Fulani Herdsmen

  • How Misinformation Aggravates Farmers-Herders Conflict In Nigeria

    The crisis between farmers and herders, which has claimed thousands of lives, has become one of Nigeria’s gravest security challenges in recent years. The conflict, which is fundamentally a resource control problem between farmers and herders across the country, is fast sharpening ethnic, regional, and religious polarisation. 

    While most of the herders can be said to be Muslim-Fulani, who are traditionally nomadics, the farmers are often found across Christian denominations of various ethnic groups. Some of the problems identified are related to land and water use, obstruction of traditional migration routes, livestock theft, and crop damage. 

    A 2017 report by the International Crisis Group said “drought and desertification have degraded pastures, dried up many natural water sources across Nigeria’s far-northern Sahelian belt and forced large numbers of herders to migrate south in search of grassland and water for their herds. Insecurity in many northern states also prompts increasing numbers of herdsmen to migrate south…” 

    Amnesty International in a report published in 2018 said about 3,641 persons were killed in various farmers-herders clashes between Jan. 2016 and Oct. 2018. The report also revealed that no fewer than 406 people were injured and 182,530 persons displaced following the destruction of 5,000 houses in various states across Nigeria.

     

    Image used to illustrate a herder with cattles. Photo: The Conversation

    In its research published in May, France 24, a French state-owned international news television network based in Paris, said clashes between farmers and herders in Nigeria have killed more than 10,000 people in the past decade and displaced 300,000.

    HumAngle understands that truly, killings persist in many states of the country but the conflict has been laced with weaving destructive conspiracy narratives and fake news on social media. When wrong information is shared on social media, it inflames tensions because online users, on their part, accept any information that goes in line with their beliefs without even reading beyond the headlines. Sometimes, sharers of fake stories are simply not ignorant, but their bias shapes their conclusion.

    Trends 

    Earlier this year, Igangan community in Ibarapa area of Oyo State, Southwest Nigeria, was propelled to national attention  following the death of Fatai Aborede, a large-scale farmer and politician in the area in late Dec. 2020. The widely circulated report on his death was that he was killed by Fulani herdsmen while returning from his farm. 

    Image of Doctor Fatai Aborode, a large-scale farmer whose death generated controversy in Igangan. Photo: Living Times

    While there have been cases of killings and kidnappings in the axis before then, Aborede’s case stood out; it led to the unlawful intervention of separatist agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho. He visited the Igangan community in the Ibarapa area of Oyo State to evict Seriki Fulani of Igangan, Salihu Abdulkadir, an action that was condemned by the state and federal governments.

    Igboho claimed that Abdulkadir was responsible for the kidnapping and killing of farmers and residents of the community. Even after his denial, the Fulani leader and his subjects were forcefully sent out from the community they had lived in for decades. For the authorities, Igboho went above the roof because “no citizen has the right to eject others from wherever they wish to reside in the country.” However, many argued that he was filling the vacuum the government failed to fix. 

     

    Seriki Fulani in Igangan and Sunday Igboho when the latter served the Fulanis eviction notice. Photo: Koiki Media

    Igboho later proceeded to neighbouring Ogun State to purportedly evict herders residing there. Months later, there was a reprisal attack. While the police claimed that 11 people died in the attack, residents said over 20 people lost their lives in the battle. 

    Picture of burnt palace in Igangan community. Photo: Adejumo Kabir/HumAngle.

    In solidarity with the people of Igangan, Nigeria’s former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode in June, attached a picture of a man holding a burnt child to his tweet and he described the picture as a casualty from the Igangan crisis in Oyo State. Before the end of the day, the controversial post with a misleading picture, had garnered over 1,800 likes and 1,100 retweets. 

    A fact check on the post showed that the picture was not from Nigeria but from the Southern Cameroon crisis in Feb. Interestingly, an independent investigation into the deaths of Aborede months after revealed that his death had nothing to do with farmers-herders crisis as painted by a section of the media.

    Femi Fani-Kayode, ex-minister who shared a fake picture on the Igangan crisis. Photo: Femi Fani-Kayode/Facebook.

    While Aborede’s death was a focal point to justify the eviction of head of Fulani in the community, investigation by Neusroom, an online newspaper quoted the deceased’s father to have said his son’s death was a political assassination, disguised as herdsmen murder. The police later said his death was sponsored by his political opponents and a suspect has been remanded.

    Other misinformation

    The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in a report published in 2018 said its research showed that fake news in the social media fuels the farmers-herders crisis in Nigeria.

