This video of Nigeria’s Nasir El-Rufai? It’s from 2013. He’s not talking about the Zamfara killings
Thousands of Facebook users have been sharing videos which appears to show Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Nigeria’s Kaduna state, saying that President Muhammadu Buhari knows who is behind a recent surge of violence in Zamfara state. But the videos posted recently are misleading: they show an interview with El-Rufai filmed in 2013, before Buhari was president. El-Rufai is not talking about Buhari in the video, and he’s not talking about Zamfara either.
One version of the video, which we’ve archived here, has been shared more than 5,500 times on Facebook. Posted on April 8, it is captioned: “Herdsmen & Boko Haram Attack: Buhari Know the Attackers & Their Sponsors and Security provides him with Information to Act. - El-Rufai. [Karma]”.
Scannews, one of the Facebook pages notorious for sharing misinformation in Nigeria, shared the same video (archived here) which was similarly miscaptioned to imply that el-Rufai was talking about Buhari and the Zamfara killings in the video.
The Scannews post has been shared over a thousand times on Facebook and was also posted on Nairaland, the most-visited Nigerian social network.
“We apply military force, we think we can resolve insurgency, it is not going to happen. I have been in government, I ran a territory, and I know the amount of information I get, security reports that I get, as minister," el-Rufai is seen saying in the video.
"The president gets 50 times that. And I put it to you, and I challenge anyone, including DG SSS to this; the SSS (State Security Service) know who these insurgents are... the president knows them," el-Rufai adds.
Taken out of context and re-captioned, it would be easy to infer that el-Rufai is talking in the video about Buhari and the recent rise in violence in Zamfara state.
As reported by AFP, dozens of people have been killed so far this year in the northwestern state, where bandits have long been a scourge of rural communities, raiding villages, stealing cattle, burning homes, looting food, and kidnapping for ransom.
In fact, the video shows el-Rufai appearing on STRAIGHTalk, a programme on TVC television, six years ago. It can be found on YouTube here, dated May 2013.
At the time, Buhari wasn’t even president: el-Rufai is talking about Buhari’s predecessor Goodluck Jonathan.
So in the interview el-Rufai is referring to Jonathan when he charges that the president knows who is behind the "insurgency". The Boko Haram insurgency, which was the focus of the interview, took hold in Nigeria in 2009, when Jonathan was vice-president.
According to Nigeria Security Tracker, an online tally run by the Council on Foreign Relations think-tank, Boko Haram killed more than 10,000 people while Jonathan was president from 2010 to 2015.
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNCHR) estimates that the Boko Haram insurgency has displaced nearly 2.4 million people in the Lake Chad Basin, and over two million of them are from Nigeria.