CLAIM: Students in Lagos, Nigeria Run Away from Taking the COVID-19 Vaccine (VIDEO)

Zainab Sanni

 

Misinformation around the Covid-19 vaccine is rife. In this report, we used OSINT tools to check the veracity of a viral video showing students jumping off a school building.

In January 2021, Twitter account @RealNasasira posted a video of students jumping from their classrooms, running away from a school compound. 

His accompanying caption suggested that the video was from Lagos, Nigeria and the students were running away from taking the Covid-19 vaccine.

“One of the school in Nigeria, few tested positive with #Covid_19 and they decided to administer the vaccine so the students couldn’t settle down.

“My nigerian brothers and sisters, how true is this? #FactCheck,” read the caption to the video. 

The user later replied himself saying “Update it’s an old video of boko haram.”

So what was really happening in the video, where and when was it taken? This report took a look.

Twitter handle got video from WhatsApp

The Twitter account user had a Ugandan flag as part of his name, indicating he could be from the East African country.  Foller.mi, a Twitter analytics application that helps get near real-time data about a handle including the topics they tweet, mentions, hashtags, followers, location and others, was also used to analyse the handle

Based on the interactions and mentions, the tool showed that the account was most likely operated from the country.    

We reached out to the account holder about where he got the video in the post and said it was from WhatsApp.

We then went on to determine who first posted the video and was his conclusion that it was an old video of Boko Haram true? 

Video first appeared on Twitter in French

We then did advanced searches using Tweet Deck, a Twitter tool for real-time tracking, organizing, and engagement. Using different keywords from the video led to Twitter user, @yaacobskongolo who posted the video accompanied by a french caption “Les élèves fuient la vaccination covid-19 au Nigeria”.  In English this translates into “students flee covid-19 vaccination in Nigeria.” 

The reporter then extracted the key words “la vaccination covid-19 au Nigeria” to run another TweetDeck search for related posts for the month of December 2019 and January and February 2020. 

The result was three videos posted between January 25 and January 27.  The video first appeared on Twitter on January 25, 2021 and was posted by @KimKimuntu

The search was repeated without a time limit and the result was the same. 

A search on @KimKimunt’s account using TweetDeck did not lead to any other anti-covid-19 vaccination post indicating that this post was one-off.

So where is the video from? 

Key frames were extracted from the video using InVid WeVerify plug-in and a Google reverse image search was conducted on one of the key frames. 

A news story with the heading “Many injured as teargas canister explodes in Rivers community school” topped the search results.

The video on this web page was 1 minute 55 seconds long as against the 30 seconds clip seen on Twitter. 

The news report was published on May 26, 2019 and stated that the video showed students fleeing after a teargas canister exploded at Community Secondary School, Oroworoku in Rivers state, south south Nigeria. 

Other credible news organisations also reported the incidence, including Punch newspaper, BBC and Guardian Nigeria

Google earth photos point to school in Rivers state

A close look at the 1:55 seconds footage available on the web shows that the school which is painted yellow has a U-Shape and a large compound.

This corresponds with the available satellite image of the school in Port Harcourt and further lends credence to where the school is located as mentioned in the 2019 reports by news platforms.

For a final check, the fact-checker ran another TweetDeck search using the key words “community secondary school, port harcourt” and the result returned a video by Monica Ogwa, a senior news correspondent with Silverbird Television in Port Harcourt. Rivers State.

She posted a video of herself interviewing students affected by the incident on her Twitter handle.

Conclusion: Video of fleeing students from canister explosion in Rivers state and not from forced Covid-19 vaccines or Boko Haram

Using publicly available data and OSINT Tools, News Verifier Africa came to the conclusion that the 30 seconds clip on a user’s Twitter page and uploaded by others is not footage of students running away from taking the covid-19 vaccine neither is it an old video of Boko Haram. 

The clip was extracted from a video which first appeared on the internet in May 2019 and was students of a school trying to escape after a canister exploded within the school premises.

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