    The international media outfit stated then that “fake pictures circulating on social media which users are falsely claiming depict inter-communal violence are inflaming already high tensions in Nigeria” but a fact check revealed that the picture first appeared on the internet in 2011 in a story about domestic violence. Unfortunately, it surfaced online as a picture of farmers/herders crisis seven years after. 

    A herder standing beside his cattle. Photo: AFP

    “Another image appears to show half a dozen people who were killed in the attacks. On closer inspection it becomes clear that the picture was not taken in Nigeria, and is actually the scene of a 2015 traffic accident in the Dominican Republic. They are both too graphic for us to display and were accompanied by highly inflammatory comments,” BBC explained.

    In Sept. 2018, Jay Sekulow, a personal lawyer to U.S. ex-President Donald Trump wrote on Facebook that 60,000 Christians have been killed by “Fulani Herdsmen” in Nigeria, since 2001, in a “jihad” against Christian ethnic groups. Interestingly, a fact check by AFP proved him wrong.

    At a point in Nigeria, there was a widely circulated doctored image of President Muhammadu Buhari justifying herders attack in Benue which angered the public. The presidency debunked this but it was after it had traveled wide. 

    A short video report by Root TV in late Jan., claimed that “Nigerian Government was offering Herdsmen N100 Billion so they can stop criminal activities.” The video was shared by many social media users including Dele Momodu, the publisher of Ovation magazine. Momodu tweeted saying, “Incredible things happen in this country” Alas! Africa Check ran a quick check on this and its findings revealed that the video was first recorded in 2019 and was even debunked then.

    HumAngle in a fact check published in Feb. exposed how prominent media outfits published a picture of a bare-chested herder posing with an assault rifle for a report on the bitter tales of residents of communities in Niger and Kaduna states. This newspaper did a reverse image search and our findings showed that the picture originated from CBS News in a 2014 photo gallery about the crisis in South Sudan.

    The danger 

    The danger in posting or reposting information online without verifying is that even if retracted or fact checked, the message has already been sent; opinions have been shaped and violence may occur. 

    Speaking with HumAngle on these ugly developments, Taiwo Adebulu, winner of African Check Awards in 2020, told our correspondent that the media is the only saviour that can make things right.

    “The farmer-herder crisis in Nigeria has been there for a long time and the advent of new media has aggravated the issue. People now post all sorts of things online to make the situation worse and I think the best way newsrooms or journalism can help is to continue to put out fact checks on radio, television and social media.”

    “People need to know that certain videos and pictures are not true. People easily believe what they see, people with an agenda go a long way to convince people that what they are pushing out is real. The fake news surrounding the farmer-herder crisis is so massive. When issues like that are aggravated, they lead to violence and at the end of the day, you realise that the cause of the crisis is a bunch of fake stories, pictures and videos that were pushed online,” Adebulu said. 

    Speaking on the way forward, the media expert urged “the media to continue to fact check stories and sort fact from fiction. We need to do that with the speed of light.  Whenever something is going viral, the media needs to verify and let people know the actual truth. The issue of the farmer-herder crisis may not end for now until the government lays the perfect template but we can reduce the crisis that comes out of it through responsible reporting from the media and fact checking some of the viral stuff online.”

    This article is a republished article from HumAngle.

  • Old picture used to depict recent poisoning of cows in Ondo

    Claim:  A user on Twitter claims that ‘over 50 cows belonging to Fulani herdsmen were poisoned to death by Amotekun and or Yoruba youths in Akoko Local Government Area, of Ondo state. 

    The claim

    The claim that ‘over 50 cows belonging to Fulani herdsmen were poisoned to death by Amotekun/Yoruba youths in Akoko LGA, Ondo state is false. The picture was dated from a news report that took place in 2019 and maliciously used to paint a false narrative. 

    Full text

    The ongoing crisis between Fulani herdsmen and farmers mostly in the south is no new story. Now, in reference to this existing reality, a Twitter user, Sarki (@Waspapping_) claims  that ‘over 50 cows that belonged to Fulani herdsmen were poisoned to death by Amototekun/Yoruba youths in Akoko LGA, Ondo State. The user implied that the matter is not voiced on any media. 

    Alongside a photo displaying the acclaimed dead cows is also the narrative: “I just woke up to the news that Over 50 cows that belong to “Fulani herdsman”  were poisoned to deaths on Monday in Akoko LGA, Ondo state, by Amotekun/Yoruba youths, no any outcry from anyone or media outrage. No hashtags, nothing. It’s well.”

