President Buhari

  • Viral Message On Buhari’s Alleged Attempt To Give Nigerians’ Land To Fulanis Not Authored By Obasanjo

    Claim: A viral WhatsApp message titled, ‘Fulanis In Nigeria Are Repeating What They Did In the Central African Republic And How They Were Tackled’ was purported to have been written by former Nigeria President, Olusegun Obasanjo.

    The message is misleading. Obasanjo is not the author of this message.

    Full Text

    The Nigerian social media space has been used several times to share fake news, incite violence and create fear in the minds of people. This is despite the limitless good opportunities it offers the teeming population.

    Recently, stories regarding herders-farmers clash in southern Nigerian communities have become commonplace in the news media and on social media platforms. 

    In view of this and other security threats, some Nigerians have called on the government to allow citizens to carry AK-47 rifles due to the security challenges faced in most parts of the country.

    Narratives regarding the Islamisation and ‘Fulanization’ of Nigeria by the Buhari administration have also gained prominence in social debates and discussions. 

    Also, multimedia files projecting these fears are being shared regularly. 

    However, in a bid to further push this kind of narrative, a message was put together and attributed to former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo. The message has been shared several times on WhatsApp. 

    Screenshot of the WhatsApp post attributed to Obasanjo
    Another screenshot of the WhatsApp post

    Obasanjo, who ruled as both military Head of State and civilian president, is one who had taken his time to write letters to past and current presidents of the country showing concerns over the state of the nation while proffering possible solutions to the problems.

    An example is one written to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan in December 2013 titled ‘Before it is too late’. 

    He also wrote another to Buhari in 2018 advising him to take a rest from politics. It was titled, ‘The Way Out: A Clarion Call For Coalition For Nigeria Movement’.

    Obasanjo has also presented himself as a strong advocate for a better Nigeria through constant interviews in the media expressing his opinion on the state of the nation. 

    Beyond WhatsApp groups, the message has also been shared to other social media platforms such as Facebook and some other popular websites.

    Screenshot of the Facebook post with the same message 
    Screenshot of the post on Nairaland, an online medium
    Screenshot of the same message on a news medium 

    Part of the message reads, “Fulanis In Nigeria Are Repeating What They Did In Central African Republic And How They Were Tackled –Olusegun Obasanjo

    “Another civil war in Nigeria has become imminent and inevitable. The reason for its inevitability is simply because Muhammadu Buhari, the Northern Nigeria Fulani oligarchs and the wider network of Fulani in Sub-Saharan Africa have concluded plans to adopt Nigeria as the homeland for all Fulani in Africa.

    “Fulani have realised that the wandering and rootless lifestyle of cattle herding is no longer tenable in the twenty-first century. Fulani need to have land to call home and rear cattle and that land should be Nigeria. The indigenous peoples of Nigeria have clearly, vehemently and stridently opposed this diabolic plan and both sides are mobilising for war. 

    “The Fulani won’t relent and the indigenous people will not give up their land. The same Fulani Project, having failed so shamelessly and woefully in the Central African Republic, will not be allowed to fail this time as the Nigerian Fulani project is better funded with the massive [stealing] of the sovereign wealth of Nigeria through nationwide kidnapping for ransom by lower class Fulani and the seizure of the reigns of Government and wealth by the elite Fulani. 

    “Kidnapping and the seizure of the institutions of Government are all for the purpose of implanting Fulani into the mainstream and control of politics and the economy of Nigeria for the objective of funding the Fulani Project in Nigeria.”

    The message also quoted Obasanjo as saying that Central African Republic had gone through the same Fulani invasion of farmlands and communities currently being experienced in Nigeria, urging Nigerians to rise up and defend their lands. 

    Verification

    Dubawa read the 20 paragraph-long message which sought to ‘inform’ Nigerians on plans by Buhari to take their lands for Fulanis, how the herdsmen invasion was tackled in the CAR and what Nigerians can possibly do to curtail herdsmen invasion. 

    The message also cited the alleged instances wherein Buhari showed a favourable disposition towards the Fulanis. 

    Dubawa reached out to Obasanjo’s Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, who dismissed the viral message, noting that there is no basis to believe. 

