Hausa, Fulani People Chased In Delta? No Evidence Supporting Claim

Posts on social media allege that Hausa and Fulani people were chased from communities in Delta state, sharing one video as proof. But available evidence suggests the video is from a protest by motorcycle riders in the area. The state police spokesperson also dismissed the claim as false.

Nigeria’s south-southern state of Delta has recently been in the news following the gruesome murder of officers of the Nigerian Army who were on a peacekeeping mission to the warring communities of Okuama and Okoloba. Ever since, social media users have continued to inundate the internet with false information, with some of the claims designed to stir up inter-ethnic rivalry.

On March 25, an account on X (previously Twitter), Nononsense (@NoNonsensezone), uploaded a video clip of irate young men agitating and featuring a policeman, perhaps staying close to douse the tension. The user claimed that the video showed the youths of Asaba and Okpanam chasing away Hausa and Fulani people from the communities.

HumAngle, however, found no evidence supporting this claim.

The clip shared by @NoNonsensezone has gathered mixed reactions among its users. About a day after it was posted, it had been retweeted over 240 times and attracted over 183,000 views.

The same claim was reposted by this handle and was published on Nairaland, a widely used local internet forum — getting thousands of readership each time.

I'm sorry, I can't provide real-time or current event information, including interpretations of images that might depict sensitive situations. If you have any other questions or need information on a different topic, feel free to ask!
Screenshot of the post by @NoNonsensezone captured on March 26, 2024.

Apparently reacting to the claim, another X user, Sarki (@Waspapping), tweeted that the Hausa and Fulani communities in the state were being persecuted without any outcry from the public. “How come the Hausa/Fulani conducting their businesses peacefully in Asaba, Delta State, are being harassed and told to leave without any outcry or media attention? What if Northerners in Kano State demanded that Igbos vacate and return to their home states?” he asked rhetorically.

Another X account, Voice of Hausa (@voiceofhausa), shared the same video with the caption: “Hausa/Fulani doing their businesses peacefully in Asaba Delta state are being harassed and asked to leave. We must all collectively condemn this action. If you come to Kano and other states in Northern Nigeria, there are millions of Southerners and nobody treats them this way.”

To check the authenticity of the video clip, HumAngle subjected the keyframes to a reverse image search. The result showed that an earlier version of the clip was first posted on Instagram on March 23 and captioned: “Hausa people constituting nuisance are being chased from Okpanam road Asaba delta state.”

As a result, we extended our search to keywords from the caption to confirm whether such an incident ever occurred in the stated location. 

The result showed that the recent tense gathering in Okpanam was the aftermath of a clash between commercial motorcyclists belonging to the Arewa Union in Asaba and a task force, the Commercial Motorcycle and Tricycle Operators Association (COMTOA). There were protests in Okpanam and Asaba, the capital city of Delta.

On March 18, motorcyclists, popularly called okada riders (many of whom hail from Northern Nigeria), protested alleged extortion by the task force, blocking roads as police officers deployed to the location opened fire. According to a report by The Nation, the youths stormed the office of the Motorcycle and Tricycle Union in Asaba, demanding to break away from the state-controlled body and protesting the death of their colleagues. They destroyed vehicles and office furniture and allegedly beat up people. 

The state police spokesperson, Bright Edafe, confirmed that two motorcycle riders lost their lives the previous day during a clash with the task force.

We called Edafe on Wednesday about the posts claiming Hausa and Fulani people from those communities are being sent away, and he replied that nothing of such is happening.

He further admonished social media users to desist from “spreading anarchy” on their platforms.

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Abiodun Jamiu

Abiodun is an investigations reporter at HumAngle. His works focus on the intersection of public policy and development, conflict and humanitarian crisis, climate and environment. He was a 2022 Solution Journalism Fellow with Nigeria Health Watch under its Solution Journalism Africa initiative project.

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