FACT-CHECK: Did Borno Lawmaker Threaten to Kill, Bury Political Opponents?
Claim: A 7-second video recently emerged on Facebook and other social media platforms claiming that the member representing Nganzai at the Borno State House of Assembly, Hon Mohammed Ali Gajiram threatened to kill and bury anyone working against his political party, All Progressive Congress (APC) in his senatorial district.
Full-Text: The video which was widely shared by Facebook users, was translated into English by a popular Kanuri journalist from Borno, reads: “we will win the election even if we should kill and bury people in holes.”
Controversy: The claim has generated extensive concerns from netizens thus a Facebook user reacted, “Listen to A member of the Borno State House of Assembly (APC) from Nganzai said, “Even if we kill people and bury them, we must win this election.
“Professor Zulum must call this Desperate politician to order and security agencies should also take action against this so called Lawmaker before it’s too late[sic].”
Verification: PRNigeria conducted a keyword search and results from the Vanguard and Allnews published that the Member representing Nganzai Mohammed Ali Gajiram at the Borno State House of Assembly has debunked the video, describing it as a “concocted and re-edit video.”
Gajiram said: “Ordinarily, I am not surprised to watch the doctored and concocted video, in which some portions of the clip were cut off to sweet those behind such fake and mischievous act, but for the purpose of clarity, let me put the record straight.
“I am an advocate against political violence, and that was why while addressing my party supporters, I drew their attention to some opposition parties who were campaigning/telling people to vote out APC or risk been killed, unfortunately, some mischief makers concocted such video, and turned it upside down against what really transpired[sic],” he added.
To avoid misquotation, a Maiduguri-based Kanuri journalist Bukar Alibe translated the footage into English.
The translated version of the video reads: “We have Ambassador Baba Ahmad Jidda in Marte Local Government. We must win the election even if we will beat them with stick, dig a hole, and bury them. We have MT Monguno in Monguno. We must win the election even if we will use a stick to beat them and bury them in a hole. We have Engr. Bukar Talba and we must win the election.”
PRNigeria investigated the video by analysing its motion and speech sequence and also subjected the same footage to multimedia forensics using InVid debunker but there was no evidence of tampering observed.
Speaking to PRNigeria, Bukar Alibe, a Kanuri man, observed that implicitly the linguistic connotation of Mr Gajiram’s statement can be looked at from the literal meaning with the qualifying terms as “beat them,” “stick,” “dig a hole,” and “bury them,” with no direct reference to individuals, persons or groups. However, the conceptual meaning can be interpreted to mean a threat to “kill and bury” opponents.
Conclusion: Based on conceptual understanding of Mr Mohammed Ali Gajiram’s Kanuri speech and forensic examination of the footage by PRNigeria, the claim that he threatened to “kill and bury” is TRUE. Similarly, the claim by the lawmaker the video was doctored is FALSE.
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Report By: PRNigeria.com