The Citizens Against Fake Activists (CAFA) has urged Nigerians to be cautious of cyber-bandits, fake news merchants and their accomplices trying to undermine the war against banditry in the North-West.
According to CAFA, these individuals and groups aid and abet terrorist activities and instigate the locals against the government because of their personal benefit.
CAFA’s caution was contained in a statement signed by its Director of Communications, Comrade Kabiru Ibrahim Dallah on Thursday.
It trailed a recent media report alleging an attack in Governor Bello Matawalle’s hometown in Zamfara, a claim the governor has since refuted.
“We read with utter disappointment the fake news published by a certain online news platform called Daily Post on August 9, 2020, claiming there was an attack in Governor Bello Matawalle’s hometown in Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara State,” the statement reads.
“The report claimed that over 20 innocent people lost their lives in the attack. Worse still a TV station called Control TV preferred to claim in its report that over 50 people died.
“Unfortunately, nothing is further from the truth as that has now been established by the state government in a press statement made available to reporters on the 11th of August 2020 by Zailani Bappa, Special Adviser, Public enlightenment, media and communications to the governor. The state government made it clear that there was no such attack.”
CAFA said some of these so-called platforms are media arm of the bandits, hence are quick to twist the narrative in their favour.
While the government continues to strive to bring peace to troubled areas, CAFA added that sponsors and others benefitting from the insecurity will not relent in ensuring that the status quo remains.
“Some of them are political merchants and agents of darkness working for their Godfathers in highly placed positions,” CAFA added.
“They will deploy all resources at their disposal to ensure they continue to profit from the misery of others. This is why the media space ought to be circumspect in their reporting, in order not to play into the hands of the saboteurs.”
The Citizens Against Fake Activists, however, urged the security agencies to turn their searchlight to the promoters of these criminal groups as well as their propaganda machinery.
“Their source of finance must be targeted; those who run their propaganda machinery must be found and brought to book. The sponsors of these groups remain the oxygen for their activities. Take out the sponsors and within a few weeks, the remnants on the battlefield would have been finished off by our great military,” the statement said.
The group further encouraged Zamfara natives to support the efforts of the government to end bring banditry and other crimes to an end.