SWITZERLAND, AUGUST 26 – Nigerian writer, Gimba Kakanda, has come under criticism for falsely accusing Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, of demolishing the Trans-Amadi Central Mosque in Port Harcourt.
On Sunday evening, several media outfits had published the story that Wike allegedly demolished a popular mosque in Port Harcourt.
Mr Kakanda, a Muslim, had posted a video on Twitter late Sunday of people believed to be Muslims sitting on ruins of a building.
He wrote: “Why did Governor Wike demolish this mosque in Trans Amadi, Port Harcourt? I’m asking this question because, in spite of our history of intolerance, places of worship hardly featured in our politics of hate. We are descending into a new low, and it’s sad.”
In another tweet, the journalist said he had been informed that there was no demolition of any mosque.
“On the demolition of a central mosque in Port Harcourt, I have just been informed that the structure of the mosque had not been erected as reported, and that there was no incident of demolition at all. Unless anyone has a counter to this, I think we should all let it slide,” he said.
On the demolition of a central mosque in Port Harcourt, I have just been informed that the structure of the mosque had not been erected as reported, and that there was no incident of demolition at all. Unless anyone has a counter to this, I think we should all let it slide.— Gimba Kakanda (@gimbakakanda) August 25, 2019
Nigerians on Twitter have knocked the writer, accusing him of promoting ‘fake’ news to incite violence.
Guys, I'm reporting Gimba's initial tweet on the mosque demolition (and by extension every tweet supporting Gimba's initial tweet).— A Fokken Queen! 👑 (@cremechic11) August 26, 2019
If he won't take it down, perhaps twitter will. We need to stand against fake and inciting news.
Here is a seed from the fake news Gimba planted yesterday about a Mosque being demolished in Port Harcourt. He has refused to delete it.— Kelvin Odanz (@MrOdanz) August 26, 2019
The fake news is already spreading like wildfire on WhatsApp. Poorly informed Muslims in the North are brewing up for violence. God safe us. pic.twitter.com/4DmyKEND15
The Twitter influencer has defended himself, arguing that he was only amplifying what he had read on a reputable media platform and Nigerians should praise him for investigating the truth about the matter.
My tweet yesterday about the demolition of a mosque in Port Harcourt was to verify and seek explanation for a matter already trending and reported by major newspapers. Two groups have been presenting “eyewitness” accounts, with one side denying and the other claiming it happened.— Gimba Kakanda (@gimbakakanda) August 26, 2019
I’ve stood for both religious groups and would never have overlooked such issues when it came to my attention. If the subject was a church, I would still have reacted to it. Persecution of a minority group anywhere in Nigeria is one thing I have never ever taken for granted.— Gimba Kakanda (@gimbakakanda) August 26, 2019