ondo state

  • Video shot in Ethiopia falsely used to project attack on Yoruba in Nigeria

    Claim: A video, which has been widely circulated on social media, shows some men and women chanting and dancing while wielding guns. The caption of the video suggests that some Fulani women were equipped with guns and other ammunition to attack Yoruba people in different parts of Nigeria. 

    The claim is misleading. DUBAWA discovered that the event depicted in the footage took place in the Afar Region of Ethiopia, Eastern Africa, not in Nigeria as alleged. 

    Full Text

    On Sunday, June 5, some gunmen attacked worshippers at the St Francis Catholic Church in Owo town of Ondo State. While the police are yet to identify those behind the attack, the federal government has pinned the attack on the Islamist State of West Africa Province (ISWAP), although without evidence.

    Five days after the attack, there were reports on social media that the attackers were arrested. The Ondo State Police Command, however, denied the arrest of the suspected terrorists.

    But there have been debates in Nigeria on who was responsible, with some people claiming it was perpetrated by people of the Fulani ethnic group. 

    Following the Owo church attack, a Facebook page posted a 30-seconds video with a caption written in Yoruba, suggesting that Fulani women were armed to attack the Yoruba.

    A Screenshot of the acclaimed  video  depicting an alleged  empowerment of Nigerian Fulani women   with guns

    The English version of the post reads: 

    “Please take note, the Fulani are giving guns to their women to kill Yoruba people. We need to pray that we don’t have all these political jobbers again. We need to let political jobbers know that there won’t be an election in Yorubaland! Our safety is paramount at this point. #Freedom #Yorubanation.”

    Going through comments on the post, it was observed that many people believe the Fulani were actually trying to attack Yoruba people as claimed in the post

    One respondent, Oluwasegun Adegbule, questioned the authorities on why non-state actors are allowed to go about with guns.

     “Who owns those rifles, is it the police, the military, or any of these paramilitary personnel, and the president says any unauthorized person or persons carrying Ak47 rifles should be arrested, this is purely double standard law,” the Facebook user wrote. 

    The recent Owo killings have left many Nigerians in fear, making people vulnerable to all sorts of manipulated information. This alleged video is a typical example of multiple users that commented on the video, showing signs of anxiety and tension, that give Dubawa a reason to verify the claim. 

    Verification

    DUBAWA conducted a frame-by-frame analysis of the video on the InVid Video verification tool.  Results from the analysis show that the earliest version of the video appeared online on 12th March 2022 in a Facebook post that describes itself  as “raising disciples, training indigenous missionaries involved in rehabilitation of destitute Children.” 

    Screenshot of the earlier version of the video being circulated

    This version of the post was captioned to have condemned the “gun display” by the women, describing it as foolish and barbaric. 

    Part of the caption reads: “Why can’t these dancing women be educated for future building!!! The community leaders should be arrested immediately.”

    Going through the 3:20-seconds video, DUBAWA discovered that the chanting and dancing appear to be a festival of a tribe outside Nigeria. 

    Apparently, shreds of evidence gathered find the people in the footage to be of the  Afar ethnic people scattered across Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti.

    The Afar people have clamoured for an independent nation called “Afarria” or the “Afar Triangle,”  for almost half a century. 

    These people wielding rifles in the footage are evidently the “Afar People’s Force,” a guerrilla army that has been in the forefront of the struggle.

    The woman holding the microphone is noticed to have the flag of the Afar nationality fixed to her scarf as she dances and sings. The Afar flag has a red triangle with three horizontal stripes of blue, white and green. 

    The flag of the Afar, a combination of red triangle with three horizontal stripes of blue, white and green, is also seen attached on the scarf of the woman with the microphone
    The lead singer, the woman with the microphone with the Afar flag attached to her scarf as she dances and sings. The screenshots are taken from different angles. 

    In the same footage, officers of the Afar Regional National State Police are seen standing amidst the crowd. 

    Officers of the Afar Regional National State Police standing amidst the crowd. As identified from the footage, The blue shirt, and yellow badge reaffirm the fact the footage was taken in the Afar regions of Ethiopia, Eastern Africa
    A picture of a local Afar police officer, with the same blue shirt and yellow badge. Image sourced from Getty Images

    DUBAWA also noticed that the “Afar People’s Force (APF)” is active on Facebook and has shared multiple videos of men and women of the tribe wielding rifles while dancing and singing. In one of such videos shared on Facebook in March 2021, titled: “APF: Afar People’s Force” officers are also seen in the scene. 

