There was panic in three communities of Oba Oko, Oke -Ata and Rounda- Soyoye in Abeokuta, Ogun State on Thursday over rumoured invasion of the areas by Boko Haram insurgents.
Panic stricken residents abandoned ware in the markets and stormed some of the private and public schools to withdraw their children and wards to avoid the supposed invasion.
There was chaos as people rushed in different directions checking their loved ones. Some made phone calls to ascertain the safety of their family members.
The rumour that set off the panic reaction filtered into the affected areas around 12: 30p.m on Thursday.
It was learnt many heard the rumour that unspecified number of gunmen, suspected to be fleeing members of the Boko Haram terrorists, had stormed Rounda – Soyoye area and attacked one of the schools.
The rumour had it that unspecified number of students were killed in the attack.
For hours, parents, community leaders and other stakeholders in the security agencies poured into the areas in search of the alleged terrorists, who never existed.
Ogun chairman of the Miyetti Allah, Alhaji Abubakar Ibrahim Dende, dispelled the rumour, stressing that the fake alarm was the creation of miscreants and other street urchins, who wanted to create enabling environment for looting of shops and hastily abandoned wares by fleeing fear – stricken members of the public.
The Ogun State Police Command also dismissed the panic as a product rumour and fake information.
The Command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Abimbola Oyeyemi said that the command’s Situation Reports (SITREP) unambiguously indicated peace within the Abeokuta metropolis and the across the State generally.
Oyeyemi stated: “The attention of Ogun state police command has been drawn to a false alarm raised by some unknown persons in the early hour of today Thursday 23rd of June 2022, that some gunmen have invaded Obada oko, Oke ata and some parts of Abeokuta metropolis.
“The alarmist went further to ask schools in those areas to close and send their pupils to their different homes for safety. Having heard the false alarm, the commissioner of police, CP Lanre Bankole, quickly deployed some officers and men of the command to the area only to find out that nothing of such is happening anywhere around the mentioned places.
“The command is therefore appealing to members of the public to discontenance the false information as nothing of such is happening anywhere in Ogun state, and our people should therefore go about their lawful businesses without the fear of any form of harassment or intimidation.
“In view of this, the command wishes to warn those behind such false alarm to desist from it, as the tactical teams of the command have been activated to go after them and bring them to book.
Raising false alarm to cause panic in the mind of general public is criminal and such barbaric act will no longer be tolerated