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Did Abdulwahab, an ex-Boko Haram insurgent, say he killed many Christians?

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An online news medium “ecocitynews” on August 2, 2020 published a story in which a Boko Haram insurgent, Abdulwahab Usman, was reported to have confessed to killing many Christians.

The headline of the story claiming that Usman, an ex-Boko Haram member, confessed to killing many Christians is misleading.

Full text

An online news medium Ecocity News on August 2, 2020 published a story wherein a Boko Haram member, Abdulwahab Usman, was reported to have confessed to killing many Christians. Another platform also published the story with the same headline.

Screenshot of the headline and accompanying photo

In July, about 602 repentant Boko Haram members graduated from the Federal Government’s  de-radicalization program, otherwise dubbed Operation Safe Corridor.

The Punch newspaper published a feature on one of the rehabilitated Boko Haram members, Abdulwahab Usman. who admitted that he had killed many people. He, however, did not specify the victim’s ethnicity or religion.

Reproducing the news, an online medium “ecocitynews” on August, 2, published a version of the story with the headline “I have killed many Christians to the extend, I can’t remember the lives I have wasted – Freed Boko Haram member said.”

The ecocitynews attributed the source of the story to Punch newspaper. 

Being a religiously diverse country, unguided utterances and misinformation such as this has   

in the past resulted in religious violence and claimed lives, hence the need for a verification.

Verification

Going through the report from Punch, it was noted that Usman indeed submitted that he had killed many people, however, he did not specify the religion of his victims.

“I was forced into the group for about five years.  I can’t remember the number of people I killed as a Boko Haram member because they are many,”  Usman was quoted as saying by Punch.

A closer look at the Ecocity News version shows that the headline of the story, which claimed that Usman had killed many Christians, did not align logically with the body of the story.  So while the headline suggests the killing of Christains, Usman, never mentioned any of his victim’s religion all through the story.

From all indications, Ecocity News culled the story from Punch and gave it its own misleading  headline.

Conclusion

While Abdulwahab Usman, a de-radicalised Boko Haram insurgent, admitted to killing many people, he did not say he killed Christians. The headline of the story by Ecocity News is misleading.

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