Post misleadingly claims old video shows Nigeria’s VP comments on restructuring

A social media post claimed that a video showed Nigerian Vice President Kashim Shettima criticising a purported draft bill calling for the restructuring of power between the central government and the states. But the claim is false: AFP Fact Check found that the clip was from 2017 when Shettima was a second-term governor of Borno state.

“BREAKING: To hell with Restructuring!! Restructuring my foot!!! - VP Shettima,” reads a post shared on X on June 2, 2024.

A screenshot of the misleading claim, taken on June 4, 2024

Reposted more than 1,000 times, it features a 12-second video of Shettima. 

“Unfortunately the topical issue in Nigeria is restructuring,” Shettima says in the clip, before adding “restructuring my foot. To hell with restructuring.” 

With the word “breaking” in the caption, several comments below the post suggested that many people believed the remarks to be recent. An Instagram account made the same claim. 

The clip surfaced after social media users shared a screenshot in late May of what appeared to be a draft bill seeking Nigeria’s return to regionalism.

A private citizen, Akin Fapohunda, told a local broadcaster that he was behind the private initiative, describing it as a “citizen’s effort to produce ideas for discussion (archived here)”.

However, Nigerian media, including the major newspaper Punch, reported that the House of Representatives denied receiving any such bill (archived here).

In any event, the claim that Shettima’s comments were recent is misleading. 

Old video from 2017

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

We found that the original version was published on the official YouTube channel of the governor of Borno state in northeast Nigeria on December 2, 2017 (archived here).

The caption explained that the video was filmed at a book launch in the capital Abuja on November 29, 2017. Shettima was the state governor at the time.  

“People are talking of artificial intelligence; other nations are talking of nanotechnology, of robotic engineering. Elon Musk is talking about constricting the journey from London to New York to 31 minutes,” Shettima said in the clip, followed by the statements shown in the claim. 

Several news outlets (including here and here) reported Shettima’s comments at the time (archived here and here). 


The topic of restructuring has long been a contentious issue in Nigeria. The term is used to refer to the redistribution of power and responsibilities between the federal and state governments. 

Proponents argue that restructuring is essential to address the country’s deep-seated political, economic, and social imbalances. 

They believe the move could lead to a more equitable distribution of resources and greater autonomy for Nigeria’s diverse regions.

This idea has gained significant traction, particularly in the context of Nigeria’s federal system, which some critics claim concentrates too much power and resources at the central government level.

AFP Fact Check has contacted the House of Representatives about the alleged draft bill circulating on social media and will update the story accordingly.  

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