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Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has said the State government was working with relevant agencies on laws that would meet out stiff punitive measures to those involved in spreading fake news in the State.
Prince Abiodun who stated this at the Arcade Ground in Abeokuta while handing over Patrol vans and Motorcycles to the newly formed Joint Security Intervention Squad, set up to provide security to the people, particularly in Yewa axis of the State, frowned at the irreparable damage fake news was doing to the corporate existence of Nigeria, calling for collective efforts to stop it.
“We need to stop this proliferation of fake news because it is threatening our national security and I want to plead with our main stream media to verify their information before publishing. We are also working with the Ministry of Justice to ensure that we have a law in place that provides serious measures for people that are caught propagating fake news.
The Governor observed that fake news has led to expanding the farmers/ herders’ crisis in the State, adding that, “we’ve also seen that the spread of fake news has become the order of the day. People have this pre-occupation of sharing news that they consider sensational without authenticating its genuineness “.
He debunked report of Ogun State indigenes being refugees in the neighbouring country, as a result of the recent clash, maintaining that it would have attracted diplomatic moves between Nigeria and the country hosting the refugees, if the report was true.
Abiodun said the State security outfit, ‘AMOTEKUN’, would soon be launched to complement efforts of the Task Force, just as government has liaised with Telecommunication providers to improve their services in the areas, to enable people have access and make calls, particularly during emergencies.
The State helmsman added that a Committee saddled with the responsibility of looking into the cause of the crisis with a view of finding lasting solutions, as well as taking charge of similar issues whenever they occur, was one of the resolutions of the farmers/herders’ parley held recently, adding that as a result of the porous borders and vast forest reserve, a Special Task Force made up of military and paramilitary personnel, would provide security in the areas.
Governor Abiodun, while pledging that similar security outfit would be extended to all parts of the State, said the Task force, which would be commanded by a Chief Superintendent of Police, was to support the efforts of the Peace Committee, adding that they had been provided with needed logistics to carry out their assignment effectively.
Responding on behalf of the security agencies in the State, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Edward Ajogun, promised that the force would not relent in its efforts at ensuring security of lives and property, confirming that vehicles and other logistics have been made available to them.