Biafra

  • Chimamanda Adichie did not author viral ‘Reflections on the man Nnamdi Kanu’ message

    Claim: A message on WhatsApp, tagged ‘Forwarded many times’ and titled “REFLECTIONS on the man Nnamdi Kanu by Chimamanda Adichie” has gone viral on social media in Nigeria. 

    Highlighting Chimamanda Adichie’s name as the author of the piece is misleading. The piece was authored by another female Nigerian author, Gloria Ogo. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has also denied authoring the piece.

    Full Text

    Reactions have continued to trail the re-arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, the separatist leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by the Nigerian government. 

    Nnamdi Kanu, who formed IPOB in 2014 to achieve the secession of the Southeast region from Nigeria and create a country known as the Republic of Biafra also hosts Biafra Radio. Nnamdi Kanu was facing trial for alleged treason before he jumped bail in 2017. 

    The armed wing of IPOB known has Eastern Security Network (ESN) has also been accused of terrorism for alleged crimes committed against the state. Mr. Kanu is back in court, and while the presiding judge has adjourned the case to July 26, many Nigerians have continued to present their arguments for and against the separatist leader in the mainstream media and on social media. Issues around the legality of his arrest and the legitimacy of his struggle are among the most discussed.

    One of those who have come out strongly with their opinions is writer Gloria Ogo. Ms. Ogo published an over 40-paragraph position on her perspectives of the person of Nnamdi Kanu as well as his struggle on Facebook.

    Screenshot of the published article on her Facebook page

    Gloria’s article was also published on TheEasterner with her name as the author.

    Screenshot of Gloria’s article on TheEasterner.

    Verification

    Some unidentified persons however edited the title of the article and included the name of popular writer Chimamanda Adichie. They have been sharing this on WhatsApp. 

    Screenshot of the beginning of the viral message

    Screenshot of the end of the WhatsApp message

    They however forgot to edit out the part where Gloria mentioned her published book “In blood and War” from the piece. Chimamanda Adichie has not published any book with such titles.

    Screenshot of the section of the article that mentions the author’s book

    Gloria Ogo has also gone on Facebook to comment on the edited version of her writing that has Ms. Adichie’s name as the author.

    Screenshot of Gloria’s comments on the mischievous editing

    A message has also been posted on Chimamanda Adichie’s Facebook account that she did not author the piece.

    Screenshot of message on Chimamanda Adichie’s Facebook page

    Conclusion

    Editing Chimamanda Adichie’s name into the text as the author of the article is misleading. ‘REFLECTIONS on the man Nnamdi Kanu’ was written by Gloria Ogo. 

    Dubawa has noted that propagandists sometimes attach the names of high profile personalities to ideas they wish to promote to attract attention or give it credence.

  • False! Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta Twitter account not suspended because of Nnamdi Kanu’s arrest

    CLAIM: Twitter suspends Kenya’s President account over Nnamdi Kanu arrest 

    The claims that the account of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta got suspended after Biafrans reported it over the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu is false

    Full Text 

    A Twitter user CorrectBN with handle @correctbn in a tweet on July 1, 2021, claims the account of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta got suspended after Biafrans reported it over the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu.

    Kanu, the self-styled leader of outlawed movement, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), which agitates for a separate state for ethnic Igbos in southeast Nigeria, has been labelled a terrorist organization by the Nigerian government.

    The IPOB leader, who was facing charges bordering on treasonable felony following his campaign for the secession of Republic of Biafra, had jumped bail in 2017 after a military action, code-named “Operation Python Dance”, targeted his family house in Abia state 

    His arrest was announced by Nigeria’s justice minister and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), who said it was done in collaboration with INTERPOL. 

    Verification 

    To verify this claim Dubawa began by conducting a search on the microblogging platform Twitter to find out if the account truly existed, which returned a series of parody accounts carrying Kenya’s president name and picture.

    However, a Google search revealed a story published in March 23 2019 about the President temporarily deactivating his social media accounts due to what it termed infiltration by unauthorised individuals.