    A similar but different video of the Afar People’s Force dancing and singing while wielding their rifles. The Afar Regional Police are seen present as in  the alleged video

    Although DUBAWA could not trace other sources of the alleged footage, findings from the in-depth analysis suggest the event presented in the video took place in the Afar Region of Ethiopia, Eastern Africa and not in Nigeria as claimed

    Conclusion

    The post claiming some Fulani women were armed with guns to attack Yoruba people in different parts of Nigeria is misleading as DUBAWA discovered the event took place in the Afar Region of Ethiopia, Eastern Africa, not in Nigeria as alleged

  • Truth behind ‘mysterious’ cloth that fell from the sky in Ondo town

    Could a cloth truly have fallen from the sky? This and many more were the questions asked by  social media users who saw footage of what appears to be a long white cloth descending from the sky in Ondo town, a prominent community in Ondo State.

    The footage shows several residents of the community shouting as the cloth gently approached the ground. Thereafter, they struggled to grab a piece of the white cloth, which they also claimed had an ‘Hosanna’ inscription.

    The incident sparked several claims on social media, including that the descending white cloth was one of the wonders of the generation, but findings from our visit to the scene of the incident revealed otherwise.

    A screenshot of the descent of the cloth from the sky

    Shortly after the incident occurred on October 27, 2021, a crowd gathered outside Alhaji Yesufu’s residence at Sabo area of Ondo town where the item had found a final resting place after minutes of puzzling descent from the sky.

    A screenshot from the scene of cutting of the cloth

    After the incident, the footage went viral on social media, and among those who propagated it was the popular Instablog page on Instagram where nearly 100,000 people have seen the video clip on the social network. Comments in the post suggest people believed the cloth actually dropped from the sky.

    The same footage was also shared on Facebook by popular Nollywood actress, Fatia Balogun, who has more than 567,000 followers. The video clip has now racked up more than 64,000 views since it was published on October 29.

    Another Facebook page called LAMBO GINI PROMOTION with more than 79,000 followers, also published the same clip alongside the claim. 

    Verification

    A visit to Sabo area in Ondo town for an on-the-spot verification of the claim led us to Fatima Yesufu who was at the scene of the incident. 

    “I heard some strange voices, came out and saw a lot of people struggling with a big cloth,” the octogenarian said, explaining that the clothing item landed on her child’s house.

    “Many of them even jumped into the compound through the fence. Efforts to chase them away proved abortive. The stampede was so much that I had to stay away so they would not stamp me,” she said.

    Yesufu’s experience was similar to that of Babangida Usman who stayed opposite the house and took part in the cloth cutting stampede.

    “So many people who sighted the cloth in the sky from neighbouring places found their way to Sabo here, where it finally landed just in front of my house and we all struggled to have a cut.”

    According to Usman, the scoopers had barely finished mutilating the cloth when a woman in the neighbourhood stormed the place and told them that she is a decorator and that the cloth was one of those she sundried the previous day.

    Babaginda explained that while the woman wanted back the full cloth, the leader of the Hausa community in the area appealed to her to take the incident in good faith since there was no miracle that could pull back the mutilated pieces of the ‘mysterious cloth’.

    Fatima and Usman both eyewitnesses to the incident (behind them is the location of the incident)

    Who owns the ‘mysterious’ cloth?

    Using the information provided by Usman, Dubawa’s next point of call was to the residence of the supposed owner of the cloth, which was next street to where the incident had happened.

    We met Agnes Fadoju, who is a decorator, events planner and acclaimed owner of the strange cloth.  The 120-yard cloth she bought for about N50,000 in Lagos for her decoration business is gone, but she is happy that the incident brought her to limelight.

    After showing us other similar clothes she also sundried, she recalled the event that led to the ‘strange’ incident.

    “I washed the said cloth alongside others on Tuesday evening with my children. On Wednesday morning I checked all the clothes where we hung them and did not notice any unusual thing.

    “It was much later in the afternoon that I started getting lots of phone calls asking whether I hung my decoration clothes outside to which I answered in the affirmative. This got me worried, prompting me to put a call across to my husband who then broke the news to me. A wind had blown off one of the clothes to the next street in a way that looked mysterious and everything had now been mutilated.” 

