The Anambra State government has denounced photographs making the rounds on social media claiming to be from an attack on the people of Awkuzu in Oyi local government area of the state.
The clash which occurred in the early hours of Monday, affected some communities in Igbariam, Aguleri, Umueri, Nteje, Awkuzu and Umunya while nine people reportedly lost their lives in the crisis.
Reacting to the clash, the state government promptly imposed a curfew on the six communities in a bid to stem the violence from spreading to other areas.
However, there have been pictures circulating on different media platforms claiming to be from the clash but the state has come out to disclaim them.
In a statement issued by the state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Don Adinuba, on Tuesday, the state cautioned purveyors of the fake pictures to desist from spreading them as they will be made to face the full weight of the law.
The statement reads:
“Following the clash in the early morning of Monday, April 26, between some people in Uzo Nkwo, Awkuzu, in Oyi Local Government Area, and some non-indigenes, some people were killed and some others maimed.
“Both sides recorded casualties while security agents quickly moved to the scene and took control of the situation.
“However, rather than give a reliable picture of what transpired, some external forces have been posting on social media lurid pictures of what took place outside Anambra State long ago and claim that they are pictures of the incident at Awkuzu.
“The misleading pictures and accounts are so contradictory that while some claim that the dead were indigenes, others claim they were non-indigenes. Each side has been desperate to incite the public against the other.
“The Anambra State Government is deeply concerned that some mischievous people would go to the extent of producing pictures of heinous killings elsewhere and claim that the murders took place in our dear state.
“If any of the pictures being circulated on a section of the social media were true, those behind them would have produced and circulated videos of the dastardly killings.
“They would not have stopped at circulating mere still pictures in this era of instantaneous communication and citizen journalism.
“Those behind these false pictures and misleading narratives of the unfortunate incident at Awkuzu have an ulterior motive: to stoke a fire in a state which, for the past seven years, has been acknowledged by all to be the safest and most peaceful in the whole country.
“It is a shame that nothing is beyond some vicious elements in this election year in Anambra State.
“The State Government has already taken some measures to fish out those who perpetrated the dastardly killings of fellow citizens in Awkuzu and those who have produced pictures from all manner of places with the sole of aim of portraying our people as barbarians and raising tension in the polity.
“Indeed, far from succeeding, the culprits, who are reportedly from outside the state, will be identified, arrested, tried, sentenced and made to feel the full weight of the law.
“Anybody who sheds the blood of innocent souls in Anambra State will account for it both in this world and in the world to come.
“Anambra State will, in spite of all odds, remain the Light of the Nation.”