On Tuesday, October 20, 2020, a claim emerged that the Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM) has taken responsibility for the attack meted out to #EndSARS protesters by some hoodlums in Apo district of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.
According to the six-paragraphed claim, operations against the #EndSARS protesters will continue tomorrow, Wednesday, October 21, 2020.
The statement said: “We hereby order all our cells across the country to mobilise for a battle we have all waited for since the past years.”
Investigations by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) traced the original message to a post from a blog titled Jungle Journalist. The message has since been posted on Nairaland and shared on WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter.
Also, in 2019 CDD conducted a fact-check exposing FUNAM as a faceless group that emerged in 2018. The group had then claimed to be responsible for attacks in the midst of the farmer/herders crisis.
While it has become clear that FUNAM does not exist, the group has been used as a weapon to stoke ethnic tensions as far back as 2018, as is being used now to stoke tensions after unidentified attackers burned vehicles in the Apo/Mechanic Village axis of Abuja on October 19.
CONCLUSION: There is no group known as FUNAM and not responsible for the attacks on #EndSARS protesters in Apo district of Abuja.
This is an attempt at stoking ethnic tensions, and should be ignored.
CDD is urging Nigerians to always verify the authenticity stories before sharing them. You can also forward suspicious messages for verification via WhatsApp to +2349062910568 or contact us on twitter @CDDWestAfrica
Center for Democracy and Development West Africa| CDD West Africa