The Citizens Initiative for Security Awareness has accused a clergyman, Reverend Solomon Semaka, and a retired security officer (on contract with a security agency) of sponsoring falsehood in the media on terrorism financing against a serving Northern senator.
It described Semaka and the ex-security officer as ethnic jingoists and phantom clerics bent on polarising Nigerians.
According to CISA, Semaka, the convener of Save Nigeria Movement, and the retired security officer are desperately working towards pitching Northern senators in the 10th National Assembly against citizens by “insisting” that one of the senators is financing the activities of bandits and terrorists in the North.
The Assistant Coordinator of CISA, North, Kabeer Salami, disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja on Friday.
Salami, however, advised the Presidency and the Senate, together with security heads and well-meaning Nigerians to ignore the antics of groups that promote fake news and hate speech, which merely blind the mind, reinforce sentiments, divide/plunge society into conflict, and influence bad judgement that induces mob attacks and trigger extremism.
“We urge Nigerian leadership not to allow any group engaging in frivolities to distract them from attending to essential legislative and national matters,” he said.
According to him, as a pan-Nigerian advocacy group, CISA is also horrified about the actions of some groups in disseminating “fallacious” news stories, divisive in nature, without painstakingly verifying their credibility, which is an understatement.
Salami explained: “However, it is most unfortunate that some unpatriotic Nigerians buoyed by their diabolic intentions are not leaving any stone unturned in their quests to polarise the country and incite Nigerians against their fellow citizens – for no good reasons.
“Apart from defending the indefensible, it would be recalled that in the build to the last general elections, the same SNM led other groups in anti-Tinubu a very vile hateful campaign. Public records have shown how the same Rev. Semanka had insisted that Tinubu posed a great security threat to Nigeria’s democracy as well as the cohesion of the APC as a party.
“He was widely quoted as saying” ‘Tinubu’s outbursts betray any iota of trust left with him. He must stop seeing Nigeria with the eyes with which he saw Lagos and plundered it. The years of impunity are over, and the people’s voice must be heard above all the deafening noise of bullies.’
“Our question is: Can the advice of this same group be considered sincere on national security matters?”
Salami then called on security services to arrest and prosecute any group attempting to defame other Nigerians for selfish reasons that could lead to ethno-religious conflict from reckless statements.
He added: Citizens, also, must shun fraternising with ethnic champions and pseudo-religious leaders bent on polarising us.
“We cannot allow them to pitch us against one another, just as they are vainly trying to do now – by setting Northern Senators and the rest of their elite against the general public.”