The Nigeria Police Force on Wednesday said that contrary to some reports, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris’ visit to London was to interface with the London Metropolitan Police Service.
A statement issued by the Force spokesman, DCP Don Awunah, said that the visit was at the instance of the metropolitan police.
He said that the visit was part of the gains of the International donor platform established by the I-G on assumption of office to empower Police personnel in modern techniques of fighting organised crimes.
Awunah explained that the visit would discuss areas of provision of working tools and capacity building for the Nigeria Police Force .
He noted that although terrorism was being rapidly degraded, there were collateral challenges confronting the nation such as kidnap for ransom, ethnic clashes and politically motivated murder.
The spokesman said that some sections of the Nigerian online and print media were disseminating invented and incorrect stories about the I-G’s visit.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the I-G did not lead ‘a high powered delegation’ to visit President Muhammadu Buhari, who is on vacation in London. The visit of IGP to London while the President is on vacation is merely coincidental,” he said.
He said the visit by the I-G would not be the first time the nation’s top security chief would be consolidating on pre-existing protocols and collaborations.
Awunah enjoined the media to always crosscheck their facts rather than hide under the convenient guise of “unconfirmed sources” to peddle mischief and mislead the public.
He said the Nigeria Police Force would continue to partner with the media in the attainment of National Security Goals.
A statement by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, also said there is no iota of truth in the messages being circulated on the health of the President, who is hale and hearty, and the purported emergency meetings of the State Governors in Abuja or anywhere.
He said the naysayers have also resorted to the use of ethnicity and religion as tools to divide Nigerians, overheat the polity and cause panic among the citizenry, in addition to using fake news and disinformation to distort government activities.
Mohammed said while opposition and criticism are all part of democracy, the crafting and circulation of subversive materials and scare-mongering are not, hence the full wrath of the law will be brought to bear on those who are bent on subverting the state.
“The source/sources of the fabricated messages are already being investigated and the authors should prepare to face the consequences of their actions.
The emerging trend of resorting to destabilisation and scare-mongering is not unexpected, considering this government’s clamp-down on the corrupt elements in the society, the plugging of all financial leaks which has derailed the gravy train of the looters of public treasury and the enthronement of probity and transparency in the polity.
While we will neither stifle press freedom nor abridge the citizens’ right to express themselves freely, whether through criticism or protests, the security agencies will neither allow any resort to violence nor a willful subversion of the state for whatever reason,” he warned.