Nigeria did NOT approve the cessation of South eastern states!

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A claim that the Nigerian government has approved the cessation of five South Eastern states from Nigeria has surfaced on TikTok.

The claim was contained in a screenshot of a headline from a popular Nigerian media platform, The Punch newspaper, which was posted by a TikTok user, @be_wise0, on the app on March 5, 2024.

The headline read:

Presidency speak on Biafra, we can’t give out south south, if the 5 south eastern state want to go they are free.

Below the headline, there was a featured image of a sitting of members of Nigeria’s House of Representatives for illustration.

The post also had a caption that read:

Biafra must be happy for this news #biafraly #Viral

The post has garnered over 300,000 views, more than 10,000 likes, over 4,700 comments and 300 shares as of March 8, 2024.

READ: Simon Ekpa shares fake images of weapons allegedly recovered by pro-Biafra fighters from police

 

CLAIM

The Nigerian Presidency has approved the cessation of South eastern states.

 

THE FINDINGS 

Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE!

Screenshot of the post as retrieved from TikTok. INSERT: False verdict.
Screenshot of the post as retrieved from TikTok. INSERT: False verdict.

The FactCheckHub observed that there was no link to the full article attached with the post.

A look at the post shows that the headline was laden with multiple grammatical and spelling errors and wrong use of punctuation marks which is common with most falsified articles.

Screenshot of the claim indicating grammatical and punctuation errors
Screenshot of the TikTok post indicating some identified grammatical and punctuation errors.

Further checks by The FactCheckHub indicate that the date and author’s name which are often by the top left hand side of online reports published by Punch newspaper were missing.

The featured image used does not correlate with the headline in the post. The headline had ‘presidency’ while the featured image used was that a sitting of the House of Representatives’ members.

A Google Lens search conducted shows recent news report in which the same featured image was used as seen here and here.

When subjected to further online search using the same headline as keywords, no article with the headline contained in the Punch screenshot posted by the claimant was found. Thus, it shows that the headline was likely created using code manipulation.

Code manipulation could be used to change headline, stories, pictures and date of a news report on any website.

 

THE VERDICT

The claim that the Nigerian Presidency has approved the cessation of South eastern states is FALSE; the TikTok post was likely created using code manipulation.

Fact-checker at The FactheckHub | [email protected] | + posts

Seasoned fact-checker and researcher Fatimah Quadri has written numerous fact-checks, explainers, and media literacy pieces for The FactCheckHub in an effort to combat information disorder. She can be reached at sunmibola_q on X or [email protected].

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