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Soldiers did not kill Farakwai youth as widely claimed by Nigerian media

Photo Credit: CGTN 3 mins read

Claim: Nigeria’s Guardian Newspaper, Sahara Reporters, Opera News and other local media claim that soldiers killed and injured Farakwai youths who were chasing bandits from their community on Wednesday, July 21, 2021.  

The published stories are false and misleading. There is no evidence such incident happened in Kwanar Farakwai Village, Igabi Local Government in Kaduna State.

Full Text

Banditry has now reached an all time high in Nigeria, with constant reports of school kidnappings, murders and attacks on villages. The Nigerian government, as well as the international community are concerned, and rightfully so, as banditry is threatening food security, national mobility, foreign trade and is further discouraging more parents in Northern Nigeria from sending their children to school.

It is, therefore, not surprising that local communities have created vigilante and hunter groups to protect and defend themselves against bandits as the federal government has not succeeded in exterminating the dreaded groups.

Therefore,this situation can explain the dismay of citizens when a reputable media organisation like The Guardian Newspaper, along with other online media and blogs like Sahara Reporters, Opera News, Lindaikeji Blog, Tori.ng, Olorisupergal and Naijalumia report that Nigerian soldiers attacked youths who were chasing bandits from their community, killing three and leaving about 10 others hospitalised. The incident reportedly occurred on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 in Kwanar Farakwai village, Igabi Local Council of Kaduna State.

But, what actually happened? Would Nigerian soldiers kill and harm youths trying to protect their people and community? 

Dubawa read all the news stories about the event published on The Guardian Newspaper, Sahara Reporters, Opera News, Lindaikeji Blog, Tori.ng, olorisupergal, as well as Naijalumia, and the narratives were all the same. Youths from Kwanar Farakwai village in Igabi Local Council of Kaduna State, which happens to be some kilometres away from Zaria were chasing away kidnappers from their village when the kidnappers entered a cave. The youths were said to have beseeched the cave and it was alleged that a company around the area thought the youths were the criminals, they called security operatives to the scene and the soldiers on arrival killed three youths and injured about 10 others.

Screenshot of Guardian’s Tweet on the story

Verification

An indigene and resident of Kwanar Farakwai village, Dr. Bashir Mijinyawa, told Dubawa that the incident did not happen at Farakwai, a town about 15 kilometres to Zaria. Dr. Mijinyawa said that the narration in the media is far from reality, noting that about 23:00 hours on July 23rd, 2021, some bandits attacked the Maraban Jos Division Police Headquarters in Kaduna, storming the station in three Sharon buses to override the divisional armoury but they were resisted by operatives. And that bandits did not attack Farakwai Village on that date and no youths were killed by soldiers.

Dubawa also received a press statement by the Kaduna State Police Command dated July 24th, 2021 stating that the state’s police command on Maraban Jos was attacked but that the force fought them off. The press release was signed by ASP Muhammad Jalige, the Police Force Public Relations Officer for the Commissioner of Police, Kaduna State Command. There was no mention of Kwanar Farakwai youths nor of report of any encounter with them.

Conclusion

The news stories on the killing of youths in Kaduna state are false and misleading. There is no evidence that youths in Kwanar Farakwai were killed and injured by soldiers. The only recorded incident that happened in Kaduna State between Wednesday 21st and Friday 23rd, 2021 was an attack on the Maraban Jos Divisional Police Station in Kaduna State.

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