    She explained that she immediately rushed to the scene and even while on the road, saw all sorts of people tying a white piece of cloth around their body and recounting their experience with a ‘miraculous’ cloth at Sabo area.

    “All efforts to enlighten them that it was my event’s business cloth and that the ‘Hossana’ inscription on it was my company’s name proved abortive. We later met with Seriki of the Sabo who told me that if I had seen the ‘mysterious’ manner the cloth descended, I would have believed their claim.”

    Fadoju displaying her decoration clothes after being sundried

    Can a heavy cloth ascend to the sky and return without a specifically designed mechanism?

    “It is very possible to have the cloth blown from where it was hung to the sky by the wind,” said Prof. Ahmed Balogun, an applied meteorologist in the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, Federal University of Technology, Akure,

    “Wind is like a fluid of two types. The liquid and the gas but with different density. We don’t normally see the gas but it’s always there and it’s part of it that forms the clouds that we see,” Balogun told Dubawa.

    The expert in integrated atmospheric and environmental science added that the movement of the cloth to the sky could be likened to the flying of a kite whose ascension and height is a function of the prevalent wind. 

    “The cloth must have ridden on a parcel of air that is moving and it was when that parcel broke down that the cloth fell back to the earth,” he said.

    The cloth’s takeoff time and distance from the earth depend on the starting energy, the height of the lifting by the wind, and the stream of fluid that carried the cloth, according to Balogun.

    “Also responsible is the gust, which is a fast blowing wind. If the cloth gets caught in the gust activity, it can be floating for as long as that wind is energised until all the energy is dissipated or exhausted that the cloth will drop anywhere,” he added.

    On the eventual location of the cloth while returning to the earth, the don explained that it is “a function of the energy of the cloud, the starting energy or moving speed.” 

    It is pertinent to note that though a cloth fell from the sky in Ondo town, it is not mysterious as claimed and belonged to a decorator who had sundried the item before it found its way to the sky and later returned to a location not far from where it was earlier hung outside.

  • No school children kidnapped in Ondo bus hijack as claimed by Shehu Sani

    Claim: Shehu Sani, a Nigerian politician, tweeted that some students were kidnapped in Ondo State.

    Available evidence on Sani’s claim is false and misleading. No school children were kidnapped in the hijacked bus in Ondo.

    Full text

    Shehu Sani, a former senator from Kaduna state in Nigeria, tweeted on Thursday that some students were kidnapped in Ondo State.

    “The report of the abduction of schoolchildren in Ondo is another tragic news. The kidnapping of students has become a pandemic.”

    Recently, there have been incessant cases of kidnaps across the country, including those of school pupils fueling agitation across the country. 

    Expectedly, Sani’s tweet gained momentum quickly on the micro-blogging social network, Twitter, with some of his followers spreading the information at a rapid rate. 

    The tweet, which has the tendency of reaching the 1.9 million people who follow the senator, started gaining engagement barely one hour after it was posted. It already has 164 retweets and 742 likes as of 9:22 p.m. on Thursday.

    Some of the comments under the posts were in affirmation of the senators’ tweet. 

    One of those who tweeted was Emmanuel Nweze (@EmmanuelNweze10) who wrote, “@ShehuSani, Kidnapping of children in Nigeria has become a very big business of Fulani terrorists in the land so is no more a news beau’s Government of Nigeria is Supporting them by paying them money” 

    Another commentator under the post, Chegwe Ezenwa (@ChegweEzenwa), wrote, “@ShehuSani, This is the kind of pain that parents are being subjected to on a daily. How could people be so inhumane as to make families feel such pains and apprehension? It’s a cold world Earth globe americas.”

    Recent kidnappings of schoolchildren across the country

    On Sunday, May 30 2021, over 100 students of Islamiyya School at Tegina in Rafi Local Government Area, Niger State were abducted.

    Also, on March 13, 2021, Thirty-nine students of the College of Forestry Mechanisation in Kaduna were similarly held hostage by bandits, according to an earlier report by The Punch. 

    On 20 April, 2021, at least 20 students and two staff members were kidnapped in Greenfield University, Kasarami, Chikun LGA, Kaduna State. Between April 23 and 26, five of the students were killed.

