Does Borno State Have Abundant “Californium” As Claimed by Al-mustapha?
Claim: There was a claim that Borno, one of the Northeastern States, has a large deposit of a highly radioactive element, Californium-252.
Full-Text: The former Presidential candidate of Action Alliance (AA) and former Chief Security Officer to the Late General Sani Abacha, retired Major-General Hamza Almustapha, claimed that Borno state has a highly radioactive element, Californium -252 in abundance.
On December 6, 2022, the former intelligence officer stated this while a guest on the “Reality Radio and Television Magazine Program” hosted by the Brekete Family.
California-252, a precious stone, is to blame for the Boko Haram insurgency and other security issues that have plagued the state for more than ten years, claims Hamza Al-Mustapha.
The 62-year-old retired military veteran advised Nigerians to use Google to look up the cost of the $27 million per gram element californium-252.
Almustapha further claimed in the widely shared radio program video that the oil spills and pollution plaguing the oil-rich Niger Delta region are nothing more than a ‘game plan’ executed by powerful forces to further their own narrow interests.
Observations: According to PRNigeria, Almustapha made the revelation during the electioneering campaigns, when the majority of presidential contenders were busy attending media events, town hall meetings, and other political gatherings to advance their candidacies.
Verification: PRNigeria ran a quick Google search of the most expensive elements in the world and the results indicate that Californium is one of them. The expensive elements are in the following order; Polonium-209 ($49.2 trillion), Actinium-255 ($29 trillion), Technetium-99m ($1.9 trillion), Berkelium-249 ($185 billion), Californium-249 ($185 billion), Curium-248 ($160 billion), Californium-252 ($60 billion) and Curium-244 ($185 million) to mention a few.
Further research however reveals that Californium-252 is not found in consumer products or widely available for commercial use but is found in research facilities and laboratories that use it for various purposes.
Further checks by PRNigeria on Study.com – an online study platform with over 30 million students monthly student usage – further reveal that Californium (Cf -252) is a synthetic, or man-made chemical element, that is to say, the element is not found naturally occurring in nature, but rather produced artificially.
The word “California”—the name of the American state where the element was initially found and synthesized—is the source of the name “Californium.”
Californianium, which may cost millions of dollars per gram, is an extremely rare and expensive element, as PRNigeria has discovered. It is normally utilized in very limited quantities and only by highly specialized organizations or research institutions due to its expensive cost and radioactive nature.
In order to confirm the existence of Californianium in Borno state, PRNigeria used several search engine choices and also got in touch with a number of people. The element cannot be discovered or processed anywhere in the state that is known to the general public.
Conclusion: Based on the available information gathered by PRNigeria, the element doesn’t even exist in nature but is rather being synthesized artificially in the laboratory under strict conditions. Similarly, there is no evidence of a location in Borno state where there are large deposits of Californium.
PRNigeria, therefore, concludes that the claim by Hamza Al-Mustapha that Borno State has Californium elements in abundance is misleading and FALSE.