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FACT CHECK: Did T.Y Danjuma Donate Private Jet To #ObiDatti Campaign as Widely Circulated?

By Fact CheckNo Comments

CLAIM: T.Y Danjuma has donated a private Jet to #ObiDatti campaign.

CONTEXT: A viral tweet that has been shared by several times on Twitter and blogs claimed that General T.Y Danjuma (Rtd) donated a private jet to the ObiDatti campaign in support of the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and his running mate Dr Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed. The tweet reads,

“Grateful to Gen T.Y Danjuma (Rtd) for his generous donation of his Challenger 605 Bombardier private jet, for the #ObiDatti2023 campaigns. A true patriot and elder statesman.”

VERIFICATION: Our partners at Daily Trust reached out to the author of the tweet via a message but he did not respond. However, a member of ObiDatti media team Dr. Ibrahim Biu, told Daily Trust that the news is fake and urged people to be careful of what they believe and share.

The Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, also rebuffed the claim in a tweet, saying he had never received such an offer.

“Recently, several social media reports have alluded that some eminent Nigerians have donated their personal jets for my use during my campaign. In as much as I appreciate the expression of such hopes, I have never received any of such offer.

“I pray that those eminent Nigerians mentioned, are not unduly distracted by such social media utterances. May God Almighty bless those eminent Nigerians always,” he wrote

Conclusion: Daily Trust can confirm that the tweet claiming that T.Y Danjuma donated a private jet to the ObiDatti campaign is false.

Source: CDD

CÔTE D’IVOIRE’S FAKE NEWS ECOSYSTEM – An Overview

By ECOWAS Fake News ReportsNo Comments

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report argues that fake news in Cote d’Ivoire is a predominantly political
phenomenon and that it poses a considerable threat to political stability. Falsehoods
in Cote d’Ivoire spread most rapidly on social media platforms such as Facebook
and WhatsApp, as well as via word-of-mouth. Indeed, the interaction between these
online and offline spaces has amplified the pace at which falsehoods can spread around
the country in recent years. Although social media is increasingly popular, particularly
among young people, there is a particular challenge associated with fake news spread by
word-of-mouth in the country. This is not a new challenge, but it is one that has been
amplified with the growth of online platforms.


The overlap and interplay between the two means that fake news that starts online can
spread rapidly into offline spaces in ways that fact-checking initiatives often fail to match.
Drawing on desk-based research, interviews, and focus group discussions the report
illustrates the ways in which fake news has considerable real-world consequences. During
the October 2020 presidential elections rumors of targeted violent attacks on ethnic lines
led to reprisal attacks between conflicting ethnic groups in the town of M’Battao. Equally,
a fake news story that went viral in May 2021, inciting violence against Nigeriens living
in Cote d’Ivoire, led to the death of at least one Nigerian.

These examples are concerning given that the country still faces considerable post-
electoral unrest and instability following a nine-year on-off conflict that ended in 2011.

This study finds that the prominence of fakenews is exacerbated and facilitated by the
dearth of timely and credible information provided by the government. Silence creates
the space for conspiracy theories and rumors to flourish. Even when the government does
provide information, people do not trust it be true, preferring instead to rely on social
media influencers and people they know personally who provide more regular, though not
always accurate, updates.


Online avatars, who hide behind pseudonym’s are a prominent feature of the information
eco- system. With the most prominent, Chris Yapi, having over half a million Facebook
followers and being widely regarded as a credible source of information by many Ivorians.
One in every 12 Ivorians with a social media account follows Yapi.


The government’s preference for punitive measures to try and clamp down on those
who are involved in spreading fake news has not stemmed the flow of falsehoods. If
anything has provoked further online activity as citizens desperately seek space to express themselves freely. Rather than legal crackdowns, which are often viewed through partisan
political lenses, there is an urgent need to create greater education around understanding
and sharing information both online and offline in the country.

