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Factcheck: Old, Unrelated Pictures Used To Depict Killings In Obigbo

Claim 

A Twitter user with the username @DiobuZonePH has uploaded different pictures and claimed there was a bloodbath in “Biafra land” once again. 

He claimed that people in Obigbo, Rivers State, are being slaughtered in thousands by the Nigerian military after receiving an order from the state governor, Nyesom Wike. 

Verdict 

An online verification tool has revealed that the pictures uploaded to support the claim are old and are not related to any massacre in Rivers State.

Full Text 

The Twitter user with the name IPOB DIOBU ZONE, IGWUEOCHA (@DiobuZonePH) on November 21 uploaded four pictures and claimed they were related to a massacre in Obigbo perpetrated by officials of the Nigerian army sent by Governor Wike of Rivers State. 

“#ObigboMassacre Bloodbaths in Biafra land once again. @StateDept @POTUS @SecPompeo @HouseofCommons @UKParliament @UNHumanRights please help us, we are being slaughtered in thousands. Is it a crime to be Christians? Nigerian military sent by Wike @GovWike are killing us in Obigbo,” the user tweeted

The post has been retweeted over 500 times and has since generated a lot of reactions. 

“Man inhumanity to man, whoever is involved if this is substantiated should be tried for crime against humanity,” replied user with the username @Fitzdominic1 under the tweet. 

Verification 

The pictures were uploaded to Google Reverse Image Search for verification and the following results were found to be the oldest time the pictures were published on the internet. 

  1. The picture below was originally taken during an attempted prison break at Ikoyi Correctional Centre in Lagos State in October 2020, at the height of the #EndSARS protests and has been on the internet since then.
  2. The second picture below was found to have been originally published in a report on the crisis in the Cameroonian troubled Ambazonia in 2018.
  3.  The picture of Nigerian Army officials in the tweet was first published by Sahara Reporters in 2012 with the headline “Soldiers Shoot To Disperse ‘Occupy’ Protesters In Lagos As Nigerian Secret Police Raids CNN’s Office”.

Obigbo/Oyigbo Crisis 

Obigbo is a settlement in Oyibgo Local Government Area of Rivers State with large concentrations of Igbo Nigerians. 

The Nigerian military took control of the area after “hoodlums suspected to be members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, invaded Oyigbo and went on destruction and killing spree of security operatives and their outposts”.

At the height of the violence, the IPOB members allegedly killed six soldiers and set four policemen ablaze.

They also allegedly burnt over 50 private and public vehicles, including an Armored Personnel Carrier, a State High Court building among others. 

On Wednesday, October 21, the state governor, Nyesom Wike, declared a 24-hour curfew in the Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state.

The governor, in a broadcast, said the curfew was imposed on the area and a few other places in the state after the #EndSARS protest in Rivers was hijacked by hoodlums to unleash carnage.

However, since the curfew was declared, Oyigbo has remained a troubled community as violence has gone on non-stop.

For days, videos and photos of young people allegedly killed by soldiers in Oyigbo have found their way to social media.

“Oyigbo Rivers State bleeding soldiers are now going House to House in the LGA looking for Youths to kill and the killing has been on @GovWike please order the stop this is genocide crime to humanity,” tweeted @GoalYouth. 

An investigation by Premium Times found that the “Nigerian Army inflicted a war-grade assault on Oyigbo community in Rivers, killing many residents, and injuring many others. It is another case of gross human rights violations.”

Conclusion 

The pictures uploaded by the Twitter user to show a massacre in Obigbo of Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State are old and have been on the internet for a long time. 

Although there was violence in the area at the height of #EndSARS protest that led to the loss of lives, the pictures uploaded here are not related to the alleged massacre.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means without proper attribution to HumAngle, generally including the author's name, a link to the publication and a line of acknowledgement.

Aliyu Dahiru

Aliyu Dahiru Aliyu is a researcher with expertise in areas such as fact-checking and insecurity. He was a research programs officer at the CDD West Africa and Tech. Officer at CITAD. He has contributed to CNN, BBC, etc.

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