    Akinyemi noted that Obasanjo’s standard mode of communication have been made public over time, urging readers to look out for the date of the message, and if it had been duly acknowledged by him.

    He said, ”In the last four, five years, we have been saying how this man sends out communication. Before anyone will believe this, it is either coming from his office dated and duly acknowledged by him, not just Olusegun Obasanjo as his name appears in the message.”

    Further checks by Dubawa showed that there was no such report in credible news outlets. 

    Conclusion

    This message is misleading and false. Obasanjo  did not author the viral WhatsApp message titled,  ‘Fulanis In Nigeria Are Repeating What They Did In Central African Republic And How They Were Tackled’.

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

  • African Economic Summit not postponed as claimed in tweet ridiculing Buhari’s departure to France

    Claim: A Twitter User claims the summit President Buhari departed Nigeria to attend has been postponed. 

    Dubawa’s findings show that the alleged postponed summit is different from the African economic summit president Buhari has left to attend.

    Full Text

    In  a statement by president Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu, it was announced that the president will be leaving Nigeria for Paris, France on Sunday May 16, 2021 for Africa’s Economic Summit scheduled for Tuesday, May 18 2021. 

    This summit according to Mr Garba is set to draw global finance institutions and some Heads of Government, who will, collectively, discuss external funding and debt treatment for Africa, and private sector reforms.

    In view of this, the president was reported to have departed Nigeria for France on Sunday May 16, 2021. Reacting to this, a Twitter user @emmaikumeh suggests the summit had been postponed. The Twitter post with the caption “When will this embarrassing stop? Is Buhari not tired of embarrassing us?” was accompanied with screenshots of Allafrica and Presidency Nigeria’s Twitter post. 

    Screenshot of Emma’s twitter post

    Screenshots of Mr Emma’s Twitter post and others by different Twitter users making reference to this said postponement was making the rounds, prompting Dubawa to verify this claim. 

    One Twitter user @Kellyfreshmmy under the comment section said this was an excuse to see his medical team.

    Screenshot of Kellyfreshmmy’s comment.

    Another Twitter user @jumupwell however noted that there are two different summits.

    Screenshot of Jumupwell’s comment

    Verification

    Dubawa traced and found the original tweet by Mr Emma with the screenshot of Allafrica’s news report on the summit postponement and the presidency’s tweet announcing the president’s departure.

    Following this, Dubawa traced both screenshots and found these Twitter posts were made by Allafrica.com @allafrica and presidency Nigeria @NGRpresident respectively. 

    Screenshot of Twitter post by Allafrica 

    The link attached to Allafrica’s Twitter post led to a full report on an African-France Summit scheduled for July but postponed to October.

    “The Africa-France summit, which was to be held in early July in Montpellier, southern France, has been pushed back to early October because of travel constraints linked to the Covid-19 epidemic. The event, planned from 8 to 10 July, will now take place from 7 to 9 October 2021,”

    Excerpt of All Africa African-France summit postponement.

    Screenshot of news report linked to Allafrica’s Twitter post.

    The dates in this report conflict with the date for the summit the president departed to attend. This raised a red flag, so Dubawa found news reports and compared the details of this said July summit and that which the president was attending. 

    A report by African News noted that the president of France will host the Summit on Financing African Economies on Tuesday 18 May 2021, at the Grand Palais Ephémère, in Paris.  According to this report, this hybrid format summit that is both face-to-face and by videoconference is coming after the publication of a statement by 18 African and European leaders on 15 April 2020, calling for the mobilisation of the international community to address the consequences of the health and economic crisis caused in Africa by the pandemic.

    Screenshot of African News report

    Another report by France24 noted that it is a Twin summit starting with one on Monday May 17, 2021 to help Sudan into a new democratic era and the second on Tuesday May 18, 2021 to provide Africa with critical financing issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Screenshot of France24 news report

    Also, Twitter post by @NGRpresident Nigeria confirmed the departure and arrival of the president in France

    Screenshot of Presidency Nigeria’s Tweet announcing President Buhari’s departure from Nigeria
    Screenshot of Presidency Nigeria’s post announcing his Arrival in France

    Having established this summit for May 18 is still scheduled to hold, Dubawa tried to find the said July summit which was postponed, according to Allafrica and Twitter users.