    Earlier on Friday,  February 26 2021, more than 300 schoolgirls were kidnapped by unidentified gunmen from their boarding school in Jangebe, Zamfara State.

    On February, 17,2021, at least 42 people, including 27 students, were kidnapped in Kagara, Niger state, a report by The Nation Newspaper stated. 

    In 2014, 276 schoolgirls kidnapped in Chibok by Islamist militants Boko Haram brought global attention to the scourge of raids on schools in Nigeria but the most recent attacks are suspected to be the work of criminal gangs.

    The Ondo abduction

    According to several news reports, a staff member of a Chiomola private school, Omolayo Ojo, was abducted by some gunmen in Ondo State on Thursday morning. 

    The staff member of the school, which is located at Oba Ile Estate, Akure North LGA of Ondo State, was whisked away after gunmen hijacked a bus belonging to the school. 

    The incident occurred in the morning around 7am, while the driver and the abducted staff were moving around town to pick up pupils of Chiomola school.

    Verification

    Several reports including the one by Punch reported that  only a staff member of Chiomola private school, Omolayo Ojo, was abducted by the gunmen.

    Speaking to journalists, as replicated by Sahara reporters,  Ojo said the gunmen threatened to harm her if she did not cooperate with them. She added that she was taken to an unknown destination but later found her way back to Akure after asking for directions from people she met on her way.

    In an interview, the Principal of the school, Mrs Bolatito Akindemowo, confirmed that no pupil was abducted during the incident, adding that security operatives had been briefed of the incident.

    “This has never happened to our school before. However, the staff that was kidnapped has been released but we are yet to find the school bus. We have reported the incident to the police,” the principal stated.

    To further verify this claim by Senator Shehu Sani, Dubawa correspondent reached out  to the Ondo State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Tee-Leo Ikoro, in a phone interview. He stated that there was no abduction in the state. He added that there was only a case of vehicle snatching. 

     “There was no case of abduction. It was just a case of vehicle snatching by some of our hoodlums. They didn’t even abduct the lady. 

    “It was not a case of abduction not to talk of going away with school children. People are just spreading false information all over the place. Immediately the incident happened there was panic in the atmosphere and you know that once there is panic, people will begin to say all sorts of things they are not sure of,” he added.

    Conclusion

    Based on the evidence available and credible news reports, Senator Sani’s tweet is false and misleading.

    The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2021 Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with Punch to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

  • The FactChecker

    Fact Checks of the week

    On Tuesday 11th May 2021, a Twitter user Defense News Nigeria shared a thread alleging the French government of sponsoring African militant and rebel groups. It also linked France to the recent upsurge of the Boko Haram…

    Recently a news blog @Lindaikejiblogoffical claims that a new variant from India is now in Nigeria and has been found in Edo and Osun states in Nigeria. This blog quoted Professor Oyewale Tomori as saying …

    A recent news report by Newsclickng claims the General Overseer (GO) of the Living Faith Church International popularly known as Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, urged his church members…

    Tip Of The Week

    #FakeNewsAlert

    There’s precious little that we can do about the barrage of misinformation that we see daily, but there’s a lot we can do together if we learn to identify suspicious claims in the news and refrain from fuelling the fire by spreading them! Here are our top picks of likely-to-be-false news which [sadly] couldn’t be fact-checked.

    CLAIM: Federal Government Sponsored ICT Training –  SOURCE: WhatsApp Message

    A message making rounds on WhatsApp draws attention to an alleged ICT Training sponsored by the Federal Government and urged readers to apply. While this message may appeal to those seeking this kind of opportunity, it is important to verify the authenticity of the website. Many fraudulent websites have emerged devising different techniques to scam or pull traffic to their websites. 

    Questions to ask yourself: Who is the source? Who Initiated the training? Which government office is sponsoring the training? How genuine are the attached URLs?

    What you should do: Verify before sharing. 

    Other Fact Checks

  • 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. 

  • Quick Checks: Misleading Claims from the Ondo 2020 Election

    CLAIM: A twitter user @Iyanuoluwa, in a video, claimed that thugs working for the APC candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu attacked opposition agent. “Akeredolu thugs at IJOMU, opposite St David’s Church. They almost killed the only PDP agent there,” he tweeted.

