by crossriverwatch admin
One thing is certain about achievers and that is the fact that a lot will be said about them.
Some of these stories will be true and others will be false but the truth is known if extra effort is initiated to find out which statement is true from that which is false.
Not up to a week ago a story made its way across Cross State that Ebola was in Calabar and minutes after this information went viral on facebook the city of Calabar went agog with the false notion that Ebola was now in Calabar.
This misinformation came from a quoted source on facebook who heard and reported from an unquoted source from the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH.
The Ministry of Health, Cross River State was quick to counter this falsehood which was already generating panic but people believed the falsehood even without verification.
Then when this false news about Ebola in Calabar was about to simmer down another bomb shell was released about stolen funds by Chief Ojie, the Local Government Affairs Commissioner from Local Government Funds approved and signed for the respective Chairpersons.
First the information came as a text which was sent as bulk sms from a faceless group known as the SAVE CRS group and I quote:
” Chairmen of LGAs in CRS revolt against fraud by Com. for LG affairs 2day.Chef Peter Ojie fraudulently deducts 14m naira from LG Chairmen’s mobilization funds for South-South TAN rally in PH. The Chairmen have threatened to call in the EFCC to look into the fraudulent practices by the Com for LG affairs. It has been noticed that each time the Governor travels out ,the Dep. Gov connives with Mr. Peter Ojei to defraud the LG account. Enuf is enuf. Save CRS Group.”
Now from the message above sent via bulk sms on the 30th of August,2014, major social media/online site in CRS made publications about the said event without verification and witnesses.
The moment I got this text I swung into action by forwarding this text to those accused directly and indirectly to get their side of the story especially from the leadership of ALGON Chairman CRS and Mr. Usibe-the Chairman of all Chairmen in CRS refuted this allegation and stated emphatically that appropriated funds were disbursed accordingly and the evidence of each Chairman’s collection exist.
As we speak there is a press release from ALGON, CRS countering this grievous allegation. As Cross Riverians we must be vigilant against rumor mongers and must seek to verify information before believing or disseminating falsehood.
Chief Ojie is one man that has paid his dues in CRS and rather than be distracted or ridiculed possibly because of his political ambitions or been envied because of his progress, he should rather be encouraged to do more.
To our online media outlets and their editors, they must operate with ethics and understand that the world is global and every information put up online must be from verifiable and quoted source.
As we approach 2015 we must debunk all negative strategies towards the pursuit of selfish aspiration. Let us play fair and straight, anyone who wants to speak the truth must do so with evidence and witnesses.
Mike Abuo is a public affairs analyst based in Calabar.
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