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Viral video shows hunters and not terrorists, say Nigeria police

IN SHORT: A video circulating on social media in Nigeria claims to show “Fulani terrorists” apprehended by police. But Delta state police say the video shows legitimate hunters.

A video posted on 5 February 2024 on X, formerly Twitter, claims to show “Fulani terrorists” caught by the Nigerian police force.

The men in the video are surrounded by dogs and what appear to be locally made weapons. It is captioned: “Fulani Terriorists were dropped in Trailer loads today In Mbaise, IMO State.” It’s been viewed over 1.9 million times. 

The term “Fulani terrorists” is an often stereotypical reference to Fulani herdsmen. The Fulani ethnic group is scattered across west Africa, including in Nigeria, and cattle herding has traditionally been central to their identity. 

In Nigeria, Fulani groups have sometimes been accused of causing conflict because of their nomadic way of life. But some Fulani communities have accused the media of misrepresenting them.

It’s in the context of insecurity in Nigeria and the social tensions around Fulani nomadism that X users in February 2024 are claiming that this video shows “Fulani terrorists” caught with guns and dogs.

The video has been posted to Facebook and Instagram here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. One post has been viewed by more than 18,000 users on Instagram. 

But what does this video show? We checked. 


Hunters intercepted in Delta

The public relations officer of Delta state police command, Bright Edafe, said on X that the claim that the video showed “terrorists” was “fake news”.

According to the police officer, the people in the video were hunters intercepted in Agbor, Delta state. The police found they were actual hunters.

His X post, dated 6 February 2024, reads: “May God forgive peddlers of fake news. These were hunters intercepted in Agbor Delta State. After profiling them. We discovered they were indeed hunters. Here you are saying the direct opposite, even saying it happened in Imo State. I repeat, May God forgive you”.

Africa Check also checked the media for credible reports of any arrests of terrorists in Mbaise, Imo state, but did not find any. 

False claims about security threats can cause panic and fear among the public and exacerbate social tensions. By verifying the accuracy of this claim, Africa Check helps prevent unnecessary alarm and ensures that people respond appropriately, based on credible information.

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