A conspiracy theory that says Ebola virus was deliberately created by Western countries using black magic and rituals is going viral on Nigerian websites.
This came after a meme on the disease spread among Nigerian netizens.
The image or meme shows a white lady, named Ebola-Chan, wearing a dress of a nurse holding a bloody skull. Her hair, long and dangling, is made to look like a dangerous Ebola virus strain.
The meme got unbelievable traction among people scared of the rampaging virus.
Along with the image, a tagline warns people to write below the picture "I love you Ebola-Chan", if they want to save themselves from the virus.
The picture, which simply looks like a bad job in the beginning, quickly spiralled into something more damaging. The image rapidly became a symbol of the 'fact', for some people, that it was deliberately created by 'racist' Europeans and White people.
Some 4chan users – where the meme first appeared – openly hoped that it reached Nigerian forums so that it would cause fear among the population. A media company called Vocative reported giving examples of how 4chan users were attempting to "freak out Nigerians living in fear of the deadly virus."
And as hoped, the fear-mongering tactic seemed to have worked well, with the anime character Ebola-Chan being discussed is some Nigerian forum with a palpable effect.
In a Nigerian forum called 'Nairaland', one user wrote a post claiming that Europe and America have created a "new racist cult" and that "they hate Africans and worship an Ebola demoness (Sic) who they call 'Ebola-Chan'".
"They perform magical rituals in order to spread the disease and kill people. They target the area they want to infect next using blood sacrifices," the article claims.
The post explains in detail how the 'demonic disease' was apparently created through various cult practices and rituals. Below the grotesque article, most people have said they agreed with the theory.
"A disease can easily gain powers if these white people in Europe are actually doing blood sacrifice. May God help us fight this CIA created demon."
Another person said: "There are some weird stuff white folks are doing. May be they are just a bunch of racist people doing magic rituals."
"If they commit such atrocities as shown above, we can't blindly send every hard working African into their clinics and hands. What if we're sending our people to their deaths in these clinics?" asked yet another reader.