    Source: Twitter @Iyanuoluwa

    Misleading 

    Verification: Temitope Akinmoladun, PTCIJ observer who is currently around the area confirmed that there is no such rancor is happening or has transpired around the area. Furthermore,  the video did not portray or depict what it claimed. It only portrayed some bystanders who neither expressed aggression nor admitted that they were or affiliated to Mr. Akeredolu. This claim is misleading. 


    Claim: A user on Twitter shared a video and claimed that certain top officials alongside some thugs demand voters in Owo unit 15  to either vote for APC or go home. 

    Source: Twitter @Ondo66265742

    Misleading

    Verification: Okenye Jerry, PTCIJ Observer within the area substantiated that there was no such scenario around or within the polling unit. He added that both the voters present and INEC officials at the polling unit in question confirmed that the information is a ruse. Furthermore, the video did not depict the narrative it claimed to have unfolded and there was no such rancor, nor did anyone let out or suggested such threats. Hence, this claim is misleading. 


    Claim: Governor Akeredolu is owing Ondo workers and pensioners but commissioner sharing N100,000 24 hours to election

    Source: Twitter user who described himself as Media aide, Taraba state governor, October 9, 2020

    Verdict: Insufficient Evidence

    Verification: There are different news of  Governor Akeredolu’s administration owing workers across different sectors but there are no evidence that the commissioner was sharing money. The post also failed to mention the name of the commissioner or the ministry.

  • Quick Checks: Ondo 2020 Election

    Claim: APC asks court to disqualify Akeredolu 24 hours to election

    Source: Twitter user, October 10, 2020

    Evidence: Daily Trust and other major dailies reported that a certain APC chieftain, Barrister Kalu Agu asks court to disqualify Olurotimi Akeredolu on the argument that the nomination of the APC candidate in the 2020 Ondo guber election is invalid because the party had no national chairman and secretary then. He also petitioned the court to disqualify other APC candidates participating in the Lagos and Imo senatorial bye-election. 

    Verdict: True


    Claim: Ondo INEC Boat Capsize (Video) with lives lost 

    Source: naijaruk.com, October 10, 2020

    Evidence: The video was verified to have first surfaced on the internet at 11:48pm on October 9, 2020. Festus Okoye, INEC spokesperson has told PREMIUM TIMES that there was no casualty, and no electoral material was damaged from the incident which happened at 7pm.

    Verdict: Mostly True

  • Establishment of Entrepreneurial Agency Claim by Akeredolu a Hoax

    Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, APC candidate, claims his administration established Ondo entrepreneurial agency.

    Full Text 

    In the run up to the Ondo State gubernatorial elections, the aspiring candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Eyitayo Jegede,  All Progressive Congress (APC), Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, and Social Democratic Party (SDP), Peter Fasua locked horns in a debate organised by Face the Voter Initiative on October 4th 2020.

    The debate which was organised ahead of the October 10th gubernatorial elections in Ondo State lasted over an hour with the candidates defending their eligibility for the position and also answering relevant questions on their agenda for the state, if elected governor. 

    During the debate, the incumbent governor of the state and the candidate of the APC said he had started Ondo entrepreneurial agency

    In his words “On the issue of entrepreneurship, today we have Ondo State Entrepreneurship Agency, all to build our youths to become entrepreneurs.”

    Verification

    On August 24th, a youtube channel ONDEA, Ondo State Entrepreneurship Agency, with 19 subscribers, posted a video where the governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, announced the establishment of the Ondo  Entrepreneurial Agency. 

    In the post which has garnered 36 views since posting. The governor is seen explaining how his government plans to bring the state out of economic downturn. 

    He said, “The urgent need to rebuild our economy cannot be overemphasized as we all depend on it to survive, with the uncertainty of long term economic impact of the covid19 pandemic, the Ondo state government has proactively created quick measures to ensure that our people are back on their feet once again……..This is why we have unveiled the Ondo State Entrepreneurship Agency ONDEA, to directly tackle the challenges faced by entrepreneurs as well as micro and macro business in the state.”  

    The agency known as ONDEA has a website  which contains information on programmes for citizens to apply for loans to do business. In the website, it is stated that – ONDEA is a platform that provides an interest-free loan to artisans, SME’s, traders, farmers, business men and women who are indigenes, reside, and do business in Ondo State. 

    Recent updates as seen on the website were all published on August 26th indicating that the website was created almost immediately after the project was announced by the governor of the state.

