Imo State

  • Imo State University not renamed Muhammadu Buhari University

    Claim: A viral post on Facebook claims that Imo State University has been renamed Muhammadu Buhari University, Owerri.

    Verification has revealed that President Mohammadu Buhari only visited Imo State to commission four newly executed projects and there is no evidence to suggest that Imo State University has been renamed Muhammadu Buhari University Owerri.

    Full Text

    Imo state is seen by many as the hub of the operation of the pro-Biafra group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Nigeria’s South-east since the agitation for the independent republic of Biafra started.

    So the August visit of President Buhari on 9 September 2021, to commission four newly executed projects in the state, triggered contrasting satires, claims and opinions on social media.

    Dubawa stumbled on one of such claims by @TenSquare Reports, a Facebook page. It claimed that Imo State University has been renamed Muhammadu Buhari University Owerri.

    Screenshot of Facebook post

    This post has generated 211 comments and 145 shares as at 22 September 2021, the time of filing this report.

    Dubawa read the exchange of comments among users. While some believed and condemned the assumed act, others made a joke out of the post.

    Pascal Ase Larry in reaction condemned the Igbo tribe, apparently for allowing such action. His response reads in part, “Igbo kwenu! Hypocricy of d highest order. If it where (were) to be another south west or south suth (south) state that did this hypocrisy. we would have seen Igbo Facebook warriors criticizing, castigating, bombarding an calling names.”

    Another user, Fidelis Atubo, also tagged or painted it tribal. The user wrote, “How much them give the governor? Tank God say buhari don do 4years finish if not he for win again. This is the difference between the Northerners and the other people of Nigeria. Make we continue to take moni one day them go even collect our hand from us then there will be no hand to collect the moni again then eye’s go clear.”

    Screenshots of comments

    These replies triggered the urge to verify the authenticity of the claim.

    Verification

    Since this post didn’t give full details on when and where Imo State University was renamed Muhammadu Buhari University Owerri and didn’t provide a link to the full story, this researcher decided to conduct a word search.

    And the result revealed that despite the threat by the (IPOB) few days earlier to disrupt President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Imo State, the president arrived Owerri, the state capital on 9 September, 2021, to commission four newly executed projects by Governor Hope Uzodinma’s administration.

    The president commissioned a polytechnic, a balloon technology-driven underground tunnel with surface drainage (Chukwuka Nwoha), Naze Road, and Nekede/Ihiagwa Road in addition to a newly-built exco Chambers within the Government House, known as the Douglas House and the Egbeada Bypass (Amakohia).

    The president held a town hall meeting with leaders of the five states in the  South-east geopolitical zone before departing for Abuja.

    At the time of filing this report, Dubawa didn’t get any public record in any credible platform to show that Imo State University has been renamed Muhammadu Buhari University Owerri.

    So this researcher contacted the Dean, Students Affairs, Imo State University, Professor Okee Okoro, to confirm the authenticity of this claim, and he said the claim is false.

    “This is very very very untrue, There was no such thing as that and would never be. The President never visited the school even when he came to Imo State a few weeks back, so I don’t know how they got this claim  that Imo State University has been renamed Muhammadu Buhari University Owerri.”

    Conclusion

    Verification has revealed that President Mohammadu Buhari only visited Imo State to commission four newly executed projects and there is no evidence to suggest that Imo State University has been renamed Muhammadu Buhari University Owerri.

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

  • Video depicting attack on Gov. Uzodinma’s convoy shot in Kenya

    Claim: A viral video claims Governor Uzodinma’s convoy was attacked by unknown gunmen. 

    The Claim

    The claim that Governor Uzodinma’s convoy was attacked by unknown gunmen is false. The incident the video depicted took place in Kenya, last year and taken out of context to paint a false story. 

    Full text

    The preponderance of insecurity in Nigeria is no more a shrouded topic. While its prevalence is almost in all parts of the country, the southeastern states seem to have taken the center stage these recent days. From the latest killing of the Presidential aide, Ahmed Gulak to the multiple attacks carried out by unknown gunmen in the region mostly targeting police stations will easily attract the attention of the public. A good example is with the viral video making  rounds on social media and other blogs, which alleged that the convoy to the Governor of Imo State, Senator Uzodinma, was attacked by unknown gunmen. 

    The claim on Facebook

    The claim put out a video that depicts a surging pandemonium, as cars  and people in the scene sped to safety from the approaching gunshots and multiple tear gas firings. This scene was said to be that of Uzodinma who narrowly escaped the acclaimed attempted attack on his convoy. 

    Though not entirely surprising, especially with the vivid pictures the video depicted, the claim was widely shared on WhatsApp accompanied as icing on the cake.

    The claim, as forwarded on WhatsApp

    Such unconfirmed claims wield the potential to reinforce people’s fear and even push unsuspecting members of the society into taking irrational decisions, thus warranting. DUBAWA’s immediate verification of the claim.  

