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