From Faith Awa Maji, Lafia
Nasarawa State Police Command has debunked a publication in one of the national dailies titled “Gunmen killed one, kidnapped twenty in Nasarawa”.
The police described the report as ‘preposterous and desecration of the time-tested creed and ethics of journalism’
The Nasarawa State Police Commissioner, Bola Longe, made this known in a statement signed by the Command Public Relations Officer, ASP Ramhan Nansel, and issued to journalists in Lafia.
According to the statement: ‘The attention of the Nasarawa State Police Command has been drawn to a news publication with the above caption as published by The Nation newspaper of Wednesday, January 6th, 2021, (page 6) written by one Linus Oota. To set the records straight, on 4/1/2021 at about 1350hrs, information was received by the Divisional Police Officer, Toto Division that, a Rover car with registration number NTT 256 AA, was found abandoned along Buga Gwari-Gadabuke road.’
CP Longe said following the development, the police personnel were drafted to the area.
‘Upon diligent search of the car and survey of the immediate environs, two Tecno mobile phones were recovered inside the said vehicle which ostensibly indicated that the owners might have been abducted or missing.
‘Sequel to this, investigation was swiftly initiated with constitution and mobilization of a search and rescue team comprising, Anti kidnapping unit, Police Mobile Force, Conventional Police personnel, vigilante and Local hunters. However, on 5th January 2021 at about 1230hrs, in the course of the search, a body which was later identified as that of Dr Ibrahim Abubakar of Nasarawa State University, Keffi was found and taken to General hospital Gadabuke where the medical doctor on duty confirmed him dead.’
He noted that ‘in the light of the foregoing, the Command wishes to state with emphasis that, there was no case or incident where twenty travellers or people along the aforementioned route or in any part of the state were kidnapped.’
It stressed that effort is being intensified to locate and rescue the second occupant of the vehicle involved in this unfortunate incident.
‘At this juncture, it will not be out of place to adjudge the publication under reference as preposterous and a desecration of time-tested creed and ethics of journalism which are predicated on wholesome truth, fairness and balancing.’
The Command debunked the publication as it runs contrary to the available facts at the disposal of the Police Command and other stakeholders.
‘There is no doubt that such publication is capable of causing undue apprehension among the residents of the state and negatively affects the investment drive of the state government.’
The commissioner has deployed police personnel to the area to reassure the residents of their safety and urged the people to disregard the concocted news about the kidnap of twenty travellers.
He appealed to the people to go about their lawful businesses without fear of criminal intimidation. He further enjoined our media partners to always follow the ethics of their noble profession in the interest of the Nation by corroborating information from the relevant and approved channel to avoid being caught in the wave of spreading unsubstantiated reports.