There was panic in Lagos and some parts of Ogun State this morning following rumours that members of Islamic sect, Boko Haram, had invaded the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, killing nine policemen and 11 civilians. The message circulated widely on the social media, Facebook, with Lagosians expressing fear that the deadly terrorist group had at last entered Lagos.
People whose loved ones travelled on the expressway made frantic phone calls to find out if they were safe. Mobile policemen, operatives of the State Security Service, SSS, members of the JTF and others were said to have combed the expressway in search of Boko Haram, but their efforts yielded no result.
Ese, whose wife travelled this morning on the expressway, told our reporter that he had made several call to his wife’s phone but that she refused to pick the call, saying that he had been worried since he heard the rumour that Boko Haram had taken over the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. He was only relieved when it was confirmed that it was a rumour and that somebody sent a false alarm which sparked off the rumour that has spread across Lagos State.
Spokesperson, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Ibrahim Farinloye said the rumour started spreading on Facebook this morning and that NEMA received a false alarm message on the invasion of Boko Haram on the expressway. According to him, the rumour had it that nine policemen and 11 civilians had been killed by Boko Haram on the expressway, saying that after the police and soldiers combed the expressway, nothing was discovered.
“This is to inform the general public that NEMA received false alert about a purported Boko Haram attack along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. It is a complete lie and unfounded. Security agencies have combed all routes and beyond without any trace of such incident. Mischief makers broadcasting this evil machination are strongly warned to desist from circulating unfounded messages in the country. The public should disregard and discourage further circulation of such inciting messages against the nation,” Farinloye said in a text message.
A top police source said it was a mere rumour as nothing like that ever occurred on the expressway, saying that what happened was that some people coming to Lagos with marijuana were arrested by the police and urged the public to disregard the rumour. Lagos Police Command Public Relations Officer, Ngozi Braide denounced the purported attack, saying it was all a rumor.
She said what happened was that a trailer conveying wheat to Lagos around Idiwo area on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway crashed and spilled all its content on the expressway.
“When the trailer fell, area boys rushed to the place to foment trouble, but the police came to the scene and salvage the situation,” she said.