Fact matters because falsehood can lead to various undesirable consequences in any society. This is especially more true under the current condition the world finds itself. That is why the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) is providing everyone with the facts on COVID-19 and other related issues to make people stay adequately informed.
Below are reports of false news shared online in the last week we have fact-checked.
Does Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have a Center for Global Human Population Reduction?
An image that went viral on WhatsApp claimed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has a sign reading “Center for Global Human Population Reduction” on its building.
This image has been widely shared in WhatsApp groups and broadcast on Facebook in Nigeria.
Checks by our team of fact-checkers show that the image circulated on WhatsApp was photoshopped to include the words “Center for Global Human Population Reduction” on the Foundation’s building.
A search for the real image on google reveals the picture of the building façade, which reads: “Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation”.
There is no ‘’Center for Global Human Population Reduction” engraved on the building of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Read full fact check report here.
Kano State Government Did Not Relax Lockdown for One Week
On Monday, May 11, 2020, our fact-checkers at the CDD spotted a WhatsApp broadcast claiming that the Kano state government had relaxed the Coronavirus lockdown earlier imposed on the state.
The message, also sent to the CDD fact-checking WhatsApp number, claimed that the relaxation of the lockdown was announced by the state government to enable residents to participate in the Eid-el-Fitr preparation due in 10 days.
At a meeting with religious leaders on April 14, 2020, the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, announced the imposition of a one-week lockdown in the state.
The governor said the lockdown, with effect from April 16, 2020, will help contain the spread of Coronavirus among Kano state residents. At the expiration of the first week, the state government extended the lockdown for another week.
Also, on April 27, 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari imposed a two-week lockdown, which expired on May 11, on the state.
However, shortly after the expiration of the lockdown issued by the president, the Kano State Commissioner for information and Culture, Muhammad Garba, announced another round of a week extension.
Garba, in a statement issued at midnight on Monday, May 11, 2020, said the state decided after consultations with the federal government and critical stakeholders in the health sector.
Read the full fact check report here.
There is no coronavirus in Nigeria – US-based nurse speaks
One of Nigerian news platform, legit.ng on May 6, 2020, published an article on a United States of America based nurse claiming that there is no Coronavirus in Nigeria.
The article, with over 99,000 views, was published based on a video uploaded on YouTube. The video on YouTube had over 10,000 views as of May 11, 2020.
In the video, the nurse who is from New York made, the first claim comparing the city to Nigeria as a nation.
“Well coronavirus in Nigeria, we don’t believe that it’s really there. Because Nigeria’s population is just like New York, and truly if coronavirus is there, trust me we would have had cases more than the United States,” the US-based nurse said.
Further elaborating her claim, the US-based nurse said she does not believe there is a case of the virus infection in Nigeria because, to her, the number does not seem to add up with the nation’s population.
She also queried the treatment given to patients who contracted the disease in Nigeria.
“Who is really taking care of these people? Who are the nurses? Which hospital were they in? How many days were they in the hospital?” the nurse asked.
“So to me and some other Nigerians, we do not believe that Nigeria has the case. I think because of the herbs and home remedies that we are taking, I think it helps. And this very virus doesn’t survive under heat – so maybe that could be an advantage,” she concluded.
Checks by our fact-checkers at the Centre show that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has been tracking the number of cases since the Nigerian government reported the index case on February 27, 2020.
Also, some notable individuals in the country have contracted the disease. Late Abba Kyari, the past Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, died from complications of COVID-19. Also, the governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, and his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde, among many others have contracted the virus.
The nurse’s claim that New York City is just like Nigeria is false as the former has a population of nearly 20 million. In contrast, Nigeria has an estimated population of about 200 million.
Also, while considering the testing capacity in New York and Nigeria, there is indeed a gap in healthcare and testing of suspected cases of COVID-19.
While New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo on Saturday, April 25, 2020, announced that the city aims at testing 40,000 people daily, Nigeria, as a nation, is still struggling to test a little above 1,500 people per day.
From the analysis, it does not mean that Nigeria does not have coronavirus because, even with limited testing capacity, Nigeria already has over 4,000 cases of confirmed positive COVID-19 as of May 10, 2020.
Read Full fact check report here.
On May 11, 2020, an online blog published a breaking news story with the headline ‘’Breaking! Sokoto State Governor Dies ’’.
The report had the picture of the current Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, as its feature image, portraying the governor is the one who died.
Checks by fact-checkers at the Centre shows that Governor Tambuwal is not dead.
Also, CDD checks show that the person being written about in the blog post was the second civilian governor of Sokoto State, Dr. Garba Nadama, who died on Monday, May 4, 2020.
Dr. Garba’s death was announced by Governor Tambuwal, who had expressed shock and sadness over the former governor’s death. Tambuwal, while announcing Garba’s death, also commiserated with the family of the late politician.
Also, the blog within the body of the article reported Garba’s death correctly. It stated clearly that Governor Tambuwal announced his death on behalf of Sokoto State, even with the misleading headline and preview image.
Further review of the blog www|dot|UniqueMusic|dot|com|ng shows that platform was created primarily for sharing music content but publishes news stories, mostly as clickbait to drive traffic to the site.
Governor Tambuwal, the executive governor of Sokoto State, is not dead.
The Centre for Democracy and Development is urging members of the public to read beyond headlines before sharing any news report, especially from gossip blogs who are in the habit of using clickbait headlines to draw traffic to their blogs.
You can also forward suspicious messages for verification at +2349062910568 or contact us on twitter: @CDDWestAfrica.