Read Full Report Here

L’ÉCOSYSTÈME DES INFOX AU CÔTE D’ IVOIRE Vue D’ensemble – Jessica Moody

By ECOWAS Fake News ReportsNo Comments

Résumé exécutif

Ce rapport démontre qu’en Côte d’Ivoire, les infox sont un phénomène essentiellement politique et qu’elles constituent une menace importante pour la stabilité politique. Les informations mensongères en Côte d’Ivoire circulent très vite sur les réseaux sociaux tels que Facebook et WhatsApp, ainsi que par le bouche-à-oreille. En effet, ces dernières années, les échanges entre ces plateformes connectées et hors ligne ont accéléré la vitesse à laquelle les informations mensongères circulent dans le pays.


Malgré la vulgarisation des réseaux sociaux, surtout auprès des jeunes, la diffusion des infox par voie de bouche-à-oreille pose un défi majeur dans le pays. Un défi qui ne date pas d’hier, mais qui a pris de l’ampleur avec la croissance des plateformes numériques. La convergence et les échanges d’informations entre ces deux espaces résultent en une propagation rapide des infox des plateformes connectées aux espaces hors ligne, à une vitesse que les systèmes de vérification des faits ne sont pas souvent en mesure de contrôler.


En s’appuyant sur des recherches documentaires, des entretiens et des discussions de groupe, ce rapport présente à quel point les infox ont des conséquences importantes dans le monde réel. Lors des élections présidentielles d’octobre 2020, des rumeurs d’attaques violentes incitées par des différences ethniques ont entraîné des représailles entre les groupes ethniques concernés dans la ville de M’Battao. De même, une infox devenue virale en mai 2021 a incité des violences contre des Nigériens vivant en Côte d’Ivoire et a causé la mort d’au moins un Nigérien. Ces exemples sont inquiétants étant donné que le pays est toujours confronté à des troubles post-électoraux et à une instabilité considérable résultant d’un conflit intermittent qui a duré neuf ans et qui a pris fin en 2011.


Cette étude démontre que la prévalence des infox est amplifiée et facilitée par le manque d’informations convenables et crédibles de la part du gouvernement. Le silence laisse place à la propagation des théories du complot et des rumeurs. Même lorsque le gouvernement fournit des informations, la population doute de leur véracité et préfère s’en remettre aux influenceurs sur les réseaux sociaux et à leurs proches, qui fournissent des mises à jour plus régulières, mais pas toujours exactes.


Les avatars virtuels, qui se cachent derrière des pseudonymes, constituent une caractéristique importante de paysage de l’information. Le plus connu d’entre eux, Chris Yapi, compte plus d’un demi-million d’abonnés sur Facebook et est largement considéré comme une source d’information crédible par de nombreux Ivoiriens. Sur les réseaux sociaux, un Ivoirien sur 12 suit Yapi.


La propension du gouvernement à privilégier les mesures punitives destinées à réprimer les personnes impliquées dans la diffusion des infox n’influence aucunement le flux des informations mensongères. Tout au contraire, cela a provoqué une augmentation des

Read Full Report Here

Is Australia giving out Visa sponsored jobs?

By Fact ChecksNo Comments

VERDICT: False

CLAIM: A WhatsApp message has been circulating with a link suggesting that Australia is giving out 195 thousand jobs for 2023/2024 with visa sponsorship.

The link https://workpo.com/Australia/ attached was described as the workforce Australia official website claiming the government of Australia is looking for national and international applicants.

FACT-CHECKING PROCESS: A fact check carried out by the Centre for Democracy and Development revealed that the message is false.

Fact-checkers at CDD followed the link and the first thing that was off is how the number of applicants kept increasing by hundreds in seconds.

The first step of starting the application was filling an application form which includes the applicant’s name, phone number, email address, home address and nationality.

The next page was asking for educational qualifications to proceed.

Interestingly, the last page carries an Australia sponsorship visa and jobs portal for 2022/2033 contradicting the first page. Also, the page carried a congratulatory message saying the applicant is qualified to work and asked that the link be shared with five WhatsApp groups or fifteen WhatsApp contacts to proceed.

