Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Federal Government has asked Nigerians to disregard an old video footage being generated on social media of the violent destruction of the Nigerian Embassy in Senegal during a protest.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Sola Enikanolaiye and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa gave the advice in separate press statements made available to journalists in Abuja, yesterday.
The statement was in reaction to the latest video footage circulating on the social media showing the destruction of the Nigerian Embassy in Dakar, by a group of hoodlums protesting against the manner in which the death of a Nigerian, Mr. Kingsley Irogbulam was handled by the Embassy.
While they both noted that the incident happened on March 4, 2013 and was not a recent development, as the sponsors may want the public to believe, the Ministry recalled that at the time it happened, the matter was resolved to the satisfaction of all sides, adding that appropriate steps were taken by the Embassy to address the grievances of the Nigerian community including arrangements for a decent burial of the deceased Nigerian.
The Permanent Secretary also revealed that additional steps were also taken to beef up the security of the Embassy as well as restoring the confidence of the Nigerian community in its work and personnel.
Similarly, Hon. Dabiri-Erewa in a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, while corroborating the statement of the ministry, advised Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora to avoid misleading information about Nigeria and its interests anywhere in the world.
She disclosed that the House of Representatives intervened in the matter in March 2013 when she was the Chairperson of the committee on Diaspora. She said, “Any discerning person who googles the video will see the date clearly in March 2013”, adding that, “It is therefore surprising that this old video footage suddenly went viral in the social media, purporting to show the destruction of the Nigerian Embassy three years after the incident occurred and the matter resolved”.
According to information at the supervising Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy is in good shape and continues to discharge its duties and obligations to Nigerians in Senegal.
However, both statements further advised members of the public to be more discerning of information being circulated on social media by carrying out checks before jumping into conclusions, warning also against gullibility to incorrect and destructive information.