Obaseki deplores role of fake news in spreading violence amid #EndSARS protests
• Inaugurates 20-man judicial panel of inquiry today
• Security agents take over public buildings, as AIG cautions hoodlums
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has decried the role of fake news and distortion of facts in the escalation of violence and carnage across the country following the #EndSARS protests.
Obaseki stated this on the sidelines of the World Development Information Day, marked by the United Nations (UN) and its agencies.
His words: “As we mark the World Development Information Day, I urge the youth to make judicious use of new media technologies and be conscientious in consuming information on social media and other digital media platforms.
“The youth, as evidenced in the coordination of agitations on social media, have the golden opportunity to seek solutions to society’s problems through constructive deployment of information and communication technologies. Abuse may lead to chaos, but positive change is also possible and beneficial.
“This is even more pertinent as we have seen the adverse effect of spreading fake news and misinformation on social media channels which escalated violence and carnage in the wake of the hijack of the peaceful #ENDSARS protests across the country.”
He noted that the state government would continue to remain accountable to the people through traditional and new media channels to ensure its dealings and engagement remain open and transparent so as to carry the people along in governance.
BESIDES, Obaseki will, today, swear in the 20-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up to look into the circumstances surrounding the activities of the disbanded Special Anti-Kidnapping and Robbery Squad (SARS) and the #EndSARS protests in the state.
His Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, in a statement, noted that the inauguration would take place at the New Festival Hall, Government House, Benin City, at 12noon.
Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe (rtd.) is Chairman of the panel, while Mrs. Joyce Ugbodaga serves as Secretary.
Other members are, Bishop Feb Idahosa (Clergy), Francis Osayi (ASUU), Osahon Obasuyi (NYC), Prest Aigbokhian (Civil Society), Mrs. Uloaku Uzamere (NCWS), Pius Efofan (NANS), Pius Okpere, Kola Edokpayi (#EndSARS) and Mrs. Felicia Monyei (Ministry of Justice).
MEANWHILE, the state government has beefed up security around government buildings following impending attack on government property in the wake of the #EndSARS protests.
Security operatives, mostly military officers, have taken over government buildings and diverted movements from such facilities in Benin City.
This is coming as a proactive step to forestall a voice message that went viral indicating that government buildings would be torched across the state.
Following the development, Zone 5 of the Nigeria Police Force in Benin has warned hoodlums to stay off the streets, particularly in Edo and Delta states.
Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of the zone, Shola David, gave the warning shortly before a security meeting by select senior officers of the zone, comprising Edo and Delta.
David urged law-abiding citizens to go about their legitimate businesses without fear, assuring of adequate security for residents.