    Screenshot of the news on news.cn 

    According to Twitter, when you deactivate your account, it is possible to restore your account for up to 30 days after deactivation. 

    A further search on the handle in question @UKenyatta reveals that it was a parody account created in March 2020 almost a year after the government announced the deactivation of the President Twitter account. This simply means that the username was available and someone took advantage by making a parody out of it.

    Screenshot of news on the return of the Twitter account 

    Also, in November 2020 President Kenyatta while talking about deactivating his personal Twitter account which reported by Arise tv says he would rather talk to his wife and sleep, because he always gets angered by the insults on Twitter and couldn’t sleep.

    Screenshot of Arise news website with the story 

    The Kenyan President’s personal twitter account had more than three million followers before it was deactivated and his administration now uses a verified State House account @StateHouseKenya, which has over one million followers.

    Screenshot of Twitter handle of State of Kenya

    Conclusion 

    The claims that the account of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta got suspended after Biafrans reported it over the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu is untrue as online resource material shows that the Kenyan President has deactivated his Twitter since 2019 and the suspended was a fake account of the President created in March 2020. 

    The researcher produced this fact-check per the 2021 Kwame Karikari Fact-checking Fellowship partnership with Sobi 101.9 FM to facilitate the ethos of truth in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

  • How true is claim a nuclear missile was built by Russian-based Biafran?

    Claim: A user on Twitter claims that: “Russian-based Biafran Builds Nuclear Missile.” 

    The claim that a Russian-Biafran has built a nuclear Missile is false. The picture used to depict the narrative was doctored to forge a misleading story. 

    Full Text

    Nuclear weapons  of mass destruction were used during World War II. The most horrendous incident involving the use of nuclear bombs was the bombardment of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States. As a result  of its fatal power, and expensive cost of production,  the United Nations banned the production of the  bomb. Nonetheless, some countries such as the United States, Russia, France, China, Britain, Pakistan, India, Israel, Iran, and North Korea still have and continue to develop them.

    Yet, notwithstanding the reality around the production of the Nuclear weapon and the fact that it is only available in  few advanced nations, a Twitter user, Kingsley Uba Dike (@uba_dike) claims that a Russian-based Biafran has not only built a Nuclear missile but has also named it the ‘Biafran Satan 404’. The post amassed over a thousand interactions with multiple comments that appear to be in agreement with the idea.

    A user, Ejimchi (@Ejimchi) commented that “Now they know nwanne, for arewa to advised death buhari to let Biafra go if they want to, I believe they know. But Fulani janjaweed cabal feel that they are very stubborn, but they will know how far in near future. They think that 1967 is the same with 2021.” While other users dismissed the claim others appeared frightened about it all.  

    ‘Biafra’

    Biafra was a region that roughly correlates with Nigeria’s current South East geopolitical zone. In May 1967, Biafra declared its independence from the rest of the country. A civil war followed. It is estimated that 500,000 to 3 million people died from disease, starvation and the conflict itself. Biafra’s defeat in January 1970 ended the war.

    However, the Biafran separatist movement continues, most notably in the activism of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), an organisation led by the exiled Nnamdi Kanu.

    Nigeria’s South East is said to be mainly populated by Igbo people. When members of the separatist movement say “Biafrans”, they generally mean the Igbo.

    Other news websites reinforced the claim

    On Nairaland, a popular Nigerian-based interactive website, the ‘radio Biafra’ shared the same claim with more details attached to it.  

    The post, as it appears on Nairaland

    The post also reappeared on ‘Africa Status’ (a new site) with the same heading and narrative as the one one Nairaland. So also on Pinterest, where the post seems to have enjoyed a reasonable viewership. 

    The post as it appeared on Pinterest

    Even more findings by DUBAWA revealed that the claim has been published on over 30 different blogs. 

    Some results of the conducted advance google reverse search on the claim. Results show the claims multiple resurgences on different platforms

    Verification 

    Dubawa first conducted a Yandex Reverse image search on the purported image of the nuclear image built by the Biafran. Results show that the image was taken out of a different context to forge a new and bogus narrative.  While the original image of the missile had no Biafran flag attached to it, the one under scrutiny was doctored to add up the Biafran flag and the text ‘Republic of Biafra’.