Another interesting part is for every time the link is loaded the number of applicants goes down and starts counting up.

CONCLUSION: Fact-checkers at CDD can confirm that the link is fraudulent, which was created to lure unemployed and desperate citizens who want to leave the country.

The official website for workforce Australia is https://www.dewr.gov.au/workforce-australia and there was no such thing found on the website.

FACT CHECK: Were #EndSARS protesters not killed at Lekki tollgate as MC Oluomo claimed?

By Fact ChecksNo Comments
Source: Vanguard News

CLAIM: At a rally supporting Bola Tinubu and Jide Sanwo-Olu’s bids for the presidency and governorship in Lagos, the Chair of the state’s Parks and Garages Management Committee, Musiliu Akinsanya claimed that no one was killed on October 20th at Lekki Tollgate during the #EndSARS protests.  

CONTEXT: Addressing a large crowd during the protests, Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo, claimed that there were no protesters killed during the protests at the Lekki Tollgate. He further attributed the allegations to campaigns by Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, who are contesting for the presidency alongside Tinubu. He stated:

“Where are the bodies and where are they buried? Do they have relatives in Nigeria? Has Nigeria bribed the mothers of the deceased protesters? Why are their siblings not searching for them, even on social media? Or is Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu a Chief of Army Staff or President who will order the killing of protesters at the Lekki tollgate?

“They’re lying to us, they want to undermine the Yorubas, everyone should come out. It is a political game. It was Atiku and Obi that conspired to do all those things then.”

VERIFICATION: Our partners at Daily Trust have been able to determine evidence that discredits the claim by MC Oluomo.

Firstly, the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by the Lagos State Government to probe the shooting at the tollgate determined that at least 11 persons were killed during the peaceful demonstration at the Lekki Tollgate and another four missing and presumed dead.

Secondly, in an interview with Cable News Network (CNN), Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu confirmed that two protesters died. He is quoted as having said that

“Two dead bodies, that is what we have seen from all the morgues, that’s what we have seen going to hospitals, that’s what we have seen as a record….”

There are many reports, from protesters who took videos and photos, describing the shootings as a massacre. CNN also released an investigative report that showed a timeline of activities leading to the shootings at the tollgate.

There is clearly no indisputable evidence – the Federal Government insists that no shootings took place – but there are areas of accepted culpability by the state and independent reports that show that there were shootings and fatalities as a result of incidents at the Lekki Tollgate.

CONCLUSION:  Protesters were killed at the Lekki Tollgate as a result of the #EndSARS protests, which counters the claims made by MC Oluomo.

FACT CHECK: Is Steve Harvey in Nigeria to Show Support for Peter Obi?

By Fact CheckNo Comments

CLAIM: Steve Harvey in Nigeria to show support for Peter Obi

Source: Entertainment Weekly

VERDICT: False

CONTEXT: A viral post on Facebook states that well-known American entertainer, Steve Harvey, is in Nigeria to support Peter Obi in the forthcoming elections.  The post was shared from a blog stating

“The American actor who described Obi as someone he believes so much in is Nigeria alongside his family and will tour some selected tourist sites including castles where slaves were kept. This will expose him to Nigeria and African history and culture.”

The Facebook post has accumulated over 9,900 likes with over 2,500 comments and 706 shares as at the time of this report.

Verification: CDD fact-checkers revealed that the information is false. A Google reverse search showed that the picture used on the website and the Facebook page was originally shared by the actor and TV host on March 2022 on his official Instagram account tagging the location ‘Abu Dhabi’ and captioned the post “switched location to ABU DHABI”.

Source: CDD

However, CDD further checked his verified social media accounts to confirm if he made an announcement to support Peter Obi or if he was in Nigeria to campaign for the Labour Party’s presidential nominee but nothing indicated that.

