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The FactChecker

4 mins read A weekly newsletter that takes a closer look at the aspects of truth and falsehood in recent news topics. In an uncertain time, stay informed about the latest news and updates on coronavirus-related developments in Nigeria.

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How Misinformation Aggravates Farmers-Herders Conflict In Nigeria

By  Adejumo Kabir

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 cattle. 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…

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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: KADUNA UPDATE: EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES 

SOURCE: WhatsApp Message

A WhatsApp message with an attached link creates awareness about vacant positions at an alleged multi-billion naira Iron ore mining company located in Gujeni, Kaduna state. The message listed the following as posts required to be filled:

  1. Field Engineer

2. Mechanical & Electrical University Graduates 

3. Shift Foreman

4. Boiler Field Operator

5. Turbine Field Operator

6. Shift Engineers

7. Fitter Mechanic

8. Electrical Shift Engineer

9. Electrician

10. Instrumentation Technicians

11. Chemist

12. Planning Engineer

The message further stated that applications are expected from all parts of Nigeria and should be sent to a provided email. But how true is this? This question is important as there are lots of fake job vacancies/ recruitments circulating the media space. And this could be one of them. Beware!

Questions to ask yourself: Who is the source? Is this true? Which credible platform has published it?  

What you should do: Verify before sharing. 

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