    Image 1: Acclaimed image under scrutiny, depicts the nuclear missile said to have been built by a Russian-based Biafran.

    The acclaimed image, simply doctored to add up the Biafran Flag and the ‘Republic Of Biafra’ 

    Image 2: depicts the actual source and narrative around the image as shared on the Business insider 7 years ago. The missile neither carries the flag of Biafra, nor the text ‘Republic of Biafra’.

    Original and actual narrative behind the image without the Biafran Flag and the ‘Republic of Biafra’ 

    The missile on the picture was neither built by a ‘Biafran’ or any other entity related to the secessionist state. In fact, the image was originally taken when the  deactivated Soviet-era SS-4 medium nuclear-capable ballistic missile was displayed at La Cabana fortress in Havana, Cuba on October 13, 2012.

    The picture was originally taken October 13, 2012, by Desmond Boylan of the REUTERS news agency, depicting the Russian missiles transported to Cuba in 1962 during the cold war between the U.S and the Soviet Union

    The story behind the missile dates back to the 13-day missile crisis that began on Oct. 16, 1962, when then-President John F. Kennedy first learned the Soviet Union was installing missiles in Cuba, barely 90 miles (145 km) off the Florida coast. After secret negotiations between Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, the United States agreed not to invade Cuba if the Soviet Union withdrew its missiles from the island. The same missile that is now attached to a bogus new narrative. 

    Conclusion 

    This claim is false. The purported image was originally taken when the  deactivated Soviet-era SS-4 medium nuclear-capable ballistic missile was displayed in 2012 and not made by a Biafran as claimed.

  • Viral image of jet purportedly manufactured by Biafrans misleading

    Claim: A Facebook post claims BB-905 aircraft is a locally made fighter Jet made by Biafra many years ago.

    The image alleged to be a locally manufactured fighter Jet by Biafra is false. All investigations show the aircraft used during the war was purchased and the aircraft looks nothing like the BB-905 in the claim.

    Full Text

    Biafra or the Republic of Biafra was a secessionist state that existed from May 1967 to January 1970 during the Nigerian Civil War. Its territory consisted of the Eastern Region of Nigeria

    In 1967, following two coups and turmoil which led to about a million Igbos returning to the southeast of Nigeria, the Republic of Biafra seceded with 33-year-old military officer Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu at the helm.

    The Nigerian government declared war and after 30 months of fighting, Biafra surrendered. On 15 January 1970, the conflict officially ended.

    On Monday April 19, 2021, a Facebook post by Tariere Fiebai was shared by another Facebook user, Choji Tosanwumi Pwoi. The post had 8 reactions, 9 comments and 2 shares. According to this post accompanied by the picture of a “Jet”, this Jet was 100% manufactured by Biafrans in 1968.

    “This Jet was manufactured 100% by the Biafrans in 1968. If you don’t tell your story…another will with versions that suit him.”

    Excerpt of claim from Facebook.

    Screenshot of the Facebook post

    A comment under this post by Micheal Dedon disagreed with this, questioning the author’s knowledge of what a jet looks like. He also added this was a sky wagon made in the United States (US) and Canada.

    “Madam, check the background well and study the serial number and flag on the plane. Does the environment look local to you? That is a variant of the Cessna 185 Skywagon made in the US and Canada.”

    Excerpt of Dedon’s comment.

    Screenshot of Dedon’s comment

    Another user in the comment section also questioned the author’s knowledge of a jet.

    Screenshot of ittersbach’s comment

    Verification

    Dubawa, having observed the aircraft in the picture does not look like a Jet, conducted a keyword search on Jets and its characteristics.

    A Jet is one of the most common types of air planes in use today, having largely replaced traditional aircraft powered by propellers. Although propeller planes still exist, Jets dominate commercial and private air travel owing to their greater speed, ability to fly at higher altitudes and mechanical reliability.

    Parts of a Jet

    Jets consist of five major parts; the fuselage, wings and stabilizers, engines, landing gear, and the cockpit.

