Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has urged citizens not to allow fifth columnists or external forces threaten or undermine their wellbeing and security.
Sanwo-Olu spoke in Ikeja, on Tuesday, during a Stakeholders Engagement on Internal Security and Conflict Resolution across the Country.
He said there was the need to reignite the communication link between government and the people.
The governor said this was important so that fifth columnists or conspiracy theorists would not be able to infiltrate and spread disinformation or misinformation.
According to him, disinformation or misinformation is capable of jeopardising the future of the country or the opportunities available for the youth to contribute to the greatness of the country.
He said that the state of insecurity being experienced across the nation called for serious concerns.
Sanwo-Olu said this was so, considering its implications, not only on the socio-economic development and prosperity of the people but also the unity and territorial integrity of the nation.
The governor said that the importance of an effective strategy for peaceful resolution of conflict could not be overemphasised.
According to him, nations have engaged in war and civil strife on the basis of issues that could have been resolved peacefully without unnecessary loss of lives and destruction of property.
“The incidents leading up to 20th October, 2020 protests nationwide and the aftermath have created a lot of tension in the land.
“We should not allow fifth columnists or conspiracy theorists capitalise on the after effect of the protests with collateral damage of police stations burnt and vandalised with arms and ammunition looted.
“That incident through which extensive damage was wreaked on public infrastructure and private businesses is a wakeup call to all well meaning individuals and organisations that we cannot afford to allow external forces or factors threaten or undermine our wellbeing and security as a people.
“We have the opportunity today to share knowledge and ideas that could pre-empt crises situations through conflict resolution mechanism.
“It is our duty and responsibility as leaders to rise above the present challenges and provide the needed leadership that will restore and ensure the continued confidence and trust in the governance system and the beneficial effect on the lives of all categories of citizens in Nigeria,´´ he said.
Sanwo-Olu said that Lagos State remained the strategic hub for socio-economic, political or entertainment development in Nigeria and the ECOWAS sub region.
He said that any negative development there would have ripple effects across the geopolitical zone.
The governor called on all to come together and re-strategise on security initiatives that would prevent further occurrence of wanton damage and destruction of lives and property of innocent people and public infrastructure.
He said the replacement of such property and infrastructure would come at a prohibitive cost.
“I urge all stakeholders and participants present today to stand together as one and proffer proactive solutions that will ensure and enhance security and conflict resolution initiatives in the new knowledge era of technology and innovation.
“Let us take on the challenge and provide leadership that will galvanise the patriotic fire in the chest of our youths and give them the assurance that indeed the future is very bright for Nigeria and Nigerians,´´ Sanwo-Olu said.