Kogi governor raises alarm over fake news

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello [Photo Credit: The News Nigeria]
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello [Photo Credit: The News Nigeria]

The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has said his government respects all the people of the state.

He also refuted a purported statement said to have emanated from him.

In a statement he personally issued on Tuesday, Mr Bello attributed the said statement to mischief-makers whom he said, ”were after him”.

He said ”a few days ago an image of me was posted online with a quote which insults the family and political values of a section of our society. The unforgivably inflammatory text attached to the post, which is completely false, was attributed to me”.

He said as the governor of Kogi State, he has always respected all people of the state ”without discrimination”.

Mr Bello said the fake news was meant to distract his administration and create bad blood between him and the people of the state.

Read the governor’s statement below:

KOGI STATE IS GREATER AND WISER THAN THOSE WHO COME TO DIVIDE US WITH FAKE NEWS

Dear Kogites,

A few days ago an image of me was posted online with a quote which insults the family and political values of a section of our society. The unforgivably inflammatory text attached to the post, which is completely false, was attributed to me.

The said statement is incredibly bigoted, insensitive, insulting, and instigating. I did not make it and I could not have made it because it offends my values and worldview. I am disgusted that anyone would not only think it up, but go ahead to ascribe it to me.

My signature has been uniting our people in and out of government. In my very first appointments after Inauguration I symbolically appointed 3 gentlemen, one from each Senatorial District of Kogi State, into key positions. Since then, I have not relented in preaching and practicing unity and peace and progress of all Kogites.

My time in office has been singularly dedicated to breaking down the walls of ethnicity which divide us and institutionalising equity and equality. Thus, when people cook up lies like this and circulate it publicly without giving thought to the possible dangers to society, I become even more committed to defending our oneness with all the resources at my disposal.

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While it is usually not my practice to respond personally to issues like this, when a post is particularly incendiary like this one, it becomes tantamount to soaking the fabric of our society in fuel and trying to put fire to it. In such circumstances, I consider it my duty to step up personally to douse the flames.

Our citizens can rest assured that we know those behind this latest attack on the peace of our State. I urge Kogites to ignore the current failed attempt to disunite us by the agents of destabilisation. Some of them were already standing trial for cybercrimes and fake news before now. At the appropriate time, we will make sure that they face the law for this particular attempt too.

Finally, I salute the resilience of our citizens who have remained positive following the shocking cancellation of elections by INEC few hours to start of voting last week. I urge our people to still turn out en masse to vote our candidates this Saturday as rescheduled.

Thank you.

YAHAYA BELLO
Governor of Kogi State
Government House
Lokoja, Kogi State
19 February, 2019.

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