    A report by Punch on October 1st made reference to a proposed Ondo State Youth Entrepreneurs Agency. He said, “what we will be doing in our second term is to establish the Ondo State Youth Entrepreneurs Agency to help raise young entrepreneurs who will create jobs for graduates.” 

    It is not clear whether the governor was referring to the same agency or another he intends to execute.

    Also, when Dubawa searched the address of the Entrepreneurial Agency – Revenue House, Igbatoro Road, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria – as seen on the ONDEA website, it was discovered to be the address of the Ondo State Board of Internal Revenue Service.

    When Dubawa reached out to the Commissioner for Information in the state, Donald Ojogo, on our findings, he declined comments on most questions asked.

    However, on the issue of ONDEA’s address being that of the Board of Internal Revenue, he said 

    “ONDEA has claimed that is the address abi,……they can have an office there, there are banks there now, in that complex, they can have an office there, there are even ATM points there. You call it revenue house, it’s a plaza if you look at it, so what is wrong if the ONDEA’s office is in the revenue house” 

    Conclusion 

    Findings by Dubawa indicates that the agency is yet to commence proper operations. The agency, at best, is a plan of the incumbent governor in event of securing a  second term.  

    The researcher produced this fact-check per the Dubawa 2020 Fellowship partnership with Sparkling 92.3 FM to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

  • How true is Akeredolu’s claim his administration started bitumen exploration in Nigeria?

    Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State claimed his administration started bitumen exploration in Ondo state. 

    True. Governor Rotimi Akeredolu’s administration started the exploration of bitumen in the state.

    Full Text

    Ahead of the October 10th Governorship Election in Ondo State, the two top contenders, incumbent Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Eyitayo Jegede, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), participated in a live debate organized by Channels Television.

    Barely an hour into the debate, on Wednesday night, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu claimed his administration started bitumen exploration in Ondo state. Dubawa verified how true this claim is.

    “In our time. In our own very own time, bitumen exploration has started. We are the ones who facilitated it.” he said.

    He added “South West Bitumen Exploration Limited is there not only for mining but exploration of bitumen”

    Verification

    Bitumen also referred to as Asphalt is a sticky, black and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid form of petroleum. It may be found in natural deposits or may be a refined product; it is a substance classed as a pitch. In Nigeria, bitumen typically exists both on the surface and below the surface. 

    The estimated reserves of bitumen in Ondo State is 16 billion barrels, almost as twice the amount of existing reserves of crude petroleum, according to information from the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

    The information from the ministry of mines also indicates that Nigeria has the second largest deposit of bitumen in the world, spanning approximately 120km. 

    The primary use (70%) of asphalt/bitumen is in road construction, where it is used as the glue or binder mixed with aggregate particles to create asphalt concrete. Its other main uses are for bituminous waterproofing products, including production of roofing felt and for sealing flat roofs.

    Exploration of Bitumen in Ondo State

    In 2017, the Federal Government announced the award of a licence to Ondo State Government to mine its rich deposit of bitumen, said to be one of the largest in the world.

    The then Minister of Mines and Steels Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, made it known at the First Ondo State Investment Forum held at the International Event Centre, Akure, the state capital, reports the PUNCH.

    Fayemi said that the licence was granted to the state as part of the efforts of the federal government to diversify the economy and boost the country’s foreign exchange.

    In July 2020, for the first time, Ondo state took delivery of equipment from Europe to mine bitumen in partnership with a company, South West Bitumen Exploration Limited (SWB), TVC News Reports.

    According to the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, “In a matter of six or seven months, we will be getting large production of bitumen from here”, as reported by the Vanguard, Guardian, and TheNation

    The bitumen region spans roughly four states — Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, and Edo States, according to a study by Heinrich Böll Foundation Nigeria. 

    However, Ondo State is the only state with a Bitumen Mining Licence.

    Conclusion

    True. For the first time, in July 2020, Ondo State, in partnership with a company, South West Bitumen Exploration Limited, took delivery of equipment from Europe to mine bitumen.

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

  • Eight signs of propaganda as Edo, Ondo go to the polls

    By Francis Arinze Iloani

    As the Edo and Ondo States Election approaches, we have identified eight types of political disinformation [otherwise known as propaganda] designed and viciously disseminated to sway the choices of would-be voters. In fact, a recent article, by Iwok Iniobong titled “Edo, Ondo guber: Why politicians, parties must tread softly,” posited that politicians in Edo and Ondo campaigns had deviated from their manifestos in favour of spreading misinformation and disinformation. “If you observe very well, presentation of manifestos is no longer the in-thing, but the campaign is about use of base language and innuendos against opponents,” Iniobong said. 

