Recently, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, accused some prominent Southeasterners of complicity in the arrest of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, by the Federal Government. Among those mentioned was the governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano.
Owing to the seriousness of the allegation and its implications, the Anambra State Government was compelled to speak out, debunking the allegation and to clear the governor’s name from it.
Shortly after this, IPOB, through its spokesman, Emma Powerful, came up with an apology days later, saying they had realized that Obiano and some other people they mentioned had no hand in that arrest.
He also charged every IPOB member to desist from making any comments or insinuations that would link Governor Obiano to that matter again, or be dealt with.
This was even as he advised that the voice notes which were made to go viral should be disregarded henceforth and in fact, declared them innocent of all charges.
IPOB apologized, saying that they as a group, they were responsible enough to admit their error and take responsibility for their actions anytime they offended anyone.
It must certainly have come as a great relief to the Anambra State Government after IPOB admitted its mistake.
We wish to however note that such allegations, if unchecked, have the capability of causing unnecessary commotion, given the passions associated with Kanu and his trial. People should desist from making unrestrained remarks or allegations at this material time when the state is heading into a critical period of election with all its attendant tension.
Much as the show of remorse by the IPOB should be applauded, it is important to learn lessons from this incident.
Accusing people of crimes as serious as abduction is something that should be done with proof. So it is important that Nigerians learn a lot from that incident. Much trouble has been caused by such grave accusations done without proof. It is a menace in society today as the cyberspace is now like a dumping ground for unverified information and fallacies.
People swallow what they see, hook, line and sinker and this has caused irreparable damage to individuals, groups, organizations and even churches. Let great lessons be learnt from the IPOB experience, while people should ensure to read through before pressing their send buttons.
It will reduce to a large extent, the insanity caused by social media hypes.