    Screenshot of a Jet’s diagram

    Also, a Google reverse image search on the image showed the aircraft in the image was the Cessna 185 Skywagon, not a Jet. This is a six-seat, single-engined light aircraft manufactured by Cessna.

    Screenshot of a Cessna 185 sketch

    The reverse image search led to other posts on Facebook and Twitter where the image had been used. 

    A Facebook post by NKANU TV shared by Mhista Sampuwa Samuel claims this is a Biafran BB- 905 locally manufactured fighter jet used during the civil war. This post was shared on the same date (April 19) that Fiebai shared his post.

    “Biafra BB-905 Locally Manufactured Fighter Jet Used During The 1967-1970 Biafra-Nigeria Civil War.” 

    Excerpt of NKANU TV Facebook post.

    Screenshot of Facebook post by NKANU TV

    The above post by NKANU TV was also shared by Indeginouse Modelling and Entertainment Agency

    Screenshot of Facebook post by NKANU TV

    A Twitter user Olaudah Equiano @RealOlaudah also shared the same image with a similar caption and #NigerianHistory. This Tweet also made on April 19 had 848 retweets, 37 quote retweets, and 2,313 likes. 

    Screenshot of the Twitter post by Olaudah Equiano

    Dubawa also conducted a keyword search to find if Jets were used during the Biafran war. We found a Biafran Air Force B26 aircraft which looked nothing like the aircraft in the viral image.

    Screenshot of Biafran Air Force B26 aircraft

    This search also led to some images on Pinterest similar to the image above. Pinterest also described it as the Biafran Air Force B26 aircraft.

    Screenshot of Pinterest’s result

    Another result showed pictures of aircraft for Biafra (Biafran Invaders) although there were different stories to explain this. The pictures in this article also do not look like the one that has gone viral and it was noted that the aircraft was purchased not made.

    Screenshot of Napoleon130’s article

    If this aircraft is not for Biafra, then where is it from? To answer this, Dubawa conducted another search using the number (BB-905) on the aircraft in the image to find its origin.

    We found from the United States Department of Transportation that this aircraft was from the United States and was manufactured in 1981 many years after the Biafran war.

    Screenshot of aircraft details on FAA registry.

    Similar information was found on the Dutch Aviation Society’s website. This showed this type of aircraft were produced at different times from 1981 down to 2019. This further  proves there is no way this could have existed in 1967 during the Biafran war.

    Screenshot of Dutch Aviation Society civil database

    Conclusion

    The image alleged to be a locally manufactured fighter Jet by Biafra is false. All investigations show the aircraft used during the war was purchased and the aircraft looks nothing like the BB-905 in the claim. 

  • 10 Photos Used to Depict Obigbo Victims Are From Osun, Lagos, Others

    Claim: A Facebook group shared 10 photographs, which it said were about the killing and brutalising of civilians in Obigbo, a community in Rivers State.

    False. The claim is not true as the pictures have been traced to incidents in other states as well as in a different country.

    Full text

    Biafra Today, a group on Facebook that is “all about Biafra and latest news,” shared 10 pictures on Sunday, November 1, which it said were about extrajudicial killings in Obigbo (Oyigbo), a town in Rivers State.

    “Nigerian Military unleashing terror on innocent Obigbo civilians under the guise of fishing out IPOB [Indigenous People of Biafra] family members on the orders of #govwikethemurderer,” it captioned the post. 

    “According to a report, hundreds have been killed and their bodies taken away as residents flee their homes while the media is silent on this massacre. We will never forget!!”

    The post was shared 835 times, liked by 283 Facebook users, and had 130 comments as of 1 pm on Friday.

    A study of the comments revealed that the vast majority of those who engaged with the post believed the pictures to be genuine. “Please send more proof, the UN [United Nations] must see this,” Lord Federal wrote, while another person criticised mainstream news outlets for being purveyors of fake news.

    Screenshot of misleading post taken on November 27, 2020

    Soldiers had in October invaded the Obigbo community to, according to the authorities, recover stolen weapons and capture criminals who killed six officials of the Nigerian Army. Their involvement has, however, been found to have led to the extrajudicial killing of unarmed residents.