    Exhibit 1 – there were several opposing information circulated through the media, particularly the social media, on the attack on Governor Godwin Obaseki’s entourage at the Oba of Benin Palace. 

    The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Campaign Council, Chief Dan Orbih, alleged that “the attack was a plot to eliminate Governor Obaseki, national officials of PDP and some PDP governors.”

    Conversely, the Vice Chairman, Media and Publicity Committee of the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) National Campaign Council, Mr. Patrick Obahiagbon, alleged that the PDP was responsible for the attack and that Governor Obaseki was planning to arrest and detain the former National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on the eve of the election.

    Bearing this in mind and being conscious of the reality that some media consumers may not have the required media literacy to easily detect propaganda from the legion of information in the media, here are the eight ways to easily detect propaganda in the media: 

    Bandwagon veiled as information

    Politicians veil propaganda as information in the form of bandwagon. The idea here is to convey the notion that if you don’t get aboard you will be left out. A media literate consumer should watch out for politicians who direct their appeals to groups held together by common ties. For instance, politicians at subnational levels in Nigeria are likely to rely on bandwagon effects if their party is in charge at the federal level. It is widely shared that the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari contributed to the victory of some governors and lawmakers. A media literate person should be able to notice media messages designed to appeal to sentiments of voters based on common ties, rather than merits.

    Name calling as against genuine manifestos

    Be careful of politicians who appeal to your hate and fear.  They do name calling by the use of negative words or labels to create prejudice against some person, group or idea. For instance, Dr. Charles Omorodion’s article titled “Edo 2020: Beware of Obaseki’s perfidy, betrayal and Judas Kiss!” published on Bloomshire stated that “as a betrayal, in a deeper sense, Obaseki is sending an ominous signal of how little he cares about, or values his relationship with APC.” A media literate person should judge Obaseki beyond the tag of “a betrayer.” Name calling cuts across all the political campaigners in Edo and Ondo States.

    Reliance on testimonial

    Politicians deploying testimonial propaganda use experts, celebrities, or perceived opinion leaders to offer reasons why they are best suited to be elected.  As the elections in Edo and Ondo States draw nearer, you are likely to see more celebrity endorsements of candidates. For instance, a national newspaper recently reported that  teachers in Ondo State under the auspices of the National Network of Teachers for Good Governance and Quality Education endorsed Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for a second term in office. A media literate news consumer reasons beyond such propaganda and focuses more on Governor Akeredolu’s manifesto for his second term. 

    Read more.


    Fact checks of the week

    A YouTube video from ‘Biafra Generation’ claims that the world bank has approved the Biafran currency (what they termed as the Ejemme). How true?

    A Facebook user, Okeke Nelson, on the Radio Biafra London page, put up a twitter post alleged to be from the President of the United States, Donald Trump. In the post, Trump said…

    An All Progressives Congress (APC) party leader, Joe Igbokwe, deploys varieties of cheering photographs on Facebook claiming they are that of the recently …


    QandA

    • When is the Edo election holding? 

    The Edo governorship election has been scheduled for September 19th.

    • How many Candidates are on the INEC final list for Edo election?

    According to the final list of candidates released by the Independent Electoral Commission, there are 14 candidates in total. From the 14 governorship candidates, only 2 are females.  The two female governorship candidates are Mabel Oboh of African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Agol Tracy of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).


    What can you do? 

    Be alert, share our tips and don’t share false news! 


    Coronavirus infection count 

    Note: Total cases may be more than officially stated owing to the inability to include unconfirmed cases. Stay safe!


    Tip of the week 


    #FakeNews Alert 

    Questions to ask yourself: Who is the source? Who is your source’s source? Has this been published by another platform? Is this a wrong headline? Is the figure accurate? Has it been Over/Under stated? Be sure to verify the content of this report before sharing.

    Questions to ask yourself:  What is the evidence behind this number? Is there a proof? Is this a misleading statement? What is the intention of the speaker? You may be shocked what you’ll find out.


    Other Fact-checks 

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