By CrossRiverWatch Admin
Residents of Calabar and its environs have been sharing and discussing in low tones, the contents of an audio file shared on a messaging service social media platform, WhatsApp, wherein, a lady claims that due to militants incursion into the city, there will be a curfew of some sorts, hence the need to stock homes of essentials.
The audio which features an unknown lady with a graceful broadcast voice, obviously well schooled and clearly reading a script, should be treated with caution. This is so because it could be part of a larger scheme to encourage panic, fear and create enmity between law enforcement officials and the public for someone or people to benefit from.
We reached out to security sources including militants and ex militants, and those whose jobs is to design security architecture and the conclusion is that the claims are far from reality.
Therefore, while we will not lend credence to her claims by transcribing large portions of the audio, her call for people to stock essentials reminds one of the hay days of the SARS – CoV-2 pandemic lockdowns which led to panic buying of foodstuffs, face masks and other drugs. If for a pandemic, panic buying did not help and created a security challenge, encouraging it for a security related issue may lead to further breakdown in law and order from the situation already in existence.
Also, panic buying has its attendant impact on the economy, as well as the collective security and welfare of the people.
Indeed, there is an upsurge in crime occasioned by many reasons including failed policies of government, brazen acts of corruption, sabotage, weak economic policies, weakened moral system that encourages get-rich-quick schemes, the COVID-19 pandemic amongst others, but, recent efforts by security agencies have yielded positive results that do not warrant Calabar, the city with the sobriquet; Come And Live And Be At Rest to be locked out of the world.
Residents should, while taking to heart the prospect of an incursion which is not a strange phenomenon, must be wary of her “intelligence report” as a patriotic fellow would have stated the planned routes, modus operandi and possible targets to destabilize the “militants,” and alert the security agencies to act accordingly.
There seems to be an uptick in the heightening of tensions by fifth columnists and the obvious lack in capacity of some state actors to de-escalate crisis, but, one must remain wary of those masquerading as friends of the masses who preach doom without symptoms and preventive measures.
It is not the first time such unsigned audio files, video files, images and statements have been circulated widely.
A similar audio was shared of an incursion into Akpabuyo by militants; a fake statement claimed the 10:00PM to 6:00AM curfew in Cross River State had been lifted; another audio claimed that the Federal Government will fumigate the entire country using airplanes; an audio was also shared asking people to mix concoctions as a cure to COVID-19 among others.
These turned out false and some times, they led to scenarios that caused not just a break down in law and order but also led to loss of lives and properties. Therefore, there is cause for worry when these unsigned, uncredited and unverifiable claims are made in any format.
While we commend the security agencies for their effort in reducing the rate in the stealing of human beings – kidnappings but must add that petty robbery, home breaks and small scale armed robbery is on the rise.
The raids have been yielding results with an increased number of suspects arrested and awaiting prosecution when the courts resume sitting, but, cases of brutality and abuse of human rights still persist.
The state actors – government, must ensure that monies budgeted for security agencies must be disbursed and the needed infrastructure put in place.
Non state actors – the citizenry, must also help the security agencies and report suspicious movements.
We must desist from fanning the flames of discord and promote only debates and arguments that will lead to a true egalitarian society.
When it rains, it pours on the roof of not one but many. When a fire is lit, the control of its direction is seized by natural forces.
Let us be guided.
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