The residents of Anambra state have been urged by the Anambra State Police Command to go about their lawful activities and not to panic over rumours making the rounds concerning a sit-at-home order on Friday, The PUNCH reports.
The command dismissed the rumour, noting that residents of the state should ignore the false information.
The command spokesman, Tochukwu Ikenga, in a statement on Friday, said the panic was created by some “mischief makers” sharing false security alerts/messages and doctored old videos to cause tension and panic in the state.
This is coming after the pandemonium at some marketplaces in Onitsha and Nnewi where commercial activities were disrupted due to gunshots said to be fired by some unknown gunmen enforcing sit-at-home order.
There have been rumours across the state that some unknown gunmen have directed residents, traders, and schools to sit at home and remain indoors on Friday (today).
This created palpable tension across major cities of the state including Awka, Nnewi, and Onitsha.
It was gathered that the development made traders at the markets in the communities, who had earlier opened for business immediately close shops while parents were also said to have stormed various schools to pick up their children.
A trader in Onitsha Main Market who craved anonymity said, “Some people have warned that there is not going to be human movement today (Friday) and markets will not open. That people should remain indoors, but nobody knows the reason and the direction it is coming from.
“Some of us who came to the market this morning hung around and were watching development while some traders opened their shops partially. But pandemonium started when we heard gunshots being fired near the bridgehead and these made the traders and some people who were in the market to start running.”
But reacting to the development, Ikenga, dismissed the report, saying it was the handiwork of mischief makers sharing false security alerts.
He said, “The Anambra State Police Command today 7/7/2023 has observed with great dismay, the mischievous act of persons sharing false security alerts/messages, and doctored old videos of security incidents to cause tension/panic in the state.
“Given the above, the command shall invoke relevant cyber laws on persons found wanting in this regard.
“Meanwhile, the Command has noted that the confidence reposed on us by Ndi Anambra in the protection of lives and properties shall not be taken for granted.
“The police with other security forces have intensified patrols, improved security dominance and surveillance in the state.
“In the event of any request for security service, members of the public are advised to call the following phone numbers: the Command Control Room Number at 07039194332 or the Public Relations Officer PRO at 08039334002.
“The ‘npf rescue me app’ is also available for free download on both Android and Apple IOS, for Android and iPhone users respectively.”