    Verification

    HumAngle ran reverse image searches on all 10 pictures and discovered that none of them was shot during the tragic event in Obigbo.

    The first picture, according to reverse image search results on TinEye, first appeared online when it was uploaded by Darak Online as far back as August 16, 2011. According to Getty Images, a supplier of stock images, the picture was taken by AFP photographer, Sia Kambou. It shows a soldier of the Republican Forces in Cote d’Ivoire (FRCI) “as he entered a house on April 27, 2011, in Abidjan during an attack against a militia group that helped drive former President Laurent Gbagbo from power”. 

    “The Republican Forces moved into Abidjan’s northern Abobo district in an offensive to dislodge fighters of former coup-plotter Ibarhim Coulibaly, who claims to command a 5,000-strong force. Ivory Coast’s new President Alassane Ouattara has urged armed groups to lay down weapons or be disarmed by force, as his government, which took power after strongman Gbagbo’s April 11 arrest, exerts authority in the crisis-hit country,” the platform further explained.

    The same photo has, however, been used in relation to the Obigbo attack by other social media accounts, such as in this tweet by Oliver Ugochi, which has been shared over 500 times. 

    The second picture appeared originally on the Internet on January 21, 2017, according to TinEye. Punch Newspaper, in a report published on the same day, said the picture was taken after a pro-Donald Trump rally by IPOB members in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, turned violent.

    The third, fourth, fifth, and ninth pictures were traced to the apprehension of people who allegedly looted shopping malls in Osun State on October 17. The arrests took place on October 25, with as many as 19 pictures circulating online. But then, the same set of four pictures was tweeted on November 1 by a handle called Biafra News, with the caption: “This is Obigbo, sporadic shooting, massive arrest, presently ongoing.”

    Pictures six and seven have not been published on the Internet for a long period. But while the former picture has been used in connection with the attacks in Obigbo since November 1, earlier posts like this one from October 27 stated that the picture was taken in Ilesha, Osun State.

    The seventh picture, according to an October 28 publication of Eons Intelligence, also shows officers of the Nigerian Air Force brutalising curfew defaulters in Ilesa. Later posts on social media, however, changed the context to fit into the Obigbo incident.

    A reverse image search revealed that the ninth picture shows people arrested and paraded in Lagos on the allegation that they rioted and stole during and following the End SARS demonstrations. The picture was released after the police command said it has arrested 520 suspected hoodlums.

    Finally, the tenth picture first appeared online on October 27. One of the first people to share it alongside other pictures was Uncle Anass on Twitter. “In Kaduna, it’s house to house operation in search of stolen palliatives by security operatives. Haba @elrufai,” he wrote in the caption, implying that the people seen lying on the ground were being probed by military personnel.

    The picture was then published on this blog the same day.

    Conclusion

    None of the pictures was taken in Obigbo, Rivers State, during the raid by officials of the Nigerian military. Rather, they originated from other incidents in Port Harcourt, Osun, Lagos, Kaduna states, as well as Ivory Coast.

    The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with HumAngle to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

  • Concocted video claims Turkish President insulted Buhari over #EndSARS killings

    A viral WhatsApp video claims the Turkish president insulted president Muhammadu Buhari over #EndSARS killings 

    FALSE

    Full Text 

    Following the increasing number of casualties from the ongoing #EndSARS protest and reactions from different individuals and institutions, a viral WhatsApp video has come up with a claim that the Turkish president in a video insulted President Muhammadu Buhari over killings. The 30-second video captured a man attacking president Buhari and raining curses while questioning his religion.

    “Buhari I am telling you, I am calling you from Instabul, I am calling you from Turkey, stop killing the people. Are you crazy? You idiot, you are a crazy man, what are you doing, which kind of religion do you believe in…”

    Excerpt of the viral video message

    Screenshot of Viral WhatsApp video.

    Verification

    A quick look at the video showed the person speaking in the video was not the Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan.

    Screenshot of Turkish President’s photo.