FACT CHECK: CNN Picture Listing Shettima as APC Presidential Candidate Fake

By Fact CheckNo Comments

CLAIM: The picture of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential nominee, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was substituted with that of the party’s vice-presidential nominee, Kashim Shettima, as the party’s presidential candidate during a news transmission

VERDICT: False

CONTEXT: Gist Reel, a Nigerian blog with over 350,000 followers on Twitter, tweeted that the picture of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential nominee, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was substituted with that of the party’s vice-presidential nominee, Kashim Shettima, as the party’s presidential nominee during a news transmission on the Cable Network News (CNN) recently.

The post had an embedded CNN logo and a scrollbar under, depicting the picture was taken while the news was being transmitted live. This was not the same with the presidential nominees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP) and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

VERIFICATION: In verifying claim, our partners at Daily Trust carried out a Google reverse image search which revealed that the image first appeared on the internet before the official presidential list was released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Further checks by Daily Trust showed that CNN did not transmit the said broadcast, and did not post any image on their official website or verified accounts on social media.

CONCLUSION: Daily Trust can confirm that the claim made through a Twitter post suggesting that CNN has excluded the picture of Bola Ahmed Tinubu from the list of presidential candidates of Nigeria is false.

FACT CHECK: Is the Newly Circulated Tinubu’s Manifesto Authentic?

By Fact CheckNo Comments

CLAIM: A manifesto belonging to the Bola Ahmed Tinubu, presidential nominee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming general elections, has resurfaced on social media.

Source: Head Topics

VERDICT: False

CONTEXT: Media Aide to the PDP presidential nominee, Atiku Abubakar, Demola Olarewaju, had publicized the controversial document on September 21, 2022, via his handle, @DemolaRewaju. The post reads:

“Just got Tinubu’s manifesto, making him the second major candidate to release a document of his plans for Nigeria.”

“Skimmed through and noticed two other names as the author of the document, Femi Pedro and Babatunde Ogala…very strange. Won’t be sharing though, I’m biased, yes.”

VERIFICATION: Preliminary findings by our partners at Daily Trust revealed that the 29-page document titled, “My Vision for Nigeria”, was first circulated in June.

Bayo Onanuga, Director of Media and Communication for the Tinubu Campaign Organisation, stated [AA3]  that what was being peddled online, mostly via WhatsApp and Facebook, was not the manifesto of the APC presidential candidate. He stated that the document was a mere draft of suggestions on probable programmes Tinubu could implement if elected in February 2023. Also, he stated that the committee constituted to prepare the manifesto has not unveiled it to the public.

One of the signatories to the alleged manifesto, Ogala, also confirmed that the viral document was just a compilation of suggested ideas packaged by friends. He said,

“It is not Tinubu’s manifesto but personal input by a group of friends. How it found its way into the media is what I don’t know. It becomes a manifesto when it is eventually put together and doesn’t carry anybody’s name but the candidate’s imprint.”

CONCLUSION: Daily Trust can confirm that the purported manifesto being touted as that of the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, is false. Several stakeholders at different times in the past had asserted that the document was only a draft and had not been endorsed by Tinubu.

ILLIBERAL INFLUENCE FUELS DISINFORMATION IN WEST AFRICA – By Idayat Hassan & Kyle Hiebert

By Competitive ResearchNo Comments

INTRODUCTION

West Africa is undergoing a period of significant transition. Demographic changes, rapid urbanization, the spread of new technologies and the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area have created new development pathways for the resource-rich region, home to 16 countries and roughly 5% of the world’s population. Geopolitical shifts are generating new levels of foreign interest as well. With Western hegemony in decline, a splintering international order has produced opportunities for illiberal state regimes to offer African governments more diverse options for political, economic and military partnerships.

Regional involvement by these actors is not intrinsically negative. China, Russia, Turkey, Iran, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and others have all contributed to tens of billions of dollars worth of infrastructure improvements, economic trade and development initiatives across the continent. This has benefited countries with growing populations that require better transportation and communications networks, more hospitals and schools, and greater access to finance, clean water and electricity. Spin-off economic activity has created jobs for locals and supported private enterprise by benefiting African suppliers, buyers, subcontractors and entrepreneurs, while boosting intra-regional trade.1 Consumer markets also now feature a wider array of affordable products and greater opportunities for cultural exchange.

