Posts falsely claim image shows bedroom of late Nigerian politician

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A picture has been shared multiple times on social media in Nigeria alongside a claim that it shows former politician Busari Adelakuns bedroom, abandoned and overgrown with vegetation since his death in the 1980s. But this is false: one of his sons denied the claim and AFP Fact Check found that the image actually shows a room in an abandoned hotel in Japan.

“Nothing Last Forever!!! This is the private bedroom of Alhaji Busari Adelakun in his hometown in Lagelu Local Government area of Oyo State (sic),” reads a tweet published on May 16, 2023.

A screenshot showing the false tweet, taken on May 25, 2023

The post includes an image showing a bedroom overgrown with ferns and with a ceiling that looks close to caving in.

Another tweet in the same thread claimed that Adelakun was feared by his opponents.

“The fear of Eruobodo was the beginning of wisdom in Oyo State then. He combined thuggery with politics and never hid his use of ‘juju’. In fact, he would boast and threaten to inflict his ‘juju’ on opponents.”

“When he died in 1984 his bedroom was locked as nobody was bold enough to enter the bedroom,” reads another tweet in the thread.

The claim also appeared elsewhere on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and a local news blog.

Prominent Nigerian politician

Adelakun hailed from Ejioku-Ibadan in Oyo state, in southwest Nigeria. He was known as a fearless politician and was popularly referred to by his political supporters (archived here) as “Eruobodo” which translates to “River fears no one”.

Adelakun was a member of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria, which held sway in most southwestern states in the 1970s. He was appointed commissioner in the old Oyo state before defecting to the National Party of Nigeria in 1983, where he helped his party win that year’s gubernatorial election.

This was short-lived, however, following the December 1983 military coup. Adelakun died in 1984 while being detained by the then-military government led by Muhammadu Buhari.

But the claim that the picture shows the current state of his bedroom is untrue.

Photo from Japan

Using a reverse image search, AFP Fact Check found that the picture shows a room in the now-abandoned Hachijo Royal Resort (archived here) located on the Japanese island of Hachijojima.

The hotel opened in 1963 and underwent several name changes (archived here), settling on the Hachijo Oriental Resort prior to its demise and eventual closure in 2006 due to declining tourism.

Using keyword searches such as “abandoned hotel in Japan” and “Hachijo Oriental Resort”, AFP Fact Check found two YouTube videos (here and here) showing the room pictured in the post as well as other parts of the hotel (archived here and here).

Adelakun’s son, Kunle Musediq Adelakun, released a statement to local newspapers (here and here) explaining that the image does not show his father’s bedroom (archived here and here).

What was posted out for social media consumption never represented the bedroom of our father,” Adelakun’s son said.