A video has gone viral on social media platforms, especially WhatsApp claiming that Fulani bandits are taking receipt of weapons from the Nigerian military in a forest.
The content of the video and the narrative that followed is misleading as there is INSUFFICIENT evidence to prove the claim.
Following the emergence of an unverified video, the social media platforms, including WhatsApp, Facebook and youtube have been awash with the clip, claiming that Fulani Bandits were receiving weapons in an unidentified forest.
This claim is emerging in the wake of insecurity that has continued to plague Northern parts of the country due to the gruesome activities of some unscrupulous bandits, kidnappers and terrorists.
Using Chrome extensions Invid fake news debunker, PRNigeria extracted image keyframes contained in the video and used the results to undertake a Google, Bing, Yandex and Tineye reverse image research. No result linked the clip to any credible media platform or Youtube video channel which means that the source of the video is not trusted as there was no other contextual result linked to the clip.
The initial youtube channel that posted the video linked to the result of the reverse image search, was a channel that had secessionist agitator Nnamdi Kanu’s photo on its profile.
Furthermore, using the video analysis tool of the Invid verifier extension, PRNigeria examined the clip on the channel which YouTube flagged the channel’s content licensing as FALSE.
PRNigeria further did a content analysis of the clip including background sound and visual representations and concluded that the background dialect sounded strange to a Nigerian language much less Fulani.
Similarly, while the helicopter and background sound seem superimposed on the video, the vegetation showed some trees and even tall grasses plants that are not common in the North, especially at this period.
PRNigeria also reached out to a top security officer who confirmed that the Nigerian Military does not have the kind of branded aircraft seen in the clip and the emblazoned safety jackets worn by the actors are not by men of the Nigerian security services.
The senior military officer said: “The scene in the video is not in Nigeria. We don’t have that type of helicopter in the inventory of the Nigerian Airforce (NAF) and none of the security services wears that kind of emblazoned safety jacket that could easily expose their brand identity. That helicopter did not land anywhere in Nigeria.”
There is INSUFFICIENT evidence to prove the claims about the viral video, therefore, based on metadata analysis and other forensic investigations, the claim is both false and misleading.