The Center for Information Technology and Development, CITAD, said it has sadly noticed fake pictures of Nigerian military officers in circulation, especially on social media platforms.
According to the centre, the now viral image shows two gentlemen in Nigerian military uniform, one is dead while the other is loudly crying.
The image was said to have emerged from a scene during the recent attack on troops under the 157 Task Force Battalion at Metele in Guzamala Local Government of Borno state on 18th November, 2018.
In a statement signed and made available to newsmen by its Hate Speech Project Coordinator, Hamza Ibrahim, CITAD said it “did observe that the picture is receiving attention of Nigerians on Twitter, Facebook, WhatApps, etc by especially giving the impression that it originated from the Metele attack on Nigerian troops.
“As an organization that implements a project on Hate Speech and Fake News and also does research on the concepts, CITAD wants to emphasize here, that, the picture is fake, and is not in any way connected with Metele incident.
“Unlike what its circulators claim, the picture originated from a Hausa Movie called “Abu Hassan”, where two friends “Adam A. Zango and Zahraddin Sani”, were dramatically involved in a gunfight with their antagonists, Adam A. Zango had in the movie died having been shot several times and Zahraddin Sani, being a friend and colleague was madly screaming in sympathy.
“The movie produced by Zahraddin Sani and directed by Alfazazi (a Kaduna-based film maker) was released in 2016. But, fake news disseminators are now using that scene to mislead people into believing it was a reality during Metele incident, that is absolutely false.
“CITAD is hereby drawing the attention of especially the disseminators and the Nigerian public that the picture is fake in totality, and there is need to stop sharing it on whatever medium as that also is sparking another negative discourse. Disseminating fake news in whatever form is injurious to peace and development, as such people should shun doing it.
“We equally want to caution people against sharing fake news, particularly at this time of electioneering; before sharing any information, people should interrogate its authenticity.