    Nonetheless, the tweet attracted over 1,100 like, close to 600 retweets and over 300 diverse comments that cut across suspicion and conviction. 

    The acclaimed Amotekun displayed by the claimant is a security outfit based in southwestern Nigeria that was established in 2020 by the southwestern governors to respond to the security challenges in the region.  Hence, this claim will not only trigger controversy but even chaos If it is not carefully scrutinized. 

    Verification

    DUBAWA conducted a Yandex reverse image search and results show that the acclaimed picture of dead cows in question was from major news in 2019 about a mysterious thunder that struck on Oke Owa, Ijare community in Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State, killing at least 36 cows. 

    A news report by Pulse.ng on the topic, dated September 22, 2019. 

    The news was popular around the time it occurred 3 years ago and had attracted multiple reports from different media. Apparently, the claimant only dated the picture a bogus narrative to it. 

    Google search results, showing multiple reports about the factual narrative.

    Conclusion 

    The picture provided by the claimant as evidence was dated and picked out of its original context to paint a rather bogus and false report. 

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

    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.

  • Viral video of soldiers flogging suspected bandits filmed in Zamfara, not along the Ife-Ibadan road

    Claim: a viral video making rounds on social media claims that soldiers have arrested and flogged ‘Fulani herdsmen kidnappers’ along the Ife-Ibadan road. 

    The claim

    The claim that soldiers have arrested and flogged ‘Fulani herdsmen kidnappers’ along the Ife-Ibadan road is misleading. The event actually took place back in 2019 and happened at Shinkafi local government area of Zamfara State and not along the Ife-Ibadan road.  

    Full text

    Insecurity in Nigeria has become a major discourse in both the public sphere and media circle. Since 2009, security has not only taken a considerable part of the nation’s financial budget but has also taken a chunk of newspaper headlines. This reality has, however, placed security matters in the spotlight, alluring massive traction anytime anything related to security is shared. A good example is a video circulating on social media which claims that soldiers have arrested ‘Fulani herdsmen kidnappers’ along the Ife-Ibadan road. Not only that, the video depicted men in Nigerian military gear engrossed with the flogging of some shirtless persons whom the video alleged to be suspected Fulani herdsmen kidnappers arrested by soldiers of the Nigerian army. 

    The video is collaged alongside a narrative that states, “Fulani herdsmen arrested by soldiers along Ife-Ibadan road. The soldiers posed as passengers in a commercial vehicle from where they caught them in their operation. They left their cattle in the bush. Nemesis will still catch up with many more of them. ” 

    The claim has appeared on YouTube, January, 21st 2021, and attracted more than 1000 views; with comments that neither showed doubts nor skepticism towards the story the video has depicted. 

    The YouTube version of The collage video with the narrative written on the blue background

    The video has also been forwarded multiple times on WhatsApp across different groups and forums and though it did not offer a specific time period as to when the event actually took place, its recent appearance on the social media space appears to pose it as a fresh occurrence. 

    The WhatsApp version of The collage video with the narrative written on the blue background

    The sensitivity of security matters and information has been a considerable causal factor of unrest in society, especially when it is presented in a visual format, such as the claim at hand.  Even more, the claim may also have lethal implications, considering the ongoing debate regarding the presence of herdsmen in the southern part of Nigeria and the recent reports of herdsmen attacks in Osun. Summatively, this may end up crumbling the fragile security structure of those areas. Sequel to this circumstance, DUBAWA opted to establish the fact about this claim, especially to determine when and where it actually took place. 

    Verification 

    Before anything else, DUBAWA traced another version of the video with a slightly different narrative that was shared on YouTube on 26th June 2019. The chronicle attached to this version outlines: “Little can be said about the menace caused by  herdsmen in the country for a while in the country. These herdsmen were cautioned by officers of The Nigerian Armed Forces for grazing on farmlands. What’s your take on this?  Yay or nah”. 

    While the other narrative professes that the acclaimed herdsmen were captured by the soldiers for kidnapping and gave the story a flair of recency, the other one suggests it was because of grazing on the farmland back in 2019.  This apparent contradiction even raises questions around the actual time the incident took place.

    Another version of the video YouTube with a slightly different narrative uploaded on 26th June 2019

    Nonetheless, DUBAWA uncovered that the incident actually happened in 2019.  However, the major distinction is that it happened in Shinkafi Local Government Area (LGA) in Zamfara State and not along the Ife-Ibadan road as the claim purported. 

