Confusion and pandemonium took over Lagos and some parts of Ogun state on Wednesday over false information disseminated through the social media that the highly dreaded Boko Haram sect have invaded the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, killing nine policemen and 11 civilians.
The message which spread like wide fire via Facebook left many motorists and Lagosians worried over the fate of their loved ones who had embarked on journey through the route.
Many Lagosians and motorists who disembarked on the journey also expressed fear that the deadly terrorist group has at last gained entrance into South- West region of the country.
There was traffic snarl on the expressway as many motorists stopped their vehicles waiting to get security report on the safety of the road.
In the traffic congestion, people who had their loved ones traveling on the expressway were making frantic calls to find out if they were safe.
In a bid to face the security challenge Mobile policemen, the State Security Service, SSS, members of the JTF and others were seen moving towards the direction in search of the rumoured Boko Haram.
Spokesperson, National Emergency Management Agency( NEMA), Ibrahim Farinloye in responding to the development said,” The rumour started spreading on Facebook in the morning NEMA received a false alarm message on the invasion of Boko Haram on the expressway, but we discovered that it was a mere rumour.”
Farinloye added that 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, making the whole episode a rumour.
He said “This is to inform the general public that NEMA received false alert about a purported Boko Haram attack along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway as complete lies and unfounded. Security agencies have combed all routes and beyond without any trace of such incidents.
“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.”
Confirming the development, police public relations officer, (PPRO) Lagos State command Ngozi Braide said the purported attack was a rumour.
She emphasised that there was nothing like Boko Haram attack on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Braide explained that what happened was that a trailer conveying wheat to Lagos around Idiwo area on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway fell with all the contents littering the expressway.
She added, “When the trailer fell, area boys rushed to the place to foment trouble, but the police came to the scene and salvage the situation.”