The latent risk is the opportunity and potential for illiberal states to further their own interests by interfering with democratic processes in these same countries. Their objective being to prevent civil society groups and electorates from pressuring ruling parties to enact more inclusive and equitable approaches to economic development. Amid a period of intense political and social change made more complex by mounting climate crises, the Covid-19 pandemic and global food and energy shortages stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—West African nations are therefore vulnerable to having their democratic progress stifled as the autocratic tendencies of governments become reinforced by foreign enablers.


A primary tool in this process has been, and will continue to be the deployment of disinformation, by foreign and domestic actors alike. The goal being to influence electoral outcomes and shape public opinion to their advantage. Given West Africa’s rising geopolitical importance and rapid increases in local internet and social media access each year, combined with companies’ limited ability to police their platforms, this trend will only become more prominent.

Read Full Report Here

FACT CHECK: Buhari’s Claim on Crude Oil Prices from 1999-2015 Inaccurate

By UncategorizedNo Comments

CLAIM: President Muhammadu Buhari while on a one-day visit to Imo State on Tuesday, said Nigeria earned an average of $100 per barrel from 1999 to 2015, but past leaders could not improve the country’s infrastructure.

The president also blamed the Boko Haram and Niger Delta militants for a drop in oil revenues.

VERIFICATION: In verifying the claim, Daily Trust sourced data from the relevant bodies on Nigeria’s crude oil sales from 1999 to 2015 which the president made reference to.

Checks by Daily Trust, according to data from the Organization of Oil Producing States (OPEC) as well as Statista, a reputable global data analysis platform, showed that Nigeria’s average annual price of crude oil from 1999 to 2015 hovered around $17.4 per barrel which was the lowest to $109 per barrel.

The lowest price ($17.4 per day) was recorded in 1999 during the administration of former president Olusegun Obasanjo while the highest price was recorded in 2012 when it surged $109 per barrel during the administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan.

A breakdown by Daily Trust from available data showed that as at 1999, crude oil price was about $17.4 per barrel. It further surged to $27.6 in 2000, and later dipped to $23.1 in 2001.

However, in 2002, oil prices increased slightly to $24.3 per barrel and in 2003, it was $28.1 per barrel and $36.5 per barrel in 2004.

Subsequently, crude oil prices rose to $50.5 per barrel in 2005, then $61 in 2006, $69 in 2007 and $94.1 in 2008.

However, oil prices dropped to $60.8 per barrel in 2009 and in 2010, oil price surged to $77.3.

In 2011, the average annual price of oil had gotten to a record high of $107 per barrel, and later increased to $109 per barrel in 2012, $105.8 in 2013 but dropped $96.2 in 2014.

In 2015 before President Muhammadu Buhari came on board, crude oil prices hovered around $62 to $66 per barrel.

Buhari’s repeated false claim on crude oil prices

Consequently, Daily Trust has observed that this is not the first, nor is it the second that President Muhammadu will be making inaccurate comments on Nigeria’s crude oil prices.

For instance, in January this year, the president quoted wrong figures of Nigeria’s average crude oil revenue between 1999 and 2014 while speaking of his administration’s effort to build the economy with lean resources.

The president, in the interview aired by Channels TV, said Nigeria’s crude oil production from 1999 to 2014 averaged 2.1 million barrels per day at an average price of $100 per barrel.

“I challenge so many of you to go and check with the central bank or NNPC; the production from 1999 to 2014 was 2.1 million barrels per day average production at the average cost of $100 per barrel,” the president said in response to enquiries made by Channel’s Seun Okinbaloye.

Similarly, in an interview with Arise TV in June 2021, the president made the same false claims.

He stated this while hosting Dr. Reuben Abati, Tundun Abiola and Segun Adeniyi of Arise Television.

