'There's no unrest in Lagos, videos on social media are old, recycled' – CP Odumosu

There were multiple videos circulating on social media on Monday, with users claiming they were footage of escalating clashes around Gbagada, Oworosoki, Mushin and Ilupeju areas of Lagos.

Neusroom was unable to independently confirm the authenticity of the images when they started circulating on Monday afternoon.

According to at least 10 tweets examined by Neusroom, youths in Oworosoki and Gbagada in Somolu local government area and Mushin took to the streets wielding bottles and cudgels.

Popular Twitter influencer with the handle @Unclepamilerin alleges that some youths in Mushin took to the streets to protect their neighbourhood after alleged tip off that a terror group 'One Million Boys' was planning to attack their area.

Although no credible media reported the issues as a fact, the Lagos State Police Command responded by deploying operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) to some parts of the state to douse tension.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in his address at the State House on Monday evening assured residents that the government will not abrogate its responsibility of ptotecting the citizens.

The Lagos Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu has, however, debunked the reports of unrest.

In a telephone interview with Neusroom on Wednesday, Odumosu discarded reports that there is social unrest in the state and described the videos circulating on the internet as old footage being recycled by some social media users.

"There is no social unrest in Lagos, all those videos are old videos being recycled by people for reasons best known to them," Odumosu told Neusroom.

Reacting to reports that a terror group, the 'One Million Boys', was wreaking havoc on residents, the Police Commissioner described the group as a figment of the imagination of people "circulating unnecessary fear and apprehension".

Asked if the Lagos Police Command is putting any measure in place to douse the tension of citizens who have lost sleep over fear of attacks, Odumosu said security agencies in the state have started a public sensitization visit to communities to douse tension and assure residents that there is no unrest in Lagos.

"We have gone round to sennsitize the people and allay their fears. Yesterday (Tuesday) we went out with the Director of SSS and Commander of Army, Navy and Air Force in the state. We were in Onipanu, Bariga, Oworosoki. We have covered Somolu, Surulere, Oshodi, Itire to Ijesha, Festac, Ikotun, Egbeda and Agege local government areas," the CP said.

"At another time we went to Lekki/Ajah axis where we assured the people not to commit to false and old fake videos being recycled on social media just to create fear."

After streghthening the confidence of residents that there is no unrest in the state, he added that the security operatives have gone on area patrol with the team sent from Abuja headed by the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, Peter Ogunyanwo who is in charge of the Southwest.

DIG Ogunyanwo is the DIG, Department of Research and Planning of the Force and the coordinating DIG for South-West. He coordinates the intervention team deployed to Lagos and Ogun states by the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu following reports of unrest in the states.

Since President Muhammadu Buhari imposed a lockdown on the Federal Caital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun State three weeks ago, there have been reports of robberies and unrest in at least three Nigerian towns, including Lagos, Ogun and Oyo States.

Residents claimed some gangs of hoodlums identified as 'Awawa boys', 'One Million Boys' and other cult groups have been exploiting the lockdown to unleash terror on residents in some parts of Lagos and Ogun.

Two weeks ago, dozens of Nigerians filled social media with reports of security breaches in their areas. Tweeting with hashtags like #LagosUnrest, #OgunUnrest, they called on government and security agencies to come to their aid.

A week after the social media outrage, the IGP deployed the special intervion team to Lagos and Ogun states. The team include Police Mobile Force (PMF) Units, Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), Intelligence Response Team (IRT) and the Special Tactical Squad (STS).

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday April 14, also rolled out the Lagos Kitchen initiative to provide free meal to 100,000 youths daily across the 57 local government and local council development areas of the state.

Sanwo-Olu said the palliative will "address some of the immediate challenges we have seen on our streets."

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