OSUN AND THE SOCIAL MEDIA KIDNAPPING

Osun State, the hitherto acclaimed most peaceful state in Nigeria has of recent been focus of media gaze owing to the incessant real and imagined cases of kidnapping along some major routes in the state.

Of course, the media , both the traditional and the contemporary citizens social media have been inundated by the story of these occurrences, expectedly sometimes erroneous and treacherous reportage.

For the record, it was true that a Professor of Orthopedic surgery from the Obafemi Awolowo university was kidnapped along the Ikire-Ibadan expressway, but regaining its freedom five days later. It has also not be denied that a hunter was abducted along Esa Odo Community Obokun Local Government who also regained his freedom few days later.

These cases that made heavy headlines across the media divides are no doubt sad, condemnable and regretted. Alas, many more imaginary scenario that only existed in the imagination of the authors have dominated the unregulated social media space in recent period.

For instance, it was maliciously circulated that some 13 CAC pastors were kidnapped along the Ilesa-Ibadan expressway, where as nothing of such occurred anywhere. These elements of disability and their agents have recently and currently brandishing a list purportedly containing routes within Osun, Ekiti and Ondo States tagged as kidnappers hideouts. The police riposte to this criminal misinformation is quite instructive in this regards. In a statement endorsed by the Public Relation Officer of the Ekiti state police command, DSO Caleb Ikechuckwu, the police authority insists that the routes between The Ekiti and Osun is safe, while the the Osun police command, spokesperson, Mrs Folasade Odoro also maintains that regular armed operational patrol and surveillance are on the routes connecting Osun to other states 24 hours.

As a permanent measure to curtail the existing threat of kidnapping, the Governor of Osun State and the combined leadership of the security agencies on Wednesday, 5th June met and perfected improved security measures to keep the state safe for all.

However, it must emphasised that the unprofessional, malicious and mischievous reportage left its scars on the psyche of Osun residents, both home and abroad; forcing many people to stay away from the territory for fear of being kidnapped. The consequence of such development on the socio economic life of the people of the state could better be imagined.

Its therefore unambiguous to any discerning mind that the authors of this satanic and fallacious information are enemies of the state,bent on inflicting massive injury on the economy of the state and the life of its people.

Similarly, ethnicising the criminal act of kidnapping, blaming it on a particular group of people without any verifiable evidence is a deliberate attempt to further farm the ember of discord and truncate the relative peaceful coexistence in the country.

The position of this piece is not just to justify government’s action in proactively confronting the various security challenges in the country, but its important to caution saboteurs among us that raising false alarm under any guise will only worsen the situation and makes life unbearable for all.

We owe it a constitutional and moral duty to assist government in performing it’s functions of security and welfare of the people under section 14 (2) b of the 1999 Constitution.

(c) OSUNSCU