    A report by rfi on Friday May 14, 2021, noted that the Africa-France summit, which was to be held in early July in Montpellier, southern France, has been pushed back to early October because of travel constraints linked to the Covid-19 epidemic.

    According to this report, the event, scheduled for July 8 to July 10 will now take place from October 7 to October 9, 2021.

    Screenshot of report by rfi

    A similar report by the North Africn Post carries the same claim.

    Screenshot of the North Africa Post’s report

    A comparison of these reports show that the two reports are unrelated events. The reports available on the postponed summit do not contain details of what the focus of the summit is. Also, it is worthy of note that the date, title, and location of both summits show they are unrelated. 

    While the summit President Buhari left for is called the “Afrciacn Economic Summit” and is scheduled for May 18, 2021 in Paris, the postponed summit is called the “African-France Summit” and is scheduled for July 8-10, 2021 at Montpellier, Southern France.

    Conclusion

    Dubawa’s findings show that the alleged postponed summit is different from the African economic summit president Buhari has left Nigeria to attend.  This makes the claim false and misleading.

  • Six major misinformation subjects Nigerian fact-checkers battled in 2020

    Fake news has gradually evolved to settle as a force that can’t be completely ruled out so long there is a trending debate in the media. 

    As the never-ending fight against fake news continues in the new year,  Dubawa looks back and presents the major misinformation subjects in 2020.

    1. Alleged Death of a Nigerian in the Ukrainian Flight Crash 

    In January, a Ukrainian flight, Boeing 737-800, crashed shortly after take-off. Subsequent reports, originating from Nigerian news platforms claimed that a Nigerian, Dauda Onoruoiza was one of the 176 passengers that lost their lives in the crash. 

    However, Dubawa’s findings revealed some red flags suggesting otherwise. Only Nigerian news outlets reported that Mr Dauda Onoruoiza was aboard while major international news outlets failed to report any Nigerian present on the flight. Dubawa assumed Mr Dauda had dual citizenship and proceeded to search his name on the plane’s manifest, but there was no Dauda Onoroizua on the list.

    Dubawa also found out that the picture circulated with the reports belonged to one Mr Bernard Adeleye who was forced to come after seeing his picture in circulation and being proclaimed dead. Interestingly, Mr Dauda is now Mr Bernerd. According to Mr Bernard, “I am not dead; in fact, I have never travelled to Ukraine before. I have never travelled by air before let alone travelling to Ukraine. So, why will someone use my picture and claim that I was the Nigerian that died in the Ukraine plane crash? The picture that was used in the publications was the same picture that I used on my Instagram page in 2018, and this was the exact outfit I am putting on now. This has really affected me as I now wear a face cap to cover my face because whenever I am walking on the road, people call me “dead man walking.”

    With this, it is safe to say the story was made up to justify Dubawa’s rating

    2. Chloroquine, Hydroxychloroquine as Covid-19 cure

    “We’re not just fighting an epidemic; we’re fighting an infodemic.” 

    The above was a remark given by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) at a gathering of foreign policy and security experts in Munich, Germany, in mid-February. The remark serves as an acknowledgement of the mis/dis-information flying about the New Coronavirus. 

    Recall the virus was first detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and was declared a public health emergency of international concern on 30th of January 2020 a few weeks before the index case was identified in Nigeria. Since then, fake news peddlers kept churning out content about the virus; who has it, how it spreads and most especially the cure.

    Fake News about Covid-19 cure kept surfacing even after different health authorities announced that there were no cures or vaccines. Proposed cures like Cocaine, Garlic, Lemon Grass Tea, Warm Water, Sex, Chloroquine circulated but were quickly laid to rest by fact-checkers who were actively working for that purpose. However, one cure, Chloroquine, remained adamant and refused to leave the scene.  Dubawa had to do 3 checks on the topic and all came out false. 

