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FACT CHECK… Did herd of cows storm Cross River soon after Gov Ayade defected to APC?

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Claim: A viral video claimed that a huge herd of cows migrated into a Cross River community after Governor Ben Ayade defected to APC.

A viral video on WhatsApp is being spread with the claim that a huge herd of cattles stormed Cross River State soon after the governor, Ben Ayade officially declared to have joined the All Progressive Congress (APC) on May 20, 2021.

The video shows a long train or herd moving across a street just after sun rise with people standing by the road side and the person with the camera making the claims.

He said: “it is not up to 24 hours since the governor of Cross River State joined APC and this morning, in faraway Wanikade… this is exactly one hour that these herd of cows have been passing here,” while claiming to stand in front of the Catholic church, in Wanikade.

He claimed to have spoken to one of the herders who said he doesn’t know where they are going and their leader called Alhaji is in the big town. He claimed the route the cattle are passing leads to Benue State, but they are not heading to benue state rather heading to the Wanikade market.

He linked the cattle movement to the development the state governor promised to bring about, by aligning the state to the centre.

The video has been published by several blogs. Reno omokri, media aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan who has been a major opposition voice to the ruling APC also uploaded the video on his youtube channel.

Verification:

Ripples Nigeria checked the video using Invid verification, and confirmed that the video was not edited. But this does not mean the herd was moved into Cross River State after the governor’s defection.

Twitter and Google search confirmed that the video was first uploaded by a blog named; Voice of Yala on May 25, 2021 which was five days after the defection of Ayade.

While other claims made by the commentator cannot be verified, it is noteworthy that on May 17 there was news of Ada Charles Egwu, Chairman of Biase Local Government Area of the state debunking a story of herdsmen killing the youth.

Also, there are scholarly research works on how to resolve conflicts among farmers and herders using Cross River State as a case study. The study published on Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences in May 2014 was written by Ikike Bassey, a researcher from Covenant University.

This confirms that herd of cattle in Cross River State is not a new development. Also, massive early morning cattle movement is a cultural practice for herdsmen taking cattles for open grazing.

The commentator also said the route in Wanikade leads to Benue state. This is true as Wanikade is a town in Yala local government which is one of the local governments of Cross River State bordering Benue State.

Verdict: The claim is misleading.

Conclusion:

The commentator’s claim in the video that the huge herd of cow moved into Wanikade because the governor defected to APC cannot be verified.

By Ibraheem Alawode…

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