Sequel to the posting of videos on social media sponsored by ethnic and religious bigots accusing the Igbos or a particular religious faith as being responsible for the recent violent destruction of lives and property in Lagos during the EndSARS protest, the Lagos State Government has warned persons or groups responsible for such videos to give peace a chance.
In a statement on Saturday, the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso said “the attention of the Lagos State Government has been drawn to videos in social media and the online space, creating tension and encouraging ethnic conflicts.” He explained that “Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has urged Lagosians to disregard the videos, which are the tools of anarchists, whose plan is to create hatred and divisiveness for which Lagos is not known.”
According to the statement “inciting videos of this nature are not what our land needs now, following the loss of lives and destruction that fake news, misinformation and unfounded rumours have triggered in our dear State in the last couple of days.”
“The government appeals to Lagosians to disregard the calls of ethnic and religious jingoists as well as agents of destruction who are on a mission to destroy our State by pitching us against one another for yet to be ascertained reasons,” adding that “this is a very critical moment for us as a people. It is, therefore, important that we stand together and remain circumspect because the brewery of falsehood is unrelenting in its mission.”
“Lagos State is the melting point of various cultures, tribes and religions across Nigeria. We have co-existed harmoniously for ages and will continue to live together peacefully,” the statement added.
The statement further reminded all residents that “the sad incident of the past few days affected everyone who lives, trades or works in Lagos, regardless of their tribe, culture, race and religion. This is a time for us to empathies with one another and not listen to purveyors of evil messages, especially on social media.”
All residents have therefore been assured that “the government will continue to protect lives and property just as fake news and inciting message merchants have been warned to stop their evil enterprise or face the legal consequences of their destructive actions”.