    A keyword search led to a Facebook post by Shadys media which shared a video that could not be viewed with the caption; Turkish president insults Buhari. The post also had a Youtube link embedded in it which led to an unrelated video.

    Screenshot of Facebook post by Shadys media.

    Screenshot of youtube page linked to the Facebook post.

    Dubawa also conducted Keyframe analysis of the video and google reverse image search of these frames. This showed the video was used on a Facebook post by Biafra News Channel on April 14 with the caption “a message to Buhari from a Turkish Diplomat stop killing Biafrans please share this video share wide”

    Screenshot of a Facebook post by Biafran News Channel.

    Another result of the reverse image search showed the video had also been used by African Tube on Facebook on March 31 noting Turkish Man comes hard for Buhari.

    Screenshot of the Facebook post by African Tube.

    Conclusion 

    The 30-second video is an old video that has been recirculated and is in no way related to the #EndSARS killing nor the president of Turkey which was said to be the one speaking in the video. The claim is false.

  • These Are Not Pictures Of IPOB News Studio In South Africa

    Two pictures were recently shared on Twitter claiming to show a news studio belonging to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

    This claim is, however, not true as the pictures are rather of studios owned by Al Jazeera and American news website, The Hill.

    Full text

    On Saturday, September 19, a Twitter account, IPOB Biafraland twt head (@Biafralandtwt_1), shared two pictures, which it said are of a recently acquired news studio by IPOB in the largest city in South Africa. 

    “IPOB Is Waxing More Stronger [sic]. ‘Upgrading’. Biafra: IPOB New Media Studio House In Joburg,” said the caption.

    In the account’s bio, the handler describes themself as IPOB’s “Twitter team head”. The group, founded in 2012 by Nnamdi Kanu, is a separatist organisation that advocates for the independence of the Republic of Biafra.

    The said tweet was liked by 329 Twitter users and shared a total of 304 times as of 2 pm on Tuesday. The reactions showed that many of those who engaged with the claim believed it or, in the least, did not question it. “That’s fantastic, all must hail Biafra,” Attah Martins (@attahmartins1) wrote in the comment section on Sunday.

    Other comments include: “Good to hear”, “Very very good”, “Good development”, “Chineke k’anyi di nma” (God bless us), and so on.

    Verification 

    Merely looking at the posted pictures, it is not difficult to spot two logos: One of Rising, an online news show aired by The Hill in the United States since June 2018, and the second of Al Jazeera, a state-owned broadcasting station based in Doha, Qatar.

    The words on the picture on the left are Rising with Krystal & Buck, which is what the show was called when it was presented by Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton, until the latter was replaced in June 2019 by Saagar Enjeti. 

    Consequently, it is now called Rising with Krystal & Saagar. This means the photo is over a year old. 

    Using Google reverse image search, HumAngle traced the picture on the right to a post published by NewscastStudio on August 16, 2013. 

    The platform, which hosts the “largest collection of photographs and samples of television sets”, uploaded the photo alongside six others and described it as a 2013 set of Al Jazeera Arabic in Doha, Qatar.

    A reverse image search on Bing using the second picture led to the same website, specifically a post published on November 13, 2018. According to the platform, the studio is based in Washington D.C. in the United States. 

    NewscastStudio acknowledged Devlin Design Group as the set’s designer, and checks revealed that the company’s website contains the same picture and 11 others in a post originally published on August 14, 2018.

    Though a look at its publications revealed that its set has slightly changed over the years, there is no evidence suggesting that the studio of Biafra Television, an online broadcaster affiliated with IPOB, looks anything like those uploaded last week on Twitter.

    The latest video uploaded by the platform on November 23, 2019, shows that what is likely used is a green screen to spread a graphic design behind the presenters. 

    The presenters sit on orange armless swivel chairs and not on a couch as in Rising, and there is no obvious lighting equipment.

    Screenshot of Biafra Television’s latest YouTube upload.

    Conclusion

    The claim is false.

    The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with HumAngle to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

  • The World Bank did not approve a Biafran currency

    A video on YouTube claims that the  World Bank has finally approved the Biafran Currency

    False: the world bank has not approved the Biafran currency and has confirmed this claim to be false alongside shreds of facts gathered by Dubawa. 

