Raymond Ozoji, Awka
His Royai Majesty, Igwe Sir Ben Izuchukwu Emeka, the traditional ruler of Umueri community in Anambra-East local government area of Anambra state, has warned perpetrators of negative social media propaganda against his community Umueri to desist from such act as his community is not at war.
The monarch’s reaction was as a result of what he described as a malicious social media reportage where someone claimed that about ten persons had died in Umueri Town Union leadership squabble whereas no such thing happened except a minor internal leadership crisis which he said the community had under firm control.
The traditional ruler who spoke with our correspondent at the Government House Awka over the weekend, expressed deep concern that he could not fathom the reason behind the delibrate social media propaganda against his community by some disgruntled elements who according to him had vowed to castigate his community in the social media using fake names to commit their atrocities.
He said, “A little leadership crisis in our community which we are trying to manage; somebody somewhere started writing that there was a war in Umueri and that so far ten youths have died already. I want to use this opportunity to warn whoever that is writing that thing to desist from it. Umueri community is not at war and no single soul has been lost in Umueri as a result of the leadership crisis.
“Every community have their own crisis; be it leadership or followership and Umueri has never written anything bad against any community. But every time, this our surrounding communities will be writing against Umueri. So there was no war in Umueri and the leadership crisis we have, we are trying to manage it. Nobody died!”
Igwe Emeka however observed that people tended to bank on the freedom of information law and freedom of expression to put unverified as well as unauthenticated information onto the internet. To this end, he called on relevant authorities to be wary of fake news on the social media as well as device legal means of identifying persons who adopt pseudo names to dish out half truths and falsehoods on the social media.
According to him, people should cross-check whatever they see on the social media because the perpetrators of fake news from his standpoint are faceless and they don’t disclose their identities, stressing that he is really pained about what they are writing about his community on the social media platforms. A proof of the social media report on his community where an individual alleged that ten youths died in the town union leadership squabble was made available to our correspondent and reads thus: “Ichie Ogbagalianya: Umueri Internal Fight For The Control of Their War Armoury Claims More Lives.
“Over ten youths are feared dead yesterday in Umueri as Igwe Ben Emeka and the PG of the community Mr. Okonkwo fights for supremacy over who will be the custodian of their war armoury. Ejimofor Ikeli and his group received more hits from Igwe Chiben sponsored aggressors who were armed with sophisticated weapons of mass destruction.
“Trouble started when Igwe Umueri, Chief Ben Emeka sponsored and insisted on keeping custody of their acquired one hundred and fifty (150) AK 47 guns, fifty Russian mini machine guns and unconfirmed number of hand grenades bought for the communuty in his bid to have total control of the Omabala area. The PG of the community disagreed with him insisting that as the PG of the community, it is his right to be in control of Umueri armoury. This did not go down well with Chiben who does not trust even his own shadow.
“This fight to be in control of the armoury has taken the lives of over ten boys in the community and many wounded. The Anambra Commissioner of Police has invited Igwe Chiben and the PG to his office. As we pen this report, notorious criminals from Umueri have all come back to join the war. Obudi and his boys entered Umueri yesterday Monday 1st of July 2019 while the camp of Chiben witnessed increased infiltration by firece looking thugs.
“We call on the police and Anambra state government to come to our rescue.”
Meanwhile, President-General Umueri community Chief Pius Ejimofor Okonkwo stressed the need for the propagators of fake news to be fair to their conscience and the communities they want to educate through their information. He said no town is clean and that issues concerning Umueri community shouldn’t be blown out of proportion. The Umueri President-General however pointed out that government should set machineries in motion to track those who indulge in delibrate negative reporting on the social media platforms.