In the same vein, in an earlier interview in 2019, most interviews and speeches delivered by the president since 2016 have followed a similar line.

For instance, the president in his speech to Nigeria’s Democracy Day celebration in 2016 stated that the average oil price was $100 per barrel from 2010 till 2014.

In a similar message on October 1, 2016, the Nation’s Independence Day, President Buhari, while addressing the country, modified his statement that oil prices were “an average of 100 USD per barrel over the last decade.”

CONCLUSION: Following statistics and verifiable data from relevant bodies, Daily Trust concludes that Nigeria’s crude oil figures as repeatedly quoted by President Buhari from 1999 to 2015 are inaccurate.

FACT CHECK: Did Tinubu leave over $1bn foreign debt behind as Lagos Governor?

By UncategorizedNo Comments

CLAIM: A spokesperson for the Atiku Abubakar presidential campaign, Daniel Bwala, has alleged that former Lagos State governor and presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, left behind a foreign debt of over $1bn when he complete his tenure in 2007.

In a tweet via his Twitter handle, @BwalaDaniel, Bwala over the weekend said, “Let’s face it, if you take out colonial, FGN infrastructure and investments, and FDI agreement with Nigeria to invest in Lagos, Peter Obi did better than Tinubu as a governor; at least he saved billions, whilst Tinubu left a foreign debt burden of over $1B behind. Go and verify.”

VERIFICATION:

Verification

Information from the Debt Management Office (DMO) showed that the federal and state governments’ External Debt Stock as of June 30, 2016 was $11,261,887,684.00 with the Federal Government’s share of the debt portfolio standing at $7,607,500,252.76 while that of the states was $3,654,387,431.24. The three most indebted states were: Lagos with $1,431,474,719.70; Kaduna with $225,277,020.12 and Edo with $179,519,864.02. This was just the foreign debt profile.

This prompted the then Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, to explain that the foreign debt owed by the state government at the time, was inherited from previous administrations before his tenure which began in 2015.

Ambode who made the disclosure during an interview, said that despite the numerous infrastructure the state government had planned to develop, the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) did not seek foreign option for financial support.

He also noted that during his four-year tenure, his administration never took any foreign credit facility to run state activities.

“Talking about Lagos State having the highest amount in terms of foreign loans, truth is that I have it on record that in my four years, I never took any foreign loan. So, whatever it is that they are saying about having $1.43 billion is an accumulation of loans that have been taken by successive governments,” he said.

Recall that Ambode had two predecessors; Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who served from 1999 to 2007 and Babatunde Raji Fashola who was governor between 2007 and 2015.

As of 31 December, 2018, statistics from the DMO showed that Lagos State’s total external debt stock stood at $1.43bn. The external debt comprised of $1.28bn from multilateral sources and $143.83 million as bilateral, sourced mainly from the African Development Bank. Comparing both data, one could easily see that Lagos’ foreign debt did not rise between June 2016 and December 2018.

However, data compiled by the DMO showing both federal and states’ external debt stock as of December 31, 2007, revealed that Lagos State owed a total of $243,283,449.01 which is approximately as against the figure quoted by Bwala.

It should be noted that at this time, Tinubu had handed over to his successor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN). The debt was from multilateral sources alone.

CONCLUSION: Available records showed that Bwala’s claim that Tinubu left behind a foreign debt of over $1bn as Lagos State governor is false.

FACT CHECK: Did Tukur Mamu Name Terrorists’ Sponsors?

By UncategorizedNo Comments

CLAIM: A post alleging that the Abuja-Kaduna train attack negotiator, Tukur Mamu, has named a former National Security Adviser (NSA), General Aliyu Gusau, and a former Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, members of a syndicate sponsoring terrorism in Northern Nigeria has gone viral.

The post which quoted the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as the source of the story was posted on Facebook and other platforms. It had generated several comments and was shared over 100 times on Facebook alone as of the time of filing this report.

