Let’s return Abia to the path of peace – By Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu

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Infernos are usually caused by mere sparks .The most deadly forest fire in the history of the United States  engulfed the dry Woodlands of north-eastern Wisconsin  in early October 1871. As the fire raged on, the flames and intense heat killed more than 1,200 people and consumed some two billion trees.

In Apostle James’ classical imagery in James 3:6: “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”

 This is similar to the admonition in Proverbs 18:21: “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Rumours are inimical to society’s progress. They undermine good human relations. They generate tension, chaos, panic, and can cause a city to evacuate, even when a single bullet has not been shot.

Abia will be a better place for all of us, if  rumour-mongers could heed the biblical injunctions of Exodus 23:1: “You must not pass along false rumours. You must not cooperate with evil people by lying on the witness stand;” and Leviticus 19:16: “You must not go around spreading false stories against other people; don’t do anything that would put your neighbour’s life in danger. I am the Lord.”

Rumour and propaganda are twin concepts, because they serve the same purpose.  Propaganda is a powerful weapon, especially in war. It is used to dehumanise and create hatred towards a supposed enemy, either internal or external, by creating a false image in the mind of soldiers and citizens. On the other hand, rumours are as dumb as the people who start them, and as fake as the people who help spread them. The passionate appeal to all Abians is to shun rumours and propaganda, because they cannot serve us any good, especially at this time Abia and the country in general are passing through trying periods.

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