    Chloroquine Trends on Nigeria Twitter

    The buzz about Chloroquine began when social media pages, back in February, circulated the antimalarial medicine as a cure for covid-19, these posts contributed to making Chloroquine the number one trend on Nigeria’s Twitter at the time. Dubawa suggested a February 17th report by China Science as a likely originator of the information. The report stated that: ”Antimalarial drug Chloroquine Phosphate has a certain curative effect on the #COVID19, Chinese experts confirmed based on the results of the clinical trials, according to an official on Monday.”

    The fact-checking platform also found out that besides chloroquine phosphate, Favipiravir and Remdesivir were also circulated as cures at the time. To correct the misinformation, Dubawa stated, “It is essential to note the phrase “clinical effects” does not necessarily indicate a definite cure; but rather a potential solution to the virus. The post surmises Chloroquine Phosphate as a likely remedy to Covid-10, not a confirmed treatment.” Additionally, the WHO Director-General revealed that the organisation was conducting a number of drug trials but the malarial Chloroquine used in China was not one of the drugs, thereby falsifying the viral claims.

    Donald Trump Hyped chloroquine as cure

    Once again, in March, several reports suggested that health authorities have approved Chloroquine as a cure for covid-19. This time, it was the President of the United States, Donald Trump, that reignited the fire by endorsing the anti-malarial, making people contest prior reports that suggested Chloroquine was not a cure for covid-19. Subsequent reports on social media and print revealed the abuse of Chloroquine and even one death. A man, according to Forbes, died in Arizona, trying to immunise himself from Covid-19. The man and his wife allegedly used the version (Chloroquine) meant for cleaning fish tanks resulting in his demise and his wife in critical condition. In Nigeria, there were reports of Chloroquine poisoning.

    Dubawa debunked the claim, reiterated that chloroquine hadn’t been approved as a cure and advised against its consumption. 

    Pastor, Doctor Stella Immanuel and the Chloroquine Gospel

    Out of the blue, on Monday, July 27th, the social media space welcomed a widely circulated video, showing a group of doctors led by Doctor Stella Immanuel. The Doctor, in the video, identified herself as a primary health care physician in Houston, Texas before presenting chloroquine as a tested and trusted cure for the new coronavirus. 

    Dr. Stella revealed that she had treated over 350 COVID-19 patients with Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), Zithromax and Zinc.  Additionally, she said, “there is no need to wear a mask.” 

    Dubawa, however, dismissed her claims on account that she was a very controversial person with a history of making bizarre claims and the references she provided were outdated and invalid in the context of the new coronavirus. Also, while she has publicly advised against the use of nose masks, she was caught wearing one while preaching in her church.

    To further nullify her claims, health authorities cautioned against the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine.

    3. The Focus on Bill Gates

    As the search for the coronavirus vaccine intensified, the Gates family became the focus of fake news peddlers. First, a  Facebook user claims Melinda Gates divorced her husband, Bill Gates, for wanting to destroy Africa through a purported compulsory vaccination scheme. This turned out false after a check was carried out. Dubawa found that Mrs Gates’ statement was misconstrued.

    Meanwhile, in May, the tech guru allegedly offered a $10million bribe to the House of Representatives to hasten the passage of a pending bill on compulsory vaccination for everybody in Nigeria. This claim remains unproven. The main accuser,  Mr Ugochinyere – author of the claim – failed to provide proof in support of his claims, rendering them baseless. Nonetheless, both the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the House of Representative disclaimed the accusation as the committee investigating the claim in the House of Representative continued its work.

    A video – allegedly leaked –  was circulated on a Christian App – RIG Nation App. The video purportedly shows Bill Gate presenting to the CIA how to alter the brain functions of religious fanatics. At the time this video surfaced, the coronavirus was at its peak and the world was relentlessly looking for a cure. There were several reports announcing potent cures, as well as rumour that Bill Gate was planning to introduce a microchip as part of covid-19 vaccination. It is safe to say the post was a way of exposing  Mr Gates’ alleged ulterior motives and to warn against being vaccinated.

    Dubawa found out that the video was old and has been recycled several times between 2011 and 2020. Reputable sources have also identified the video as a deliberate hoax; it was not leaked as we were led to believe. While the actual video was released to promote an uncompleted film project, it was recirculated in 2020 to include Bill Gates in the narrative.

