Thursday, May 29, 2014 7:30 pm
Lagos – The Spokeswoman of the Lagos State Police Command, Mrs Ngozi Braide, on Thursday said the command had set up a team to apprehend alarmists in the state.
Braide told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that circulating false alarms using the social media had done more harm than good to society.
“We have set up a team to monitor people raising false alarms in Lagos. This move is to check rumour mongers.
“Very soon, some people will be brought to book for misinforming the general public. It is a crime.
“It is wrong for some people to sit somewhere and cook up false story and send it to members of the public.
“It is evil against the nation. It destabilises the society, people become uneasy and insecure.
“Our men are working on them now. Anyone caught will be dealt with according to the law.
“We also advise members of the public to ensure that they confirm from security agents around them before spreading any news.
“People should always be vigilant and security conscious. The alarm that followed the strange object discovered on the Lagos Island is a welcome development. We want more of such information.
“The people were not sure of what they saw and they raised alarm, which is acceptable. People should not patronise rumour, call the PPRO’s line No. 08125151603 for confirmation.
“Other security lines to call are 08060357795, 07055350249, 08065154338, 07055462708, 080632992641, 07079279349 and Abuja lines 08086669910, 08092569884,’’ she said.
Mr Peter Gana, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of investigations, also advised Nigerians to always provide the police with information.
Gana said the activities of terrorists had made many people to react easily to false alarms.
“Please be watchful of your environment, the police are available but they cannot police your homes for you.
“However, you can be our eye, be security conscious and report strange faces in your environment,” he said.
Similarly, Mr Dipo Kehinde, a security expert, described the increase in “false alarms’’ using the social media as a dangerous trend.
Kehinde called on the police to always check the source of every false alarm.
He, however, said that false alarms had their good and bad sides, stressing that members of the public must be conscious of that.
“The good side is that it helps to raise people’s consciousness. People need to be very alert and very suspicious now.
“The bad side is that when you cry wolf too often, like the proverbial Greek shepherd boy, the authorities might not respond the way they should, when we are truly struck by terror.