VERIFICATION: In verifying the claim, Daily Trust contacted a Senior Editor with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who said the story did not emanate from the agency. A double check on NAN’s platform also showed that it was not posted there.

In the same vein, the spokesperson for the DSS, Peter Afunanya, only said the outcome of the investigation it carried out on Tukur Mamu was mind-boggling. He did not disclose any names as claimed in the Facebook post.

It should also be noted that no reputable media platforms carried the story, either online or in print.

Recall that Mamu was arrested last week in Cairo, Egypt in company with some of his family members on their way to Saudi Arabia for lesser Hajj, and brought back to Nigeria to answer questions bordering on his alleged involvement in banditry and terrorism activities.

CONCLUSION: We can confirm that the claim that Tukur Mamu mentioned former NSA, Gen. Aliyu Gusau and ex-governor, Alh. Attahiru Bafarawa as sponsors of terrorism is false.

FACT CHECK: Is the Viral Chicago University Scholarship Application True?

By Fact Checks, UncategorizedNo Comments

CLAIM: The University of Chicago is offering fully funded scholarships for the 2022/2023 academic session to interested undergraduates, Masters and PhD students who want to study in the United State.

CONTEXT: A trending WhatsApp post claims that the University of Chicago is offering fully funded scholarships for the 2022/2023 academic session to interested undergraduates, Masters and PhD students who want to study in the United States.

According to the post which provided an application link, eligibility requires that the prospective students are either applying to study in the undergraduates, Masters or PhD categories, should be between the ages of 14 and 40 and should be able to read ad write.

It listed full tuition fees, medical allowance, COVID-19, instant visa approval, permission to work and study, and hostel accommodation as benefits of the programme.

VERIFICATION: To verify the authenticity of the scheme, our partners at Daily Trust clicked the link which led to a phishing site with the requirement to share the news to WhatsApp contacts, a strategy synonymous with scam schemes.

Further analysis of the official websites, clearly indicated the proper method of getting financial aid as it states

“International students are eligible for financial aid only if they apply for funding during the admissions process, and will not be eligible for financial aid after receiving their admissions decision or during their four years in the College.”

CONCLUSION: While it is true that the University of Chicago offers scholarships in form of financial aid, it is instructive to note that the application link contained in the viral WhatsApp post is suspect as it leads to a phishing site.

Herders – Farmer Conflicts In Southwestern Nigeria

By Conflict Resolution, PublicationsNo Comments

Strengthening The Delivery Of Peace & Security (SDPS) Project

INTRODUCTION

Violent conflicts between pastoralists and farmers have been identified as one of Nigeria’s most pressing security challenges in recent years. The major hotspots of the crisis were initially in northern and central Nigeria but have now extended to the southern part of the country. [1] Historically, conflicts between the two food producing groups were few and far apart and mostly non- violent. [2] They also did not take on the numerous dimensions of kidnapping, rural banditry and cattle rustling that have now become recurrent. The changing dynamics of the conflict witnessed in recent times has been driven by widespread availability of small arms and light weapons as well as new modes of launching attacks. Finally, the numbers of causalities recorded have grown astronomically. According to a 2019 report, farmers-herders clashes in Nigeria have claimed more than 10,000 persons in the last decade; with over 4,000 cases recorded within the last two years alone. [3]

In southwestern Nigeria, conflicts involving farmers and herders have increased sharply since 2014. [4] Two people were reportedly killed and six injured in an attack linked to herdsmen in Ekiti state in 2016. In 2018, the Director of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Ondo State spoke of incessant killings and destruction of farmlands by herdsmen in several farming communities in the State. [5] The death of no fewer than 11 people was also recorded at Igangan town, in Oyo State in June 2021. [6] Also in 2021, five people lost their lives while many sustained injuries in clashes that happened in Imeko, Afon local government area (LGA) of Ogun state. [7] For the most part, the growing violence has strained social cohesion [8] and threatens regional security and stability. Lastly, recent farmer-herder clashes tend to be framed in ethno-regional and religious terms; erroneously projected as a subterranean attempt to perpetrate Fulani hegemony across the federation. In predominantly Yoruba southwestern states, for instance, it has led to heightened calls for secession and the creation of pan-Yoruba nation.

