This Video Does Not Show Terrorists Displaying New Naira Notes

A video showing turbaned individuals in front of a large amount of cash has been claimed to be Nigerian terrorists showing off their new banknotes. On examination however, the currency is actually notes from Libya.

A video showing some turbaned people in front of a large amount of cash has been widely shared on news blogs and social media, claiming it shows terrorists in Nigeria displaying new Naira notes. 

Several platforms and social media users claimed the terrorists were mocking the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Goodwin Emefiele, by displaying the new currency notes. The bank had argued earlier that introducing the new notes would minimise “incidences of terrorism and kidnapping”.

“Here are terrorists/bandits mocking the CBN and government displaying stashed new Naira notes of different denominations,” claimed Greg Esheya, an Ebonyi-based ‘public affairs analyst’ who shared the video on Facebook on Monday, Feb. 6. 

The video has also been shared widely on Twitter, TikTok, Whatsapp, and YouTube. 

There is, however, no evidence that it shows terrorists in Nigeria or they are displaying the currency to mock the Nigerian government.

Closer inspection also reveals that the money displayed in the video is not the Naira. The design, colour, and denomination of the notes are distinct from those of the Naira and do not match the current new currency in circulation in Nigeria. 

One of the notes, which has a similar colour as the new 200 Naira, has clearly shown a denomination with the number 20 instead. 

The song playing in the background of the video, which appears to have been originally shared on TikTok, is not Hausa and does not seem to be any Nigerian dialect.

Photo: A closer examination of the notes shows that the denomination of the notes is different from the ones on Naira. 
While having the same colour as the note shown in the video, the new Naira note shows 200, not 20, as the currency in the video. 

Going through the notes of various African countries with desert lands and significant Muslim populations, HumAngle found striking similarities between the notes in the video and the Libyan dinar.

The 20 Libyan dinar notes in both cases have the figure “20” in the same location, the same colour, and prominently feature mud houses. Similarly, the 10 Libyan dinar notes are both green and have the face of Saddek Omar Elkaber, governor of the Central Bank of Libya. 

Collage comparing notes in the viral video and the Libyan dinar. Credit: ‘Kunle Adebajo/HumAngle

While there was another video showing terrorists from Northwest Nigeria showing the new currency, this particular video doesn’t show recognisable terrorists in Nigeria. 

The other video shows a terror kingpin Kachalla Balleri mocking the Nigerian government while displaying the new Naira notes. The old video has been circulated widely and verified by HumAngle. 

The Nigerian government has said that one of the reasons behind redesigning the Naira notes is to fight insecurity. Still, reports have shown that kidnappers have resorted to demanding ransoms in the new currency notes. 

Additional research by ‘Kunle Adebajo.

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Aliyu Dahiru

Aliyu is an Assistant Editor at HumAngle and Head of the Radicalism and Extremism Desk. He has years of experience researching misinformation and influence operations. He is passionate about analysing jihadism in Africa and has published several articles on the topic. His work has been featured in various local and international publications.

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