Connect with us

Fact Check

No evidence Igbariam/Akwuzu killings were perpetrated by Fulanis as claimed on Twitter

Photo source: BBC 6 mins read

Claim: A Twitter post claims killings at Igbariam/Akwuzu were carried out by Fulani men

Although it has been confirmed from different sources that killings took place in Akwuzu, Anambra State, we cannot confirm the location of the videos making the rounds, but our search shows they are not recirculated videos. We also do not have substantial evidence to categorically state who the perpetrators or victims were.

Full Text

A Twitter user Nelson Obidon (King) (@Ph_Obidon) made a Twitter post on Monday April 26, 2021, with two videos claiming house to house killing was ongoing at Igbariam junction.

Screenshot of first video attached to the Tweet

In the first nine-seconds video, which has gained over 154,000 views as of Tuesday April 27, 2021, the narrator asked people in the area to find somewhere safe.

“You can see it, it’s no longer safe, please those that are staying in the junction find a place and relocate.”

Excerpt of comment from first Video.

In the second 11 seconds video which had gathered about 101,000 views, the Twitter user claims the men in the video (unarmed), who were over 10, were responsible for the killing.

Screenshot of the second video attached to the Tweet

However, in the comment section, there were contradicting explanations. While some users sympathised with the victims, others gave a different narrative of what actually happened and some called for confirmation of the event.

A user in the comment section named Bashir Iliya (@bershir) shared a 31-seconds video of some men taking the victims away. He said the men who were speaking Fulfude were relatives to the victims who were killed by members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Screenshot of Bashir’s comment with a video attached

Verification

Using different search engines, Dubawa conducted different reverse image searches on screenshots from the first video in the Twitter post. However, this search did not produce useful or related results.

Screenshot of Google reverse image search
Screenshot of TinEye reverse image search
Screenshot of Yandex reverse image search

Also, reverse image searches were conducted on screenshots from the second video in the Twitter post with no useful or related results.

Screenshot of google reverse image search
Screenshot of Bing reverse image search
Screenshot of TinEye reverse image search

A keyword search of the location named in the Twitter post showed Igbariam is in Anambra State of Nigeria

Screenshot of location search result

A look at the location on google map shows this is close to the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University’s Igbariam campus.

Screenshot of location on google map

A close look at the videos shared by the poster (Obidon) and which shared in the comment section by Bashir showed similarities in the victims, the wrappers and mats around them.

Obidon claimed they were victims of Fulani/Hausa looking men but this raises the question of why Northerners will Kill their own and still come back to pick up the dead bodies.

DUBAWA spoke with a resident of that area, who said he couldn’t give much detail as he heard gunshots around 2 a.m. and rumours that people were killed. He, however, noted the victims were Fulani.

“I can’t say much about it but I will say what I know. Around 2 am, I heard a gunshot, not once, not twice. The next morning, I heard a rumour that some people were killed at the back of my area. So, I figured it was the gunshot I heard at midnight. So I rushed to the area, some children were slaughtered. The people they killed were Fulani people. They live in the same area with students.”

When asked about the perpetrators, he said “It happened in the middle of the night. It did not happen in the afternoon. It happened right behind my lodge. I can remember that around 1:30 my generator went off and the students in my room left to their various rooms so I was still awake. Not up to 30 minutes I started hearing gunshots. I can’t say if these people were wearing Fulani clothing, but I noticed some of them wore polos (I saw in the shadow) when I heard the gunshot I looked through the window, some were with torchlight.”

Speaking on the location and why Igbariam Junction cannot be traced on google map, he explained that “We call the area Igbariam but on the normal location as it is on the map of Nigeria, it’s called Awkuzu but people call it Igbariam due to the school in the area.”

DUBAWA also reached out to the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Ikenga Tochukwu, Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), who sent a statement he had earlier written. 

According to the statement, “‘armed men violently attacked” a community identified as Ukpomachi Village in Awkuzu, Oyi Local Government Area of the state. 

The incident was said to have happened in the ‘early hours of Monday, 26th, April 2021. However, normalcy has been restored to the neighbourhood and security has also been provided to avoid a recurrence.

Screenshot of DSP Ikenga’s Statement

A more detailed statement was also received from the Commissioner for information and Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba, by DUBAWA.

Screenshot of the statement by Adinuba

DUBAWA deduced from the statement, that the event happened in the early hours of Monday (no specific time was mentioned), and that there was a clash between some people in Uzo Nkwo, Awkuzu, and some non-indigenes (some were killed and some were maimed, both sides recorded casualties).

In the statement, the police claimed that the pictures on social media were old and unrelated to what happened recently in Awkuzu and have contradicting captions. 

The statement added that claims of heinous killings and murders are made up, hence the circulation of still images and not videos.

According to the statement, horrid pictures were shared to taint the image of the ‘safest and most peaceful’ state in the whole country.

Despite this statement, DUBAWA has not come across any pictures but videos that we are yet to see anywhere else to contradict the claim by the police that they are recirculated.

However, Dubawa’s findings contradict some of the content of the police’ statement. 

Firstly, apart from the viral video and some screenshots, there were no circulated pictures of the incident on the internet. 

Further, searches confirm that there were no recirculated images of the incident as claimed by the police. Reverse searches only returned recent videos.

Conclusion 

Although it has been confirmed from different sources that killings took place in Akwuzu, Anambra State, we cannot confirm the location of the videos making the rounds, but our search shows they are not recirculated videos. We also do not have substantial evidence to categorically state who the perpetrators or victims were.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

More in Fact Check