Claims in Viral YouTube Audio About President Buhari’s Death Lacks Credence, Misleading
On October 24th, 2020, an audio was posted on YouTube. In the audio were voices of two men with one of the voices making some claims while the other was interviewing him.
The twenty-eight minute audio has garnered over eight hundred and ninety two thousand views, twelve thousand Likes, three hundred and sixty views and over four thousand comments.
The narrator who appeared to be responding to the interview made a number of bogus statements capable of fracturing the fragile Peace in Nigeria.
He gave account that Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari died in a New castle hospital on February 19,2017
“I will be giving you specific details, President Muhammadu Buhari died on the 19th February 2017 in Freeman hospital, New Castle. He died as a result of heart disease which Nigerian presidency failed to disclose. On 19th of February, I was in London. By the special grace of God, I am a journalist, I work with one the Nigerian broadcasting station, and I covered the event in London. You know Muslims don’t embalm, so on the 20th, he was flown to Saudi Arabia where he was buried where Aishat Buhari put on white attire.
I have the video, I have the photograph and everything, on the 23rd of February I was in Ethiopia where the African Union held a minute silence for President Muhammadu Buhari.
On 28th February Queen Elizabeth wrote a condolence letter to the Nigerian Government ‘’
He also claimed that National Broadcasting Commission suspended his broadcasting station for reporting the death of President Buhari, he made claims that the former chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, the late Abba Kyari, former governor of Lagos state Bola Tinubu had attempted to pay him off not to report the alleged death of the President.
He made many other bogus claims.
Opinions from the comment box revealed that many people believe the content of the audio. Following reactions are extracted from the comment box:
- 1.“This Information is very Correct, I remember in 2017 where the Africa Union Hold a Minute of Silent I can remember this if not for any other thing. I was watching that Broadcast from Dubai, I can remember. This Man is Correct, we Nigerians have to wake up like seriously”
- 2 “I could remember when president Trump called him a lifeless person and since that time, Buhari stopped travelling to the USA, there is something behind it.”
- 3.The cabal in Nigeria are worse than cultists, they take us the youths for fools….. Arranged wickedness all because of greed. #EndSars #Endpolicebrutality #Endbadgovernance
In the same vein, some people did not believe the content of the audio as captured in their comments:
“This guy cannot even lie. A drop out claiming to be an international journalist. If they wanted to keep it a secret, why will they invite or even allow you to cover the burial when you are a nobody. You can only fool some. You are not even qualified to be an international: photographer talk more of a local journalist.”
“Listen to his English, compare it to any qualified journalist, qualified enough to even cover such high level activity and you have yourself a cheat SCAM. He’s just riding on the wave of the current happenings. “
“OGA SHARE YOU EVIDENCE MAKE WE REST. UNTIL YOU DO SO YOUR POINTS ARE BASELESS. HIT LIKE IF YOU AGREE’
The author throughout the audio pointed to many claims with reference to dates and specific location but never at any time produced evidence to back any claim. He claimed to have covered the President’s death in New castle hospital but never produced any video or photo to the effect.
The entire claims appeared to be concocted considering how he claimed he covered the event from the hospital in Newcastle to Saudi Arabia where he alleged that President Buhari was allegedly buried.
He identified a telephone number he believed is owned by Bola Tinubu but said he would not disclose that of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for security reasons. An argument which appears flimsy.
He again contradicted himself by saying NBC suspended his broadcasting corporation because he published the story but again said he was suspended because they knew he had all the information and was ready to broadcast.
The audio reveals both the speakers had rehearsed the script as the man (interviewer) kept interjecting to guide the man (interviewee) who claimed to be an international journalist.
At the beginning of the audio, the speaker implored people to follow him on a twitter handle which he spelt out as Borismoro. On the quest to fact check the audio and its content. Three twitter accounts are linked to the name.One is @BORISMORO. Account information shows that he joined in October, 2020, with 1,651 followers, thirty one tweets and following 7. Findings revealed that all the tweets and comments are anti-Government. Again the account was created in October, 2020, the same month the audio was released.
On the other twitter account @BorisMoro3, also created in october with 3,162 followers, following 7 and 51 tweets. Again, all the tweets are all directed to the Nigerian government.
Both twitter handles and the third account, @BorisMorox with 298 followers, following 19 and 59 tweets. All the accounts were created in October 2020, the same month the audio was posted on youtube and the contents of all the handles have the same pseudo-journalistic tilt.
Analytically ,there are evident contradictions on the twitter accounts. For instance the location on @BORlSMORO, one of the accounts linked with the name, the location is The united Kingdom, different from the description on @BorisMorox which puts the location at Nebraska, USA.
Nine minutes into the audio, the man who claimed to be an international journalist said the broadcast media outfit he was working with was suspended by the National Broadcasting commission, the body vested with the responsibilities of, amongst other things, regulating and controlling the broadcasting Industry in Nigeria because the commission knew he covered President Buhari’s burial. Meanwhile, scope of the commission is not to sanction a yet to be broadcast piece but to act on any unhealthy broadcast.
Again, sixteen minutes into the audio, the speaker claimed he was suspended from the media outfit, an account which differs from the previous claim that the media establishment was suspended.
A critical examination shows that the audio is riddled with incoherent claims intended to misinform Nigerians.
The claimant has failed to provide any evidence to back his bogus claims, he failed to identify himself in any manner, neither his name nor that of his establishment was disclosed.
He failed to fulfil primary obligations of 5Ws and H in mass communication despite his claim to be an international journalist.
Three twitter accounts linked to the description he left in the inciting audio, actually shared contents of similar thoughts but can not be tracked with any emails or names.
Rounding off the audio,the interviewer said:”we want to be killing them slowly,slowly a lot of people are saying we should bring the video, we are not going to that at this point…” while the respondent was inciting Nigerians by calling for a revolution .
The round off of the session revealed that the intention of the audio is to incite the country against the government.
The entire audio is found to be misleading and has failed to meet the test of validity, hence it is flagged as false.