    Verification 

    First, DUBAWA took key frames from the acclaimed video and ran a Yandex reverse image search. Results from the query traced the earliest version of the video clip on YouTube, shared on January 18th, 2020 with the description “How leaders were teargassed in Mumias today.”

    As originally shared YouTube

    Mumias is a town in Kakamega County of Kenya. The town has an urban population of 116,358. Mumias was the centre of the Mumias District where a road links the town to Kakamega, Busia, Bungoma, Butere. 

    The same video was also uploaded by one Othaya GlobalNews on YouTube to explain how some political leaders were tear-gassed in Mumias. So also on KTN News, one of Kenya’s largest newspapers and the oldest newspaper in the country,  where the same video was posted on its YouTube channel in a report that lasted for three minutes and forty seconds. 

    The report by KTN NEWS details on how security operatives dispersed the crowd that gathered for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) (an initiative birthed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader, Raila Odinga, in March 2018, to mark an end to months of post-election violence in the country) meeting in Mumias town at Bukhungu stadium, Kagamenga county.

    Nonetheless, this is not the first time this same video is married alongside a false narrative to mislead unsuspecting members of the society.   A Twitter user, once falsely used the same video to falsely depict how in September 2020  Zulum’s convoy,  the Governor of Borno State, was attacked by Boko Haram while returning to Maiduguri from Baga.  

    The same video as falsely used on twitter to depict another narrative

    Though DUBAWA’s efforts to contact the Governor proved unsuccessful, a report by TVC shares that “Imo State government says the convoy of the State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, has not come under attack from anybody.

    The State Government in a statement from his media office described the reported attack as an example of fake news.  It said the video making the rounds on social media is not that of the governor and the video does not state where the alleged attack took place.” 

    Conclusion

    The claim that Governor Hope Uzodinma’s convoy was attacked by unknown gunmen is false. The video used to paint the false narrative was taken out of its original context. The actual  incident took place in Kenya last year and not in Nigeria. Hence, this claim is false. 

  • None Reported Dead in PDP Imo Protest

    Facebook user claimed that protestors were killed during Imo state protest… 

    Words from the Imo State Police and the series of results provided by Google Reverse Image jointly disprove this claim. Pictures attached to the claim originate from Malawi and have nothing to do with the Imo protest.  

    Full Text

    Supreme’s court decision to replace Emeka Ihedioha with Hope Uzodima is probably not news anymore. It can be recalled that the former was the governor for over 10 months and the later held the fourth position in the Imo gubernatorial race.

    This change did not go without any objection. PDP and its loyalists march out in protest to contest the decision of the court. The protests were held in different states across the country.  Abia, Anambra, Imo, Abuja, Akwa Ibom

    A Facebook User, Kellynalson Obi had reported the protest in Imo state and according to him, it was brutal as ‘several protesters’ were killed. He posted some pictures which he captioned, “Breaking news SAD SUNDAY IN IMO STATE! SEVERAL ‘PROTESTERS’ WERE KILLED TODAY, OVER THE REMOVAL OF “GOV IHEDIOHA” THE MILITARY SHOOT THEM DEAD.” 

    The post, as at the time of this fact-check has garnered up to 478 shares. But how true are its contents? The veracity of this claim has been called to question as there are no news reports of any violence during the Imo state protest.

    Verification

    Dubawa put a call through to the Police PRO in Imo State, SP. Ikeoku Godson Orlando. He confirmed that there was no violence anywhere in Imo after acknowledging that the protest was a peaceful one. According to him, ‘there was a protest but it was absolutely peaceful.

    Hence, Dubawa resorted to performing google reverse search on the pictures attached to the claim.

    Kellynalson had published his claim with two pictures attached and Dubawa conducted a reverse search on them. 

    It happened in Malawi, not Nigeria, Imo…

    When we checked the first picture, Google brought back a number of results, one of which is this Twitter post from January 16th. The tweet talked about how the military provided security for anti-government protesters in Malawi.

    Another result, providing insight into the Malawi incident is this publication by Nyasa Times.

    Furthermore, we found another January 16th tweet on the same incident which had both pictures used by the claim’s author. Evidently, the demonstration captured in the photos is fairly recent; just not in Nigeria.

    The second picture used by Obi in his Post, after conducting a google reverse search also tells the same story as the first. Friends of Malawi Defence Force, a Facebook page posted the picture on the 17th of January, making reference to the Malawian protests; so also this Twitter user.

    CONCLUSION

    The results provided by Google Images and the testimony from the Imo police have proved this claim to be another case of disinformation. Hence, nullified the assertions of the Facebook User.  In the absence of any substantial materials to corroborate his claim dubawa considers it false. We don’t know the intention of this User but results from this fact-check suggest that the user only wanted to instil fear in the minds of the people.

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