The Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Mr Taiwo Adisa, has warned against false security alarms in the form of fake audio and video posts on social media in the state.
Adisa, in a statement issued in Ibadan on Sunday, warned the citizens against raising false alarms on the security situation in Ibarapaland and parts of Oke-Ogun zone.
He equally warned purveyors of fake information to desist from such act so as not to plunge the state into crisis, stating that the after-effects of fake videos, false alarms and fake news could be disastrous.
The governor’s spokesman posited that the penchant of certain individuals, groups and faceless bodies for taking to social media and raise unfounded alarm to cause panic among the people of the state had become a cause for concern to the government.
He added that some unscrupulous elements seeking to cause crisis in the state through false social media audio and video releases as well as sponsor fake news in a section of the media were behind the plot.
Adisa warned that security agencies would deal with anyone seeking to cause ethnic tension, urging residents of the state to ignore such contents.
He noted that some viral social media video and audio messages in which false and inciting claims were made about Ayete, Igangan and other parts of the state had been on the rise in recent weeks.
Adisa said that some of such unfounded posts included the claim that Amotekun Corps killed some Fulani herdsmen, which amounted to a hoax and that imaginary 200 houses were razed by hoodlums in Labiran, Ibadan, which was denied by the police.
He also mentioned the claim that the insecurity situation in Ibarapa had escalated, saying that this was an outright falsehood.
The governor’s spokesman said that the Department of State Services (DSS) had recently released an intelligence report that some people were planning to cause religious and ethnic crises in Oyo and some other states.
“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, targetted only at discrediting government and inciting people.
“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.
“Efforts have also been made to tame the violent gang wars in Ibadan.
“However, our admonition goes to members of the public across the state not to panic; do not succumb to the sponsored falsehood, as the state government is working assiduously to arrest the insecurity situation.
“Similarly, though the governor has made it clear that anyone, who sees something, should say something to the government, members of the public should ensure they are giving truthful and factual information.
“This has become necessary so that security agents will not be embarking on a wild goose chase, based on wrong information,” he said.