Armed ViolenceDisinformationNews

Factcheck: Video Of ‘Fulani Terrorists’ On Bikes Shows Burkina Faso, Not Nigeria

Reports that Boko Haram militants had occupied territory in Niger State, North-central Nigeria, and were spreading to other parts of the country have recently triggered a fresh wave of misinformation.

A video showing several bikers riding across a vast untarred road, many of them wearing turbans and others putting on military camouflage, has been widely circulated in the Nigerian internet space, with many claiming they are members of a Fulani militia in the country.

Checks by HumAngle show this is not true.

The video was tweeted on Thursday by Biafra Defenders Forum Media House (@forum_biafran), as the account claimed the armed men were spotted in a military barracks in southern Nigeria. 

“Over 300 Fulani herdsmen terrorist found in millitarey [sic] barracks in Southern Nigeria & government claiming they’re for millitarey training. and today Schools and others activities Shortdawn for fears of possible terro[r] attack as more of Fulanis with riffles arrived closer to Abuja,” the account user wrote.

Another Twitter user Abdul-Aziz Na’ibi Abubakar (@jrnaib2), in a now-deleted post (archived here), also suggested last Tuesday, May 4, that the video was filmed in Nigeria. “If Nigeria wasn’t a zoo, at this point the National Assembly would have impeach[ed] Buhari, but they’re loyal to Presidency,” he wrote in the caption.

The video has also been seen on WhatsApp with one user placing the location in Niger State, north-central Nigeria. “This is Kontagora in Niger State and they are Fulani terrorists spreading themselves to nearby states. Ehhhhh! Gid. Abuja is closer to Niger. Protect us, Lord,” he said.

Contrary to the claims, the video was not shot in southern or north-central Nigeria but in Burkina Faso, according to experts of armed conflicts and extremism in Africa.

Sharing a longer version of the video on May 3, Adam Sandor explained that it showed a “huge #JNIM presence in Loroum Region, village de Sollé within the last few days.”

“Local sources estimate fighters reach well above 1,000 in this part of #BurkinaFaso,” he added.

By JNIM, he was referring to the Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin, an extremist militant group and al-Qaeda affiliate that is actively present in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Tunisia.

Sandor is a Research Associate with the Centre FrancoPaix in Conflict Resolution of the Raoul-Dandurand Chair, at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada. His research focus is armed groups and conflict in Africa, specifically Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Mali, and Mozambique. 

His description was confirmed on May 4 by Wassim Nasr, a  journalist and specialist in jihadist movements. He additionally specified that the video was filmed in late April.

“#BurkinaFaso(1) convoy #JNIM #AQMI at #SolléMossi #Loroum at the border with the #Mali ~ April 26-28,” Nasr tweeted in French.

AQMI (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) was formed in 2007 and had merged with other terror groups 10 years later to become the JNIM.

Reports, in late April, that Boko Haram militants had occupied territory in Niger State and were spreading to other parts of Nigeria have triggered a fresh wave of misinformation, with videos from Algeria, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, and other parts of Africa being shared on the internet under misleading captions.

Support Our Journalism

There are millions of ordinary people affected by conflict in Africa whose stories are missing in the mainstream media. HumAngle is determined to tell those challenging and under-reported stories, hoping that the people impacted by these conflicts will find the safety and security they deserve.

To ensure that we continue to provide public service coverage, we have a small favour to ask you. We want you to be part of our journalistic endeavour by contributing a token to us.

Your donation will further promote a robust, free, and independent media.

Donate Here

Of course, we want our exclusive stories to reach as many people as possible and would appreciate it if you republish them. We only ask that you properly attribute to HumAngle, generally including the author's name, a link to the publication and a line of acknowledgement. Contact us for enquiries or requests.

Contact Us

'Kunle Adebajo

Head of Investigations at HumAngle. ‘Kunle covers conflict alongside its many intricacies and fallouts. He also writes about disinformation, the environment, and human rights. He's won a couple of journalism awards, including the 2021 Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Journalism, the 2022 African Fact-checking Award, and the 2023 Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Translate »