Ethnic, Religious Tension Caused By Fake News – Makinde’s Aide

Governor Seyi Makinde

Governor Seyi Makinde’s Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, has warned against the growing rate of false security alarms through fake audio and video posts on social media, urging residents of the state to ignore such information.Adisa said that raising false alarms on the security situation in Ibarapaland and parts of Oke-Ogun was unhealthy, stating that security agencies would, henceforth, deal with anyone seeking to cause ethnic tension in the state.The CPS, in a statement said, “The penchant of certain individuals, groups and faceless bodies to take to social media and raise unfounded alarm just to cause panic among the people of Oyo State is becoming a cause for concern.”The statement equally warned purveyors of such fake information to desist before they plunge the state into crises with unforeseeable consequences, stating that the after-effects of the fake videos, false alarms and fake news would be grave.It indicated that some unscrupulous elements seeking to cause crisis in Oyo State through false social media audio and video releases, as well as sponsored fake news in a section of the media, are unrelenting.Such persons and groups are intimidated by the level of successes recorded in the one and a half year administration of Governor Makinde and believe that they can only gain attention by causing fear and apprehension among the populace, it read.It stated further that the unfounded and baseless posts include the claim that Amotekun Corps killed some Fulani herdsmen, “which amounts to a hoax; the claim that an imaginary 200 houses were razed by hoodlums in Labiran, Ibadan, which the Police vehemently denied; and the claims that the insecurity situation in Ibarapa has escalated, which is outright falsehood.The statement recalled that the Department of State Security recently released an intelligence report that some people were planning to cause religious and ethnic crises in Oyo and some states.It raised the suspicion about plot by some elements, especially politicians, to cause religious and ethnic disharmony in Oyo State with a view to derailing the state government, warning, however, that such people must realise that the state is bigger than any individual and that its interest and peace should always be placed above any primordial, personal or political interests.The statement read, “Our attention has been drawn to a grand plot to precipitate unrest in Oyo State through the use of fake news in the social media. This plot seeks to promote false alarms, misinformation and sponsored fake news through audio, video and Facebook messages and it is with a view to making the state ungovernable.“As a government, the contents of some of these audio and video releases have been investigated and mostly found to be outright falsehood, baseless claims and products of hate speech, targeted only at discrediting the government and inciting the people.“As a proactive government, the Makinde-led administration has risen to the occasion on the issue of insecurity and we are already winning the war against criminality, with several measures rolled out to tackle kidnapping and banditry in Ibarapa and some parts of Oke-Ogun, while efforts have also been increased to tame the violent gang wars in Ibadan.”Governor Makinde had visited Ibarapa, explaining that some gains had already been recorded from the government’s efforts on Ibarapa with community leaders testifying to weeks of respite in Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun axes.“It will be recalled that Governor Makinde visited Ibarapa last week and he was at the hot spots of crisis, while a high-powered team comprising government delegates and the Police had visited the area and some parts of Oke-Ogun earlier.“As part of efforts to bring a lasting solution to the security situation in Ibarapa, the government deployed 200 additional Amotekun Corps and also equipped them with four additional operational vehicles.“The governor has also ordered that Peace and Security Committees be set up across the local governments so that all critical stakeholders would be on board to address security issues in their localities. The governor equally convened a meeting of all stakeholders in Ibadan North-East to address the issue of hoodlums and gang wars in the state capital once and for all.“With all these steps, it is clear the direction the Oyo State Government is going in terms of handling the insecurity challenge and the only thing left to be done is to wait and see the results of the interventions. However, we have discovered that some individuals driven by inordinate political ambitions have been over-reaching themselves and sponsoring falsehood against the government.“In some cases, as seen in a recent fake viral video where the supposed whistle-blower, who probably is neither resident in Oyo State nor have much knowledge about Ibarapa, had to read from a script, mistaking people’s names and even claiming he was referring to Ibadan State.”

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