The ordeal of Audu Maikori, CEO of Chocolate City, in the hands of security operatives, is far from over as Nasir El Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, has vowed that he must be prosecuted.
On February 18, agents of the Department of State Services (DSS) arrested Maikori over some tweets he shared on the micro-blogging website, Twitter.
Maikori reported that his driver told him that five students of College of Education, GidanWaya, Kaduna, were killed in the conflict in southern Kaduna.
Following contradicting statements from the Kaduna State government and the college of education, Maikori conducted an investigation which revealed that his driver, the source of the story made up the story. He issued a retraction and apology which was widely published.
But speaking at the Social Media Week in Lagos, Governor El Rufai said it was irresponsible of Maikori to have posted such information without verification.
He said Maikori’s messages could have sparked off crisis which led to the deaths of some Fulani people.
“Audu Maikori rushed to publish a false story without checking with anyone. But before then, he had been posting fake pictures by posting Boko Haram attacks, Rwanda genocide as southern Kaduna killings which elicited a lot of emotions on social media,” El-Rufai said.
“But more than that, what he posted may have led to killings and we are trying to link the dates of the posting to attacks that may have happened the next day on Fulanis and if we are able to establish that causation, as lawyers, we know what it means. It is totally irresponsible to do that.
“And even when pointed out to him that this information is not true that the College of Education does not run a mass communication programme and that the school had been closed down since November, he still posted that he stands by his story. He questioned the authenticity of the press statement. He was totally and completely irresponsible.
“He is going to be prosecuted. He was arrested. His statement has been taken. His fate will be decided by a judge. It’s not Nasir El-Rufai. It’s nothing personal. I have nothing against him. He has worked with the state government in the past.”
El-Rufai cautioned people against spreading false information, saying as governor, his primary responsibility is to ensure the security of lives and property.
“So we should at least be sure that what we are posting is true. And there are ways of checking, it takes five or 10 minutes to check, call the police or other authorities. You are rushing to get retweets and followings without regards to the fact that what you are doing could lead to more violence or loss of lives,” he said.
“I am the governor of the state. I am not in this game to get following. My responsibility as governor of the state is to ensure the security of lives and property of the state and I will not allow anyone, even my own son, to do that kind of thing without consequence.”
This article originally appeared on TheCable.