    Interestingly, it turned out that the  Nigerian Air Force spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, had condemned the action back in 2019 in a statement he released to the press. He clearly stated that “The attention of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been drawn to a video and some pictures circulating on some social media and online platforms showing some military personnel flogging suspected armed bandits at Shinkafi Local Government Area (LGA) in Zamfara State. The NAF has discovered that some of its personnel were part of the joint team stationed at the Galadi Sub-Sector at the time. The NAF wishes to state unequivocally that the troops’ actions of flogging and physically assaulting the disarmed suspects were totally unacceptable and not in consonance with the Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) guiding the conduct of the operation.” 

    The statement of the NAF spokesperson was also widely reported on major media outlets. 

    Further shreds of evidence from the acclaimed video also confirm the incident happened somewhere in the northwest because, at 1:59 timing of the video one of the soldiers said “we are not only SHARAN DAJI we are operation 777, regardless.” The operation SHARAN DAJI or 777 is a unit of the Nigerian army that was set up in 2015 to respond to the crises of banditry, cattle rustling, and kidnapping in the northwestern part of Nigeria with a primary focus on Zamfara. 

    Tolu Ogunlesi, the Special Assistant to President Buhari on Digital and New Media, had in 2019, around the time of the incident confirmed that the SHARAN DAJI is primarily stationed in the northwest.  This implies that the incident did not happen along the Ife-Ibadan road as claimed,  because the particular army unit is not functional and stationed there.  

    Tolu’s Twitter post on OPERATION SHARAN DAJI

    Conclusion 

    Although the acclaimed incident actually took place, the real narrative regarding where and when it took place was slanted to forge a rather misleading story around the video. Thus this claim is misleading because the event happened in   Shinkafi, Zamfara State, and not along the Ife-Ibadan road. 

  • Nine things to know about COVID-19 vaccine that recently arrived Nigeria

    By Nike Adebowale, Ebuka Onyeji

    Nigeria on Tuesday received the first batch of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines through COVAX, the global sharing programme designed to make vaccine access more equal.

    Because it is cheap – costs less than two bottles of beer – easy to make and store, AstraZeneca is regarded the most suitable for developing countries like Nigeria.

    According to Faisal Shuaib, the executive director of the NPHCDA, the agency at centre of the vaccine rollout plan for Nigeria, approximately 4 million doses will land in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital Tuesday at 11 a.m. making the west African nation the third country to receive jabs from COVAX.

    Ghana was the first country to benefit from the programme after receiving 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines last Wednesday followed by Ivory Coast that took delivery of over 500, 000 doses last Friday.

    At least 92 low and middle-income countries will receive free vaccines through COVAX, a WHO vaccine-sharing initiative.

    With the arrival of the 4 million doses, Nigeria is currently the biggest benefactor of the initiative in the first phase. The West African nation is expecting a total 16 million jabs that will come in four phases.

    The facility promised access to vaccines for up to 20 per cent of participating countries’ population with an initial supply beginning in the first quarter of the year to immunise three per cent of their populations.

    With several concerns raised about the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, here are nine things you should know about.

    Continue reading here

    Fact Check of the week

    The global pandemic which broke out in Wuhan China in December 2019 has on March 1, 2021, affected 219 Countries around the world with a total of 114,872,386 confirmed cases and a death toll of 2,546,807. Nigeria is not left out as it recorded its first case in February 2020. So far, Nigeria has recorded more than…

    A purported ‘latest letter’ by former President Olusegun Obasanjo on the state of the nation currently in circulation on social media is an old letter written two years ago by Mr Obasanjo.

    On February 15, 2021, A Twitter post by Pamela Adie (@pamelaadie) claims women cannot adopt a child without the guarantee/approval of a male person that has the same surname as the woman.

    This Twitter post as at Monday, February 22, 2021, had generated…

    Tip of the week

    #FakeNewsAlert

    On March 2, 2020, a Twitter user, Postsubman, tweeted a video showing a man giving out money to a group of men, who appears to be herdsmen. The caption accompanying the 57-second-video infers that the man is paying off a herdsman who dwells on his land in Abuja to vacate the place. While most people in the comment section have taken this post for what the source says it is, others have expressed disbelief saying it could be a business transaction going on in the video. 

    Videos and images have, over time, been subjects of misinterpretations hence aiding the spread of fake news.   Be sure to always verify before sharing any piece of information that comes your way.