RESEARCH METHODS

The data for this research was obtained from both primary and secondary sources. Primary data for this study was collected in September 2021 using key informant interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs) with farmers, traditional leaders, pastoralists, representative of pastoralist groups, nonpastoralist Fulani and local security networks in towns and villages (both Fulani and Yoruba) in the Ibarapa axis of Oyo state. Previous fieldwork conducted between 2015-2021 in the state by the researcher was also drawn on along with secondary sources such as academic journals, reports and newspaper articles. Oyo State was selected because it is one of hotspots of farmers-herders’ crises in southwestern region of the country.9 The Ibarapa zone in the state was constantly in the news for at least 6 months as a result of the crises between 2020 and 2021.10 Nothing less than 10 persons were murdered and 25 persons kidnapped within the space of two years (2019 to 2021) allegedly due to the crises in Ibarapa.11 Similarly, the area experienced mass exodus of Fulani who were largely forcefully by the locals in Igangan community. As a result of this, there was a reprisal attack by the Fulani on the community claiming more than 11 lives and loss of properties.

Read Full Report Here

FACT CHECK: Is it true Shekarau’s Shura shared ‘N100m largesse’ from Atiku?

By Fact ChecksNo Comments

CLAIM: On Monday, a picture of some persons said to be members of Shura, the advisory council of Senator Ibrahim Shekarau’s political movement, seated in front of a huge sum of money trended on social media.

In the picture, bunches of N1,000 notes were seen scattered on a long table while two women and about eight men sat on chairs lined around the table.
An online news platform had said the money was part of the largesse shared by former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, who received Shekarau back into the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last month.

VERIFICATION: Checks by Daily Trust showed that the report is misleading. When Atiku visited Kano alongside his running mate and top chieftains of the party in late August, some of his other activities aside from welcoming Shekarau who had dumped the New Nigeria Peoples Party for PDP were widely reported in the media.

Atiku had donated money to some victims of the flood disasters and building collapse in Kano, which was reported by various media platforms.

Contacted to react to the trending picture, the spokesman for Shekarau, Dr Sule Ya’u Sule, said it was unfortunate that the picture would be used to rubbish the good intention of Atiku to the victims.

He said the picture was taken and shared by the media team of Shekarau to show the transparent approach adopted in sharing the donated money to the victims of Kantin Kwari flood disaster and those of the building collapse at the Beirut road GSM Market.

“N50m was donated to Kantin Kwari, N10m to Beirut road and N20m to Ulamas. And the sharing was done in the open in Shekarau’s house to show transparency and it was unfortunate that some individuals on social media and some media houses have decided to use the picture to create fake news,” he said.

Also speaking, the Public Relations Officer of Kantin Kwari Market Association, Aminu Garba Sofa, told Daily Trust Shekarau had presented the cheque of N50 million donated to flood victims in the market and that a committee was immediately set up to see to its distribution, adding that the money was cashed and given to them at Shekarau’s Mudunbawa residence.

“Three committees were set up to oversee the activity; one from Shekara’u side, one from affected victims and the other from market Association forming 15-men committee. The money was distributed accordingly after screening of the affected victims.

“397 persons were screened and given each accordingly. You know, N50 million is nothing compared to the loss but everybody out of that number has received (money) in presence of all representatives of the three committees,” he said.

Also speaking in a live video posted on Facebook on Friday, the Chairman, Kantin Kwari Market, Salisu Wada Sharu, who was seen in a viral picture at the residence of Shekarau, confirmed that they had received the money and distributed to those affected.

He however said some of the flood victims did not collect the money, saying they had surrendered the loss to the will of God.

Conclusion: There’s no evidence to show that the money seen in the viral picture is a largesse from Atiku.