    Full text

    A video on this YouTube channel ‘Biafra Generation’ claims that the world bank has approved the Biafran currency (what they termed as the Ejemme). 

    The movement for the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) is not entirely new to most Nigerians and especially those in the eastern part of the country. Perhaps, this was what made the video to spoon over 16,300 Views, 444 likes, and over 78 comments from different persons, expressing varied opinions. For example, a comment by one viewer seems to question the veracity of the claim:

    “Why all these nonsense misinformation on  YouTube?.Can you all stop these gabbage propaganda news that is being posted every minute by many people in the disguise interest of Biafra.I have no problem seeking to make money from You Tube but your approach is isn’t  healthy.”_Uche Ozoemelam

    However, some other comments appear to support the claim. For instance, Oliver Akobundu who wrote:

    “I thank God the truth continues to come out. Yes my grand parents and my Ikwuano people called it Ojomma and not Ejemma. Pls let Mazi know about it. You can also ask Ihieagwa people in imo state it’s Ojomma. All hail Biafra.”

    Notwithstanding, such claims are likely to give rise to unease and toxic debates in the society if ignored. As a result, Dubawa embarked on scrutinizing the claim.

    Verification

    Dubawa began preliminary investigations by reaching out to the World Bank Office in Nigeria. In response,  via an Email, the World Bank confirmed the information to be false, further asserting  that The World Bank Group is not responsible or associated in any way with the referenced video or any claim of such.”

    Also, this is not the first time Dubawa confirmed news from this same claimant to be false. In this case, the claimant blatantly declared that the World Bank has approved the Biafran Currency, without making reference to a source or quotation. Dubawa has also contacted the claimant several times with no response so far.

    Information about the claim has not appeared in any of the mainstream media.

    Conclusion

    The world bank has not approved the Biafran currency, and this claim remains an empty statement with no link to reality.

  • A Biafran embassy commissioned in Spain? Viral video retails misinformation to mislead.

    A YouTube page, Biafran Generation, claims that a ribbon cutting ceremony of the Biafran Embassy in Spain was recently held.

    False, In 2017, this same image and video was used for various other Biafran embassy claims.

    FULL TEXT 

    A YouTube page, Biafran Generation, claims that a ribbon cutting ceremony of the Biafran Embassy in Spain was recently held. The narrator, who speaks in Igbo and English, said that  Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the secessionist group, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, were present at the ribbon cutting. The narrator added that the full video of the ceremony could be found on BJ town crier blog, a Facebook page.

    The YouTube page, Biafran Generation, has 34.2 thousand subscriptions and the video has generated over 20,000 views as of Tuesday, August 25.

    VERIFICATION

    The “BG TOWN CRIER BLOG”, which only exists on Facebook and has a 538 following, has no evidence of ribbon-cutting ceremony in Spain, after a thorough search by this writer.  The page is replete with secessionist propaganda materials and it appears the handlers were merely trying to drive readers to the page.

    The title of the video starts with an obvious error, the misspelling of word launch spelled “lunched”. 

    We uploaded the video to Amnesty YouTube Data Viewer, a video verification tool created by Amnesty International. It extracts metadata and separates it into thumbnails. 

    A metadata is a set of data that gives us more information on any existing data. It is basically data about data while a thumbnail is a small image or video extracted from a larger video or image file. Each thumbnail is authenticated using Reverse Image Search. Applying reverse image search on each frame reveals that it is a collection of random videos and still images. 

    The most prominent image is that of  Friendship Day celebrations, which is superimposed with the image of Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez.

    The reverse image search was applied to another thumbnail and it turned out a 1967 recording by Associated Press (AP) announcing the opening of  Biafra House in New York, which served as a museum of sorts for the display of  Igbo cultural paraphernalia. This video was uploaded to YouTube by the AP on 31July , 2015. The opening of Biafra House was not unusual at the time. During this period, the clearing house for Nigeria/Biafra was located in New York. It was established to provide information and promote civilian relief on the Nigeria/Biafra war.  It was in operation between October 1968 to 1970. 