    Additionally, the scans, representing “religious brains” were doctored images taken from a 2010 issue of the American Academy of Neurology.  

    4. The Nigerian Army and the #LekkiTollGateShooting

    The October social movement which saw the participation of thousands of Nigerian youths across different states contributed to the wave of fake news already present in the media. The #EndSARS movement was an online and physical protest against police brutalityharassment and extortion of the Nigerian youth. 

    While Dubawa received a handful of claims during this period, one particular claim from the Nigerian Army stood out as it caught the attention of international bodies who also joined in setting the record straight. This claim was as a result of the October 20th incidence at the Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos state, where the Nigerian Army opened fire at peaceful protesters. However, despite viral pictures, videos, reports and fact checks speaking to this, the Army repeatedly denied the event ever took place. 

    5. Fake Buhari 

    Buhari’s choice to be mute during the #EndSARS protest did not go down well with a lot of people as they expected the president to come out and address the issue. His absence sparked conversations on social media and brought back the popular ‘fake Buhari’ controversy. 

    Several reports and images suggested the person in Aso Rock is one Jubril of Sudan, a clone of Buhari (who allegedly died years back). To make it more convincing and strengthen the narrative, the death certificate of the president was shared widely. Dubawa, however, demystified the viral image, revealing how it was doctored.

    6. The Covid-19 Vaccine

    The media received several claims relating to cures and vaccines in 2020. Why? 2020 was a tough year full of fear and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines became the only hope of the people. Since fake news peddlers are known for always preying on soft spots, the reason they focus on vaccines can’t be clearer. 

    Fake news about the vaccines is as old as the pandemic. They had been circulating since when achieving a vaccine seemed like a Sisyphean project. In recent times, with several reports announcing the emergence of actual vaccines, the fake news in circulation have doubled if not tripled. Little wonder when Francesco Rocca, president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, remarked that Fake news about a Covid-19 vaccine has become a second pandemic and advised governments and relevant institutions to implement measures to combat growing mistrust and misinformation.

  • Was President Buhari Smug Over the Two-Week Extension to the Lockdown?

    A blog post headlined that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria said Nigerians should appreciate him for the two-week lockdown extension.

    During his speech, the President did not make such a statement; this is a clear illustration of a falsified headline purposely meant to catch the reader’s attention.

    Full text

    Monday, April 13 marked the end of the two weeks lockdown initiated by the Federal government, or so we thought. As the countdown slowly came to a halt, everyone waited anxiously for a directive from the presidency; although all indications pointed to a possible extension. And just yesterday, the suspense was over. The administration announced another two weeks of self-isolation for the citizenry. 

    Shortly after President Buhari’s nationwide address on the 13th of April 2020, a blog site- Oyinbonaija- decided to add fuel to the fire of uncertain emotions embodied by Nigerians. The website’s publication which already garnered over 469 views suggests that President Muhammadu Buhari urged Nigerians to appreciate him for the extension. 

    But is this really the case? Did the President make such a comment while giving his speech?

    Verification

    A proper look at the publication revealed that the only contradicting statement of the publication was the headline. The main text was starkly different from the headline.

    A section of the President’s speech read:

    “With this in mind and having carefully considered the briefings and Report from the Presidential Task Force and the various options offered, it has become necessary to extend the current restriction of movement in Lagos and Ogun States as well as the FCT for another 14 days effective from 11:59 pm on Monday, 13th of April, 2020. I am therefore once again asking you all to work with (the) Government in this fight”. 

    However, at no point in time did the President say that Nigerians should appreciate him for the lockdown, at least not in his speech.

    Sensational headlines

    Oyinbonaija in its publication, like many other misleading pieces, leverages emotions via sensational headlines for clicks and views. This tactic, however, is not novel and not in the least imperceptible.

    Consequently, Dubawa still urges readers to be sceptical of any piece of information they come across. Additionally,  readers should ensure they go through the main text and not only the headline. This will give the reader the idea the source of the message is trying to pass.

    And as a reminder, sensational headlines are a pointer that the news might be fake. At the very least, interrogate the piece with a simple google search; better still, reach out to us.

