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04.11.2021 Featured FACT CHECK: Army Lied. Troops Shot at Houses in Enugu Village

Published 4th Nov, 2021

By Daniel Ojukwu

On Monday, two videos showing soldiers shooting indiscriminately and shouting cuss words were circulated on social media.

Several Twitter users suggested that the event occurred in Isi-Ngwu Mgbowo, Awgu Local Government Area, Enugu State, in the early hours of the day.

Kenneth Obike, a Twitter user, said, “Nigerian soldiers (have) invaded Isi-Ngwu Mgbowo, Awgu L.G. in Enugu state since 5 am early this morning, burning innocent people’s houses and shooting and speaking Hausa, and villagers are taking refuge in the bushes.”

Reacting, the army, in a Facebook post on Tuesday, described the claims as false. In a statement titled ‘Troops Raid Suspected IPOB/ESN Hideout In Enugu State’, the army said a joint security team raided the area on the said date and made arrests.

However, it denied the incident of burning of houses and indiscriminate shooting, claiming the raid occurred in the night and that there was no destruction of properties. It described the videos as “IPOB/ESN propaganda video.”

Abubakar Abdullahi, Acting Deputy Director, Public Relations of the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, signed the statement.

THE CLAIM: The Nigerian Army, in a Facebook post dated November 2, 2021, claimed its troops did not fire indiscriminately or unprovoked in Awgu, Enugu State.

READ ALSO: Forensic Investigation Confirms Army Lied About Firing Blank Rounds at #EndSARS Protesters

VERIFICATION

FIJ obtained the videos making the rounds online to ascertain links between the uniformed men spotted in the videos and Nigerian soldiers.

Screenshots taken from the videos were subjected to a reverse image search on Google, and the earliest results were from Monday, indicating the videos had not surfaced any time before that time, and were not likely from a previous event.

READ ALSO: After Sending Warning Letter to Army, ‘Fulani Terrorists’ Invade Plateau Community

A Hausa-speaking source translated the statements made by the soldiers in the video, confirming that the language was indeed Hausa – one of the three major languages spoken in Nigeria – as claimed on social media.

The source told FIJ that the words of one of the soldiers, “Ku sa wuta wuta“, translates as “Put fire; put fire” in English.

READ ALSO: EXCLUSIVE: Army ‘Doesn’t Know’ if Major Datong is Dead or Alive

He also confirmed that “Ku fito mana“, said by the soldiers, translates as “Come out”, while “kun cu durin uwar ku” and “Buran ubansu” are derogatory and unprintable cuss words.

The soldiers also said, “Who de check am?” This is a popular slang in Pidgin English, widely used in Nigeria.

The uniforms of the soldiers in the videos were also checked against the military camouflage patterns used in Nigeria. Some officers in the videos donned a variant of the black, brown and khaki “blotch” shapes on a vivid forest green background, a design introduced in Nigeria between 2012 and 2013.

Although the uniform varies slightly in colour with the one commonly worn by Nigerian soldiers, a military source confirmed to FIJ that it is indeed used by the Nigerian military.

An independent investigation by FIJ also revealed that one of the guns held by the soldiers is an Ak-47 which is commonly used by Nigerian soldiers. The Defence Industry Incorporation of Nigeria (DICON) produces a copy of the AK-47 codenamed OBJ006 (after former President Olusegun Obasanjo).

READ ALSO: FACT CHECK: Is the Muslim Jummah Responsible for Security Breaches at Army Formations, as Claimed by Olawunmi? No!

FIJ reached out to residents of Isi-Ngwu Mgbowo for confirmation. Pleading anonymity, one of them said soldiers were in the area shooting sporadically during the day, and that he was not aware of any arrests of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its combat arm, the Eastern Security Network (ESN).

“We heard gunshots; nobody was in the houses they were shooting, but the gunshots were loud. It happened during the day on Monday,” he said.

According to the sources, occupants of the houses had fled into the bush when the soldiers commenced their shooting.

CONCLUSION:

Troops of the Nigerian Army were in Isi-Awgu on Monday and they shot indiscriminately at houses.

VERDICT:

The claims by the Nigerian Army that its troops did not shoot indiscriminately in Isi-Agwu, and that the videos were propaganda from IPOB and ESN, are false.

Published 4th Nov, 2021

By Daniel Ojukwu

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