There was anxiety in Ogun and Lagos states on
Wednesday after news filtered in that suspected Boko
Haram members had taken over the Sagamu area of
Ogun State and were heading for Lagos.
The news was spread
through social media and text messages.
A copy of the message received by our correspondent
read, “Breaking news, if you are on the Lagos-Ibadan
Expressway going towards Ibadan, please turn back.
Eighteen suspected Boko Haram members with AK47
rifles are on the highway now displaying their skills.
“Nine policemen and 11 civilians have been confirmed
dead by the gunmen while trying to stop them from
shooting. Please rebroadcast to save a life. May God
help us in Nigeria.”
It was learnt that upon receiving the information, the
various security agency deployed their personnel in
the affected areas.
It was learnt that policemen from Lagos, Ogun and
Oyo states visited Sagamu and the Lagos-Ibadan
Expresway with helicopters, while the Nigeria Security
and Civil Defence Corps as well as the National
Emergency Management Agency rushed to the scene,
hoping to save some lives.
On getting to the scene, however, there was no sign
of any terrorist attack.
Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Umar
Manko, said there was indeed a confrontation in the
area, but it had nothing to do with terrorists.
“In the morning, a truck laden with wheat around
Fidiwo Village in Ogun State broke down. Some
hoodlums wanted to seize the opportunity to steal
some of the goods and there was a confrontation.
There was no terrorist attack,” he said.
Manko urged members of the public not to spread
fear by broadcasting false messages.
“We cannot police social media, all we can do is to
correct wrong impression, but we want to urge
members of the public not to spread falsehood.”
Police Public Relations Officer in Ogun, Muyiwa
Adejobi, said the Nigerian Army, the Federal Road
Safety Corps and the Ogun State Traffic Compliance
and Enforcement Corps were able to move the broken
down vehicle from the scene.
“Probably the rumour mongers took in the presence
of police and other security agencies who were at the
point to clear the obstruction between Fidiwo and
Ogunmakin in Obafemi Owode Local Government and
decided that there was something wrong. We urge the
public to disregard the rumour.”
The spokesman, NEMA, South-West zone, Ibrahim
Farinloye, told our correspondent that the military
Joint Task Force had also been deployed in Ogere as
another rumour had it that 20 policemen were also
killed in the area.
He said it was unfortunate that people had seized the
opportunity of the security situation in the country to
evoke fear in the minds of people.
“Included in the response team on the false alert are
military JTF, the State Security Service, FRSC, NSCDC,
police from Ogun, Lagos and Oyo states with the
deployment of police aerial chopper.
They all carried
out searches and surveillance in different ways.
“The JTF is presently manning the Ogere end of the
expressway when another rumour had it that about
20 policemen were killed.”
The false alarm caused gridlock as many motorists
were said to have turned back towards Lagos.
Policemen at Kara, a border area between Lagos and
Ogun states, were also said to have mounted a
temporary roadblock as part of efforts to forestall
entry of Boko Haram members.
A senior police officer said, “We did not want to take
any chances. We checked vehicles, especially trucks
entering into Lagos.
“There was traffic congestion, but after we had
confirmed that there was no cause for alarm, we
allowed vehicles to move freely.”
Panic in Ogun, Lagos over rumoured B’Haram invasion
Stop spreading the rumor no boko haram in ogun