    Conclusion

    The President did not say in his speech that Nigerians should appreciate him for extending the lockdown by two weeks. Sites such as these leverage emotions via clickbait titles for notoriety. 

  • President Buhari Never Pledged Nigeria’s Support to Libya!

    A news site claimed Buhari said he has sleepless nights over the insecurity situation in Libya and pledged Nigeria’s support for the course. 

    President Buhari never pledged that Nigeria would help Libya overcome its current security challenges; neither did he say the insecurity situation gave him sleepless nights!

    Full Text

    BlueNews attributed the statement above to President Buhari; suggesting he made this statement at the just concluded African Union summit in Addis Ababa. 

    The publication went on to say Buhari attributed his alleged sleepless nights to the worsening security condition in Libya; further stating its devastating impact on neighbouring countries. Even more, the report intimates the President pledged that Nigeria would help Libya overcome its current security challenges.

    Verification

    The African Union held it 33rd assembly tagged “Silencing the gun” on the 9th – 10th of February 2020 in Addis Ababa.

    In a report published by the News Agency of Nigeria and other news sites who also referenced NAN, highlights the original statement of the President at the meeting. 

    President Buhari expressed his regret on the mayhem and crisis sustained in Africa from terrorism and violence. He further sojourned sister nations for their support in mitigating the common threat of terrorism in the continent. 

    “Nigeria condemns, in the strongest terms, the perpetrators of terrorism in Libya, the Sahel, Lake Chad, and parts of the Horn of Africa”

    President Buhari

    According to the NAN, the President also emphasized national dialogue, social cohesion and reconciliation amongst member states to achieve the common goal of sustainable peace. 

    Red Flags

    There were no reports bearing the alleged quote from the President.

    More so, the President, never pledged that Nigeria would help Libya overcome its current security challenges. Further, President Buhari attended the summit; the minister of foreign affairs did not represent him contrary to reports. 

    Generally, blog sites utilize such sensational headlines for clickbait; hence why we always advise a healthy dose of scepticism when viewing such content.

  • Did the Border Closure Initiative Earn Nigeria 512 Million Litres Extra?

    Lauretta Onochie attributed the reduction in PMS importation- 512 million litres- to the border closure initiative; adding it happened in the last three months. She also said the Federal government has over 2 billion litres in reserve.

    While reduction in PMS importation did occur in the third quarter of 2019, it is MISLEADING to attribute it to the border closure. This is because the seaports and pipelines were importation occurs, were not closed! More so, reduction was recorded in June- second quarter- whereas the closure commenced in the third quarter.

    Full Text

    NBS’ recent publication- Q3 Petroleum Report– got everyone talking. Among them was
    Lauretta Onochie, aide to President Buhari on social media. She applauded the border control initiative, claiming its progress was evident.  

    The same sentiment was shared by Mele Kyari– Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)- who believes it may be connected with the border closure.  

    Did Nigeria actually close its borders?

    Nigeria never closed its land borders per se- it only took measures to enhance security; according to reports. This was premised on checkmating acts of terrorism, banditry, smuggling and proliferation of weapons. The Federal Government released a statement to this effect on August 20th. 

    The initiative was codenamed EX-SWIFT RESPONSE and comprised of several security agencies. These included the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) in collaboration with the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) as well as the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).  Mr Joseph Attah- Public Relations Officer, NCS- also reassured the public that the criteria for admittance into the borders were legitimate documents and identification; those without this were denied access.

    Nonetheless, there are still reports of the devastating effect the border closure has had on neighbouring countries. This is owing to skyrocketing prices consequent on this restriction. Additionally, this land closure raises questions on whether Nigeria is keeping her side of the ECOWAS treaty with respect to trade and free movement. 

    Alternatively, oil imports seem to be unaffected; as these happen through Nigeria’s ports where monitoring is apparently effective. 

    PMS importation activity reduced in the third quarter of 2019

    The NBS report revealed that Nigeria imported a total volume of 5.09 billion litres of petrol as against the 5.6 billion litres imported in Q2 2019. Additionally, it consumed less- 4.9 billion litres in Q3 2019- when compared to the 5.18 billion litres in Q2.

    A look at the breakdown showed that 1.99 billion litres of petrol was imported into the country in July; 1.64 billion litres in August, which dropped to 1.46 billion litres in September.

