By Idowu Bankole
The Niger state government has warned residents of the state to be wary of alarmists who peddled false information and spread fear in the state to cause unnecessary panic among the people.
The state government noted that a viral video of heavily armed gunmen invading a community was recently discovered to be an event that happened in Chad but was purportedly said to have taken place in Niger state had caused panic and fear in some communities in the state.
The state government warned that it will no longer tolerate the mischief-makers spreading and peddling lies over the internet to cause distress in the state.
In a statement by Mohammad Sani Idris, Commissioner of Information, Niger state, available to vanguard, The state govt implored the public to go about their businesses peacefully and to stop seeking and relishing falsehood such as are being peddled by scaremongers intended to frustrate the efforts of security agents or upset the stability of communities.
Idris said, “the attention of the Niger State Government has been drawn to a viral video of heavily armed gunmen said to be at the entrance of a town purported to be Niger state, Nigeria, but discovered to be far away from Chad.”
“While we hasten to state categorically that the information is false as such thing did not happen anywhere in the state, we equally desire to warn scaremongers to leave Niger state and ply their trade elsewhere.” He said.
Idris warned that the state govt shall arrest and prosecute anyone found driving the state into panic by sharing fake news over the internet relating to insecurity would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
“Using the internet for mischief and to peddle falsehood and spread fear have survived long enough and shall no longer be tolerated by the State Government.”
“As such, any person caught sharing untruths of whatever nature, either relating to insecurity or any other issue/matter with a view to driving Niger state and its residents into panic shall be arrested and made to face the full wrath of the Law.” He warned.
Idris although acknowledged the presence of Boko Haram terrorists in the state, assured that The federal and State govts are working to flush out remnants of the insurgents from the state.
“Even as there are elements of Boko Haram at the fringes of an area of the state, Federal and State Government are working assiduously to flush out the terrorists from these areas, while our security agents are working bravely and professionally to restore stability to the troubled part within the shortest possible time.” He assured.
“We, therefore, implore the public to go about their businesses peacefully and to stop seeking and relishing falsehood such as are being peddled by scaremongers – total falsities intended to frustrate the efforts of our security agents, or upset the stability of our communities, the process of which can do serious harm to fellow residents.”
“let those whose business is to cook lies and spread falsehood, particularly relating to the security of Niger state, find other businesses to engage them, lest such elements shall soon have reasons to know that consequences of their grave misconducts can only be grave.”