The United Kingdom Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has advised Nigerians to be mindful of the authenticity or otherwise of social media posts, saying that some are planted to whip up sentiments and create panic and hatred among the people.
Mr Ade Omole, the leader of the chapter, gave the advice in an interview with the Newsmen on Sunday in Abuja while speaking on the #EndSARS protest and the aftermath.
He said that the killings and destruction of both government and private property by some hoodlums who infiltrated the protest in major cities in the country could have been avoided.
Omole said that it was regrettable that the #EndSARS protest, which started peacefully, was later infiltrated by hoodlums who took advantage of it to unleash mayhem on innocent Nigerians in some states of the federation.
He prayed for the departed souls, empathised with the families of the victims and also called for full investigation by the authorities into all killings and infractions against the law.
He added that Nigerians in the Diaspora support peaceful protests as enshrined in the country’s Constitution but would not sit and watch the hoodlums and social media pranksters turn the country into a state of anarchy.
He maintained that the peace, tranquility and rebuilding of the country should, however, be the main consideration of all and sundry at the moment.
“The #EndSARS protesters have sent their message loud and clear and President Muhammadu Buhari and his cabinet too have said that much in their various addresses to the nation.
“It is, therefore, time to sheath their swords and exit the stage while the ovation is loudest and await the implementation of the accepted demands from the Federal Government.
“Few have been implemented already while some will take a while. We are ready to partner organs to implement the #EndSARS agenda to ensure that implementation is carried out in a just manner.
“If the nation descends into anarchy as a result of the wanton looting, God forbid, the youth will be the hardest hit,” Omole said.
He added that there was, however, an urgent need for security agencies to take control now and maintain law and order at all costs lest the country be driven to the precipice by the actions of few miscreants.
Speaking on the possible influence of social media on the #EndSARS protest, Omole said Nigerians should not take every post on the social media hook, line and sinker.
This, he said, was especially so because some posts on social media were done to whip up ethnic, religious and tribal sentiments with the objective of inciting hatred among the people.
He, therefore, advised against forwarding pictures, audios and videos with ethnic colouration especially when they were capable of inciting people to violence and were perceived to have been sponsored.
He added that until we jettison ethnic colourations occasioned by bias and sentiments in our evaluations, assessments and overviews of the #EndSARS protest that may have been influenced by some posts on the social media, the country’s development would continue to be a mirage.
He stressed that attaining an enviable height and becoming the envy of other nations was not impossible only if we collectively and with determination embrace meritocracy, resilience and justice.
He noted that Nigeria like any other country in the world, was not immune to challenges.
Omole further noted that the U.S. and other great countries of the world also passed through some challenges before they became what they were today.
According to him, most of the developed countries that are today the delight of all, experienced even worse challenges after their independence.
He added that all that was required to tackle Nigeria’s challenges sincerely and objectively was the collaboration of both the leaders and the led to galvanise available resources and innovations for the collective prosperity of the people.
NAN reports that the #EndSARS protesters were demanding an end to police brutality and reform of the Nigeria Police Force among other things.