    Additionally, the report indicated that Nigeria has over 2 billion litres in reserve as at the Q3 under review.

    Is the reduction in importation a result of the border closure? 

    First of all, Nigeria imports finished oil products through pipelines and seaports. Nigeria never closed her seaports as we already established. While we can deduce that the claim alludes to the fact that the closure curbed illegitimate smuggling of unfinished oil products, it is still a stretch to say it is responsible for the 512 million litres saved.

    It is also important to note that the reduction in fuel importation commenced in June (page 49- NBS Report). This was prior to the border closure- raising more questions… The documentation clearly shows a dip to 1.5 billion litres in June from 2.0 billion litres in May. It did, however, increase the following month- 1.99 bn litres- before dipping again in the month of August.

    Therefore, it stands to reason that the recent reduction in PMS importation cannot be entirely attributed to the border closure. This is especially true as Nigeria locked down her land borders on August 22; several weeks after this decline commenced. 

    Conclusion: 

    It is true that fuel importation reduced by 512 million litres in the last three months (July, August and September). Also, findings show that there were over 2 billion litres in reserve. But, Lauretta said “in the last three months”, also attributing it to the border closure; the same border closure, Kyari said commenced- August 22. August 22 to September 30, is not three months! This leads to the next point that there are probably other factors to attribute the reduction in importation other than the border closure. This is also evidenced by said reduction commencing in June- prior to border closure.  

  • Was Buhari a Pepertrator of Hate Speech Prior to Presidency?

    Sahara Reporters claimed that some of President Muhammadu Buhari’s comments prior to presidency can be deemed as hate speech. 

    Consequent on the broad umbrella of the hate speech bill, we deem this claim as TRUE. Findings reveal inciting comments by the retired General Buhari mid-2012; and although the particular comment cited was metaphorical, it passes the criteria used in the bill- inciting and threatening

    Full Text

    A recent opinion feature by SaharaReporters gave its two cents on the Hate Crime Bill. The publication accompanied a supplementary tweet which has already amassed 1,281 retweets and 2,104 likes. 

    It has been a battle of words in the media space since the re-introduction of the hate speech bill by the National Assembly. Said bill apparently imposes the death penalty on hate speech offenders. This bill has elicited mixed reactions from several people. Among them, was Senator Sani who believes the bill promotes tyranny and is a threat to freedom of speech. Femi Falana SAN explained that the National Assembly has no power to make such law as Hate Speech is neither on the Exclusive Legislative List nor the Concurrent Legislative List. And well, Sahara reporters joined the conversation with their opinion piece.

    The premise

    The National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speech Bill was sponsored by the deputy chief whip, Aliyu Abdullahi. The proposed commission is expected to enforce hate speech laws in the country and ensure the “elimination” of hate speech.

    A report by Premium Times gave an insight into what the bill is all about. The bill was premised on ethnic or racial prejudice and harassment; earning a punishment of not less than N10 million fine and/or five-year jail time. Direct “hate speech” was not the only medium of distribution; but also included other literary materials such as publications or plays.

    Verification: 

    Dubawa’s findings revealed that there were so many reports- at different times- about President Buhari’s “hate” speeches. These occurred during his failed attempts to become Nigeria’s president- as far back as 2012

    A Vanguard report quoted Buhari, the then Presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) using a not so subtle metaphor- albeit in Hausa. This was after he had identified “three types of Boko Haram” in the country, with the Federal Government topping the list.

    “They either conduct a free and fair election or they go a very disgraceful way. If what happened in 2011 (alleged rigging) should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood”

    General Muhammadu Buhari (retired)

    But was it “hate speech”?

    Excerpt from the Bill

    A succinct detail to note is the vagueness of the bill. It envelopes speech that stirs up ethnic hatred or is threatening, abusive or insulting. That is a whole lot of grey area, and several forms of media fall under it. Even propaganda- such as the likes of Buhari in 2012- can consequently be seen as hate speech; as it certainly was inciting and connoted violence. 

    While we usually do not fact-check opinions, the exception made was predicated on the nature and importance of the assertion.
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