 2020
The Guardian, Tears as fire razes popular Dugbe market in Ibadan, April 16, 2020
Daily Post, Dugbe fire incident: PDP set up committee to investigate cause of disaster, April 17, 2020
Vanguard, Video: Fire guts popular Dugbe market in Ibadan, April 15, 2020
Al Jazeera, ‘Unacceptable’: Nigeria condemns treatment of citizens in China, April 14, 2020
PolitiFact, Yes, Africans are being evicted in China amid fear of second COVID-19 wave, April 16, 2020
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