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Unrelated fire incident used to depict army reprisal on Delta Community

Claim: Video of Okuama community being razed down by ‘angry Nigerian soldiers.’

Verdict:  In contrast to the assertion, our findings showed that the video is outdated and has no connection to the reported killing or any retaliatory actions by soldiers in Delta State. The claim is misleading.

Full Text

Following the killing of 17 soldiers on the 14th of March, 2024, in Okuama, a coastal community located in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, the Nigerian army launched a manhunt for the perpetrators. While this went on, there were allegations on social media that enraged soldiers had started retaliating for the murder of their colleagues by setting houses ablaze. 

Several videos were shared to support this accusation. Among them was a 54-second clip shared on Facebook with a description that it was shot at the scene where houses were burnt down at Okuama by soldiers.

 The caption attached partly reads: 

“Okuama in Delta State is being razed down as of this morning by rampaging Nigerian Soldiers. Nigerian Army have declared war in that region. I keep asking this question, despite the atrocities happening in the North, the killing of soldiers in the North. It has never been heard that the Nigerian Army went there and set a whole community ablaze because of the action of bandits.”

This video has been redistributed not only on Facebook, but X. DUBAWA conducted this fact check due to the sensitive circumstances surrounding the claim. 

Verification

We conducted a Google reverse image search, revealing the circulating clip to have been online before the Delta incident. 

It was also removed from a more extended version posted on TikTok on 29 Jan. 2024. As explained by the user @shugaberries, the video depicted a fire outbreak at Nembe, a coastal community in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.

Conclusion

Contrary to the claim, our findings showed that the video has been online since January. It is unrelated to the soldiers’ retaliation that allegedly took place in Delta State.

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