OPERATED BY IPC

Misleading

FACT-CHECKED

by IPC |

NO! Video of Burning Ships Not from Delta State Communal Crisis

Following the brutal killing of soldiers of the Nigerian Army in Delta State on Thursday, March 14, 2024, social media users and bloggers have been circulating a video reportedly from a counterattack on the Delta State community.
Seventeen soldiers were killed in an ambush at Okuama community in Delta State, according to media reports. This has attracted concerns from Nigerians, and the presidency has ordered an investigation into the killings.
On the 18th of March 2024, X user with the handle, ‘@General Somto’ posted a 54-second video with a caption that reads, “Nigerian Soldiers Still On Revenge Mission: Another Community Set Ablaze By Nigeria Army In Delta State. Meanwhile, in the North, Boko Haram Terrorists Are Granted Amnesty, Fulani Herdsmen Are Protected By The Government, Bandits Are Getting Paid And Rehabilitated. These Are Criminals And Terrorists Responsible For The Deaths Of Thousands Of Nigerians Including Nigeria Soldiers And Police Officers. It’s Only In The South East (SS and SE) That Nigeria Military Goes On Revenge Missions. Why Not Go After The Perpetrators And Leave Innocent Civilians Out Of It. Why Burning Down The Whole Community.”
In the video, there are burning ships in the middle of the river with voices that can be heard in the background making comments.
Another X user, ‘Emeka Gift Official’ posted alongside the video a text that reads,
“The Unprofessionalism of the Nigerian Military in Okuama
“The events in Okuama Community, Delta State, have once again brought to light the unprofessional and deceitful nature of the Nigerian military. Despite overwhelming evidence of their atrocities, including the razing of an entire community, the military has shamelessly attempted to deny their actions and cover up their crimes. It is essential to condemn these lies and hold the military accountable for their egregious behavior
“Instead of owning up to their actions, the military has resorted to propaganda and misinformation to cover up their crimes. They have tried to paint the incident as a communal clash orchestrated by the Okuama Community, despite evidence to the contrary. This blatant attempt to distort the truth and manipulate public perception is unacceptable and must be condemned in the strongest terms”.
On Monday, 18th, March 2024 a statement from Major General Onyema Nwachukwu, the Director of Army Public Relations, accused the Okuama Community of resorting to media propaganda instead of helping to find the killers of troops.

In the statement, titled “Resort To Propaganda By Okuama Community In The Face Of Gruesome Murder Of Troops On Peace Mission Is Callous And Totally Condemnable,” The army has not admitted to the invasion of the Okuama community.

Claim

Video is from Army reprisal attack on Okuama Community in Delta state.

Rating Justification

iVerify Nigeria checked this claim and found it to be MISLEADING.

To determine the veracity of this claim, the video in circulation was divided into keyframes using inVID- a video verification tool, after which each keyframe was subjected to verification using Google Reverse Image Search. This led us to discovering that the circulating video has been on the internet months before now.

Our findings show that the video first got to the internet on the 29th of January 2024 when it was posted on TikTok, a short-form video hosting service, by a TikTok user, ‘shugaberries’.
According to the user, the video is from a fire outbreak that happened at a riverside in PortHarcourt, Rivers state.

The caption attached to the video on TikTok reads, “Another fire outbreak at nembe waterside near creek road in port harcourt”

CONCLUSION
Claim that video is from reprisal attack in Okuama community in Delta state is misleading, as checks by iVerify Nigeria show that it has been on the internet since January, and from a fire outbreak that occurred at a riverside in PortHarcourt, Rivers state.

Evidence and References