    The narrator claims to be unable to show actual videos of the opening on youtube but claims an image of hands performing a ribbon cutting as that of Nnamdi Kanu. Actually ,the video is a collage of images  with no real evidence to support the claim.

    CONCLUSION 

    The YouTube video claiming a ribbon cutting ceremony of the Biafran Embassy in Spain was recently held is misleading. A review of the video shows that the host page is involved in propagating false information and propaganda.

    The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with NewsWireNGR to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country. 

  • Buhari’s Would-be Resignation Plot is a Hoax!

    A blog post stated that Buhari said he has decided to resign but some Nigerians are against it.

    There is no sufficient evidence to support the inferences of this blog post; moreover, specific inadequacies in the report have raised red flags on its integrity.

    Full Text

    On April 20, IgboWatch published a scintillating headline. According to the article, President Muhammadu Buhari has decided to resign but some Nigerians have said NO. The president, according to the report,  allegedly made this comment while “speaking to newsmen” on Sunday 19th of April. The report further revealed how people are against his resignation as his regime is the best in Nigeria’s history; this revelation allegedly came from some “news publications”. The entire body of the news piece contains 49 words, garnering already over 12,650 views with 6 comments.

    This article has been shared by the Biafra Republic, MAZI NNAMDI KANU DISCIPLES, Wisereporters.com, Friends Of ThePunchNewsPaper (but deleted) with many others.

    Recall that in January, Buhari was asked to resign by Enyinnaya Abaribe, the senator representing Abia South constituency in the National Assembly. The president’s resignation was called for on the basis of the various insecurity issues in the country and was largely supported by citizens who started conversations on Twitter –  #BuhariResignNow #BuhariMustGo.  However, the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, responded to the social media rage, saying the president would not resign

    Also, recently, as reported, Mr president’s competence in the fight against COVID-19 has been questioned, leading to calls on him to leave the office for more competent persons to take over.  

    Verification

    To start with, the report has no proof to corroborate its claims. While it mentioned that the president had spoken to newsmen, it has refused to state where or when the event took place, thereby, going against the usual practice of journalism. More so, the article does not have a byline; only ‘Author’ was stated. The implication here is that it’s either the information is not true or there’s more to it. Either way, this act has only sparked suspicions on the intent of the writer – to misinform or disinform. This is not to mention that the blog is fond of using exaggerated and misleading headlines on its stories.

    Moreover, no credible media platform published this report. Judging from the way people responded to Abaribe’s demand for Buhari’s resignation as far back as  January, if the claim was factual, Twitter would have received an influx of reactions from Nigerians. Further, it would headline every major news outlet.

    Besides, the president’s last posts on both Twitter and Facebook was on the 18th of April. His aides did not publish anything on the 19th or 20th; corresponding to when he allegedly made the statement and IgboWatch publication date. Buhari’s most recent post was paying tribute to his late Chief of Staff.

    Also calling to question, the claim’s veracity is its possible relationship with Biafra Republic and MAZI NNAMDI KANU DISCIPLES.  Both pages, already notorious for antagonising the Buhari administration, have shared several posts from our claim source. More so, the content of these pages hints an affiliation with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) headed by Nnamdi Kanu. Moreover,  Friends Of ThePunchNewsPaper that also shared the article deleted it afterwards. 

    Buhari and IPOB

    In 2012, Nnamdi Kanu founded the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB); a group of people whose primary motive is to set the Biafrans free from Nigeria. To say the group has a bias against the present administration won’t be a lie as has been recorded on different occasions in which they have disagreed. One of the group’s public opinion is that Buhari is dead and the current president is a clone- one Jibrin from Sudan. The president, however, has refuted the allegation.

    Conclusion

    There is no sufficient evidence to support the inferences of this blog post; moreover, specific inadequacies in the report have raised red flags on its integrity. The blog format further suggests a foul play on the part of the author, which explains why no credible media organisation has published anything close to the claim. Furthermore, the interaction between IgboWatch and some Biafra-affiliated blogs calls the authenticity of the report into question.

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