The governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu released a press statement which says that the Governor and the good people of Abia State feel very highly embarrassed by the false report which claimed that “the Department of State Services (DSS), has uncovered 55 Shallow graves in a forest in Abia State, where the remains of five Hausa-Fulani men were allegedly buried.”
The Governor cautioned that such false report is capable of causing ethnic/communal crisis in the country.
The false report referenced by the Abia Goveronor stated that “The Department of State Service (DSS), Nigeria’s domestic spy agency, said the graves were found in Umuanyi forest in Abia state, home to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) movement.” AFP wrote and published on Yahoo News.
Here is the full text of Governor Ikpeazu’s press statement:
Press Statement (April 10, 2016)
Our attention has been drawn to a report in a section of the media claiming that the Department of State Services (DSS), has uncovered 55 Shallow graves in a forest in Abia State, where the remains of five Hausa-Fulani men were allegedly buried.
The Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu and the good people of the state feel very highly embarrassed by the report which is capable of causing ethnic/communal crisis in the country. The Governor believes that stakeholders in information management in the country should be conscious of national security and therefore be cautious and reticent in their approach to such sensitive news.
We feel even more angry because our check with the security agencies in Abia has confirmed that the information did not emanate from any of the security units in Abia. Both the DSS in Abia, Police and Army have all denied ever issuing such information.
If anybody or group wrote a petition to the headquarters in Abuja, the most professional approach should be for the headquarters to confer with their departments in Abia. There is a Brigade Commander here; there is Director of DSS and there is Commissioner of Police, with a PPRO attached to his office. All the units have told me they never released any such information .
We are also worried that the media organs that published this news did not consider the sensitive nature of that information to national peace and security as to have also conferred and confirmed from their correspondents in Abia. None of the reports came with the byline of a correspondent in Abia State.
We condemn this flagrant abuse of professionalism by all the parties involved in the dissemination of this volatile and sensitive news which has not only embarrassed the government of Abia State but is also capable of raising tension and ethnic acrimony in the state.
We re-emphasize that the government of Abia State have not received any official report in this regard and therefore warn the instigators of this bad report to rethink their mischief.
Abia State enjoys a very peaceful and cordial inter-ethnic relations. There has been cooperation and harmony amongst all ethnic groups and all issues and pocket of breaches have also been amicably resolved and settled by the government.
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.