    Other Factchecks

  • Dated, unrelated pictures used to depict attacks on Fulani herdsmen in Ogun

    Claim: Pictures making rounds on WhatsApp depict an acclaimed attack and destruction of the Fulani herdsmen’s settlement in Yewa, Ogun State.

    Pictures making rounds on WhatsApp that depicted attacks of Fulani settlements in Yewa, Ogun State are false. The image analysis conducted shows the images were dated and unrelated to the presented narrative. 

    Full text

    One major discourse making headlines In the  Nigerian social sphere is the long-standing dispute existing between Fulani Herdsmen and farmers around the country. One headline reads “Ekiti warns herdsmen, farmers against acts inimical to peace,” another one says “14 feared killed by Fulani herdsmen in Delta community.” Even more, a rising avalanche of concerns as regards attacks on communities, kidnappings, and killings in most parts of Nigeria is now widely referenced to the Fulani herdsmen. 

    Furthermore, when the Governor of Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu gave a seven-day ultimatum for Fulani herdsmen to vacate his state, the news generated heated controversy, especially when Sunday Igboho, a pro-Yoruba activist launched a campaign to chase out herdsmen from the southwestern states. As a result, surging narratives have been erupting depicting issues that relate to Mr. Sunday’s campaign. A typical example is some pictures going rounds on WhatsApp. The pictures claim to depict Fulani settlement in Yewa, Ogun State (Southwestern Nigeria) attacked and destroyed  presumably by Sunday Igboho. 

    Shared so many times on WhatsApp, these pictures are capable of inspiring unrest and painting the wrong narrative, especially if false. It is as a result of these realities that DUBAWA subjects this claim to analysis to uncover the truth and share the factual narrative.

    Verification

    When DUBAWA conducted a Yandex reverse image search on the first image depicting a man amidst what appears to be dead cattles, it revealed that the image first appeared in a Wikipedia article about “Global warming affecting global agriculture and food security.”  Apparently, it was taken out of context to now depict a false narrative about attacks on Fulani herdsmen in Yewa, Ogun state. 

    Wikipedia article where the acclaimed photo was collected

    Consequently, the second picture depicting a man amidst ruins and what appears to be dead bodies laid on the ground was in reality a picture of a reported attack carried out by herdsmen in Adamawa. The picture was shared on December 5th, 2017 in tori. ng as a news report with the headline “Dead bodies everywhere: Fulani Herdsmen Attack Adamawa, Kill Many” .

    News report dated back to 2017 where the acclaimed picture was originally collected

    The third picture, depicting a village under a blazing fire, first appeared on dailynigerian.com as a news report headlined “Police vow to arrest suspected arsonists in Ebonyi community”. The news story which featured the picture was shared on February 3rd, 2021 as regards the fire that destroyed herders’ houses in  Oshibo community, Ebonyi Local Government Area.

    News report where the picture was originally published

    Conclusion

    Pictures used to depict attacks on Fulani herdsmen in Yewa, Ogun State are unrelated to the actual event. They are swiveled out of different contexts to fertilise the already looming narrative about attacks on Fulani herdsmen in western Nigeria. This claim is false. 

  • Farmers/herders crisis: Old letter by Alaafin of Oyo recirculated as a recent message to Buhari

    Claim: A report by the Peoples Gazette claims the Alaafin of Oyo wrote the President on the security issues of the South West, noting the Yorubas have what it takes to protect themselves.

    This report is misleading as Dubawa’s search found the report to be based on a recirculated letter from 2019.

    Full Text

    There has been unease in the SouthWest with killings and kidnappings believed to be carried out by Fulani herdsmen. While the Ondo state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, issued an ultimatum for herders to leave the state’s forest reserves, the Oyo state governor, Seyi Makinde, said issuing an ultimatum is an assault on the herders.

    However, a man named Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, led youths to attack a Fulani settlement in Igangan in Ibarapa North Local Government Area of Oyo State after his seven-day ultimatum for them to leave Igangan expired. It is believed that the community knows those behind the killings and kidnappings.

    This attack defied governor Makinde’s order to make every law-abiding resident feel safe.

    Reacting to this, President Muhammadu Buhari’s senior special assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, said the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered Mr Igboho’s arrest.

    In the light of this development, a  news report published by the Peoples Gazette on January 22, 2020, claims the Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi, wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari that the Yorubas have what it takes to protect themselves.

    Screenshot of Peoples Gazette report.

    The Peoples Gazette also published this on it its Facebook account which has over 38,000 followers. 

    Screenshot of Peoples Gazette Facebook post.

    This letter was also shared by Dele Momodu, publisher of Ovation Magazine which also shared this on its Facebook page

    Screenshot of Dele Momodu’s Facebook post.

    Verification

    Dubawa conducted a keyword search which led to similar reports by the Eagles Online on January 21, 2021, and the Guardian on January 22, 2021. 

    Screenshot of Dele Momodu’s Facebook post.
    Screenshot of the Guardian’s report.

    This search also led to similar reports in 2019 where the Alaafin wrote to the president on insecurity issues. One report by Premium Times on July 22, 2019, noted that the Alaafin of Oyo wrote to the president on herders’ invasion and other insecurity issues in the west. According to Premium Times, this letter was titled “Yoruba Question in Nigeria Conundrum”.

    Screenshot of Premium Times 2019 report.

    The Cable in July 2019 published a similar report.

    Screenshot of the Cable’s 2019 report.

    Dubawa got a copy of the letter in circulation and studied it in comparison with that issued in 2019. Dubawa noticed similarities in the recent letter and that of 2019 and decided to study it in detail.

    First Dubawa noted that both letters had the same title “Yoruba Question in Nigeria Conundrum”. Also, both letters from the first paragraph to the last have the same content, word for word.

    Reaching out to the sources, Dubawa reached the contact available on the Facebook page of the Peoples Gazette to state their source of the letter.

    The peoples Gazette replied that their report was based on the Guardian’s report.

    “Thank you. We published the Alaafin’s comments based on this report from The Guardian:https://guardian.ng/news/tackle-insecurity-now-before-its-too-late-alaafin-tells-buhari/.”

    Dubawa, therefore, went further to reach the Guardian but there has been no response so far.

    Dubawa also reached out to Mr Momodu via direct message on his Facebook account where the letter was shared and got no response, so far.

    Dubawa further reached out to the Alaafin’s spokesperson, Bode Durojaiye, for comments on issuing any letter recently to the president. 

    Mr Durojaiye said the letter was issued as far back as 2018 and is being recirculated by mischievous people.

    “The open letter was written and widely published as far back as 2018. So the recent recirculation was mischief making,” he said in a telephone conversation.

    Conclusion 

    Dubawa’s findings showed these reports are misleading as this letter is a recirculated letter from 2019 in the wake of new security issues in the South West. The Spokesperson to the Alaafin of Oyo also confirmed the letter to be old.

  • Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo, becomes the poster child of hate messaging

    A Facebook user alleged that the Vice president, Yemi Osibanjo, was hypocritical in his comment about IPOB and Fulani Herdsmen.

    There is no proof that the vice president, Yemi Osibanjo, made the above statements and the office of the vice president has described the claim as fake news.

    Full Text

    On May 3, a Facebook user claimed that the Vice president, Yemi Osibanjo, was hypocritical in his comments about the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), in relation to the Fulani herdsmen. The user, @Borngreat Biafra further called on the public to repost his claim for all to see the hypocrisy of southerners, especially religious ones like the vice president.

    And as at Sunday, May 31, the post had gotten 325 reactions from Facebook users, shared by 3,400 users and commented on by 1,000 users.

    IPOB

    Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is a secessionist movement in South-East Nigeria which aims at restoring the defunct Republic of Biafra, albeit, through peaceful means.

    Further, the group appears to be an offshoot of a similar group,  Movement for the  Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), a group with the same objectives as  IPOB, though less radical in activities. 

    Controversy around IPOB

    There have been several controversies around this group, especially with the declaration of the group as a terrorist group by the Nigerian military.

    Different reactions trailed this proclamation as some persons/ groups condemned the declaration while others called for the proclamation of Fulani herdsmen as terrorists too.

    Verification

    Dubawa reached out to the  Facebook user who made the claim via DM, but the user has not replied to the message requesting the source of his claim. It is important to note that there are no credible news reports attesting to this claim. All we have so far is the word of a Facebook user with no further authentication from any source including the source of the claim. 

    In a bid to further ascertain the claim, Dubawa also reached out to the office of the vice president. The Vice President’s media adviser, Laolu Akande,  replied Dubawa pointedly that the claim was “fake news”.

    Apart from the terse reply from the office of the vice president, a media analysis of the claim revealed no credible news platform had published any story insinuating the Vice President had criticised the IPOB and backed Fulani herdsmen.

    Conclusion

    Although the claim was attributed to the Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo, the author of the claim is yet to provide proof and there is no report anywhere that the vice president had at any point made that statement either orally or in writing. The claim is therefore FALSE.

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