By Christian Ogbonna
The Ebonyi government on Monday ordered the arrest of circulators of a video on social media that Fulani herdsmen were being attacked and chased out of the state.
Gov. David Umahi said at a news conference in Abakaliki that the video was faked.
He ordered security agencies to investigate the source of the video and arrest the circulators.
The governor said the video had caused panic and tension.
“Security personnel must ensure that those behind the circulation of the video, which has caused panic across the country, are brought to book.
“We must increase our security surveillance at the grassroots level. I urge the security agencies to step up and arrest persons circulating the video on social media,’’ Umahi said.
Mr Inusa Sani, Secretary, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Ebonyi Chapter, condemned the misleading video, adding that “it is fake news.’’
“The video is an orchestrated attempt by mischief makers and enemies of peace.
“What happened was that on Jan. 2, one of us, Alhaji Adamu, residing at Ozibo Village in Nkaleke Ichaba/Enyibishiri community, informed the association of his relocation to Taraba State.
“I use this opportunity to urge the general public to disregard the video in circulation and no Fulani herdsman was attacked or chased out of Ebonyi State,’’ Sani said.
He said herdsmen had co-habited peacefully with their host communities without any fear, molestation, threat or intimidation from any quarter.
The Police Command in Ebonyi had on Sunday issued a statement noting that Fulani herdsmen were not attacked or being chased out of the state.
Also speaking at the news conference, Mr Philip Maku, Commissioner of Police in the state, assured the public of the Command’s readiness to protect lives and property.
“The general public should disregard the video in circulation, which is misleading and fake. Keep going about your normal business and support the security agencies and state government at ensuring that those behind the evil plot are fished out,’’ Maku admonished.
Dr Keneth Igwe, Secretary to the State Government, said the distorted and misleading video was propagated by the enemies of Ebonyi.
“We cannot keep quiet on any issue that is trying to tarnish the image of our dear state or cause disorder. We have enjoyed maximum peace with our Fulani brothers.
“The security chiefs are here and there is no incident of an attack on herders in the state; we therefor urge the general public to disregard the misleading video,’’ Igwe said.