Claim: A viral screenshot claims President Buhari said he is not aware of the ongoing ASUU strike
President Muhammadu Buhari did not say he is unaware of ASUU’s strike action because our findings and analysis show that the viral screenshot was manipulated.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on February 14, 2022, embarked on a four-week warning strike which was extended by two months to afford the government more time to address all of its demands.
The major demands of ASUU are; the renegotiation of its ASUU-FG 2009 agreement and the deployment of University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) for payment of its members’ salaries.
On Thursday May 5, 2022, a screenshot went viral with the claim that president Muhammadu Buhari said he is not aware of the strike action. The news story was said to be published the same day by World Of News.
The alleged report read “I don’t know ASUU is on strike since when and how long, nobody ever told me ASUU is on strike,” Buhari says.
First of all, there is no news platform with the name “World Of News.” Looking at the screenshot, we observed that the byline had no name, just a combination of letters and numbers (kqce4), which is unlike an ideal news story.
A keyword search did not lead to any news report on this claim or anything related. We, however, found reports by the Guardian, Premium Times, noting the minister of labour, Chris Ngige, updated the president on the deliberations and progress regarding the strike action.
This clearly shows the president is aware even though he has remained silent on the issue even at the recent Worker’s Day celebration where he was represented by the Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo.
Also, analysis of the image on Forensically shows the image had been manipulated. Error level analysis shows the byline, date and text of the story show they were typed over another. Secondly, the image carries the three colour frames that indicate manipulation.
Clone detection also reveals different manipulation done on the image.
President Muhammadu Buhari did not say he is unaware of ASUU’s strike action because our findings and analysis show the screenshot was manipulated and no news report carried the claim. It is also remarkable that news reports in the past have shown the president is aware of the strike action, given that he is usually updated.