#News

False! No 7:00am To 7:00pm Curfew Declared In Ekiti State

Saheed Ibrahim

saheedbibrahim@gmail.com 

Claim: A viral WhatsApp message claims that a 7:00am to 7:00pm curfew has been declared in Ekiti State due to recent killings.

Full Text

Ekiti State in recent time has witnessed multiple killings, raising concerns among the citizens and the government.

A ticketing officer of Okada Riders Association was shot dead at Okesa area in the state in the early hours of Tuesday June 18. A POS Operator, popularly known as Alfa Taofeek was murdered on Thursday morning in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital. A rice hawker was murdered by unidentified men barely 13 hours after.

Meanwhile, a viral message has been shared multiple times on WhatsApp, claiming that a 7:00am to 7:00pm curfew has been declared in the state. The message, with the title press release and dated 20-6-2024, reads: “Just in: Due to the killing spree that occurred in Ado Ekiti today, the Ekiti state government has declared a state of emergency 🚨 all movement should be within the time limit of 7:00am to 7:00pm till further notice, anyone that violate the rules and regulations will face the consequences. Please stay safe if you’re in Ado Ekiti πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™”

Screenshot of the viral message on WhatsApp

Due to the virality of the message and suspicion around it, we conducted a fact-check.

Verification

First, we critically analysed the message to determine if it was authentic. Our analysis showed that the message was not attributed to any authority. Such a message would have come from the police or the state governor. However, nobody signed the viral message

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Second, the message claimed that a 7:00am to 7:00pm curfew had been declared. This is against the usual dusk-to-dawn curfew usually declared by the government. Rather, the message conveyed a dawn-to-dusk curfew.

Also, emojis are