CLAIM: Nigerien soldier purportedly shooting himself in the mouth and spitting out the bullets, to demonstrate black power bulletproof. The video was posted by Mr Daniel Bwala, an ally of perennial presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
VERDICT: False! The soldier is not Nigerien.
In the last week of July, military officers led by former Head of Presidential Guard, General Abdourahmane Tchiani, overthrew the democratic government of President Mohamed Bazoum, and installed the former as Head of State.
The coup plotters list, among other things, rising insecurity and a lack of economic growth was justification for their action.
International organizations like the Economic Community of West African States, the United Nations and the African Union, have condemned the coup and are calling for the restoration of democratic government.
ECOWAS, which is headed by Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu, had threatened military intervention if the junta failed to reinstate Bazoum as President. This threat by ECOWAS generated mixed reactions especially from Nigerians. Many argued that the country’s military is overwhelmed with the fight against insurgency already, and should not start a war with Niger.
In one of his numerous Twitter posts on the matter, Bwala posted a video in which a soldier is seen picking up different kinds of guns to shoot himself in the mouth and spitting out the bullet. This, he did to demonstrate his black power against bullets.
Bwala wrote in the post: “This Niger soldier tried his charm with three different sets of guns. Omo this people are serious about their regime ohh. ECOWAS Abeg trade with caution.”
Ripples Nigeria did a reverse check on screenshots of the video and found that it is old. The video first went viral in 2019.
Ripples Nigeria found the person in the video is not a Nigerien soldier as Bwala claimed. A report by French 24 Observer confirms that the video was shot in war-ravaged South Sudan, and that the soldiers in the video are South Sudanese
Although, the international news network did a forensic analysis of the video and found that it may have been a stunt. “The video is a set-up, designed to intimidate the president’s opponents,” the report read in part.
The report confirmed that the man was a colonel in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).
The man shooting himself to prove he has voodoo is not Nigerien as Bwala claimed, but South sudanese.
This Niger soldier tried his charm with three different sets of guns. Omo this people are serious about their regime ohh. ECOWAS Abeg trade with caution. pic.twitter.com/dRKz3uYDwV
— D. H Bwala (@BwalaDaniel) August 19, 2023
By Olúwatóbi Ọdé̩yínká
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