Fact-checking Claims On Bauchi Govt’s Response To Collapsed School Building

Claim: A mud-constructed and thatch-roofed school did not collapse on pupils in Toro LGA of Bauchi State, and the people in the video do not speak a Bauchi tribe or dialect. 

Verdict: Our findings confirmed these claims to be true. 

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Dr Jamila Mohammed Dahiru, Bauchi State Commissioner for Education, on March 16, 2024, denied a trending clip attributing a collapsed school to the Toro local government area of the state. 

“The structure shown in the video is not from any of our schools,” she said. The Commissioner refuted the video, saying, “The language or dialect being spoken is not characterised by our locality.”  

Tozali Magazine, an infotainment TV channel, posted a video on its official Facebook page on 15 March 2024 showing two walls of a mud-constructed and thatch-roofed school collapsing on pupils. It captioned the video as “A School Falling on Pupils in Toro LGA Bauchi State.” 

The 58-second footage, which particularly pulled attention on Facebook, showed several rescuers screaming for reinforcement while attempting to remove pupils trapped beneath the wreckage of the collapsed school structure. 

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Since then, the video has generated about 139,000 views, 628 comments, and 2,400 reactions. In the comment section, Tozali Magazine followers have expressed different viewpoints about the video. Some followers questioned and raised doubts about the claim’s veracity, while others blamed leaders’ failure to mend the decay in Nigeria’s education sector. 

For instance, a Facebook user, Ayuba Idris, said, “We have been practising democracy over the last 25 years, but there are still mud-built schools in Nigeria.” 

Another user, Saidu Hassan, opined that the structure was constructed in a style peculiar to the village. He said, “What kind of building is this? It looks like a village structure. How could it not fall on the pupils? May Alla protect them.”

However, Nazeef Aliyu subtly raised suspicion about the claim of the video’s author. He argued, “May God bring this kind of incident to an end, but is this the Toro I know? I could not hear the people in the video invoking Almighty Allah.” 

Similarly, Jamila Ado commented, “This incident is not from Nigeria. Anyway, may Allah protect its future occurrence.” 

Ike Nwagbo, Idris Abu Ibrahim and Agada Titus Ojonumi shared the video clip, giving it a wider circulation online.

Claim 1:  A mud-constructed school did not collapse on children in Toro LGA. 


To verify the claim, DUBAWA subjected the screenshots of the video to keyframe analysis using Yandex and Google Reverse Image Search. The results show that the incident happened on January 13, 2023, in Sankuru province, Tsumbe territory, DR Congo. While no life was lost in the incident, about 16 persons were seriously injured. The victims were hospitalised at Tsumbe General Referral Hospital for treatment. 

Verdict: True. Available evidence shows that the school was not from Toro LGA, Bauchi State, but from Sankuru Province, Tsumbe, DR Congo. 

Claim 2: The language spoken in the video was not a common language peculiar to Bauchi State. 


DUBAWA conducted a desktop review of the culture and traditions of the people of Sankuru Province. The result shows that while French is the official language, the people in the video speak Tetela. 

Similarly, Justin-Robben Diasilua Kionga, a fact-checking journalist based in Sankuru, after watching the video, confirmed that the people in the video were from the Tetela ethnic group and they speak the Tetela language. 

Verdict: True. People in the video of a school collapsed on children who do not speak a language commonly found in Bauchi State. They speak Tetela, a language spoken by the people of Sankuru province, DR Congo. 

The researcher produced this fact-check per the DUBAWA 2024 Kwame Kari Kari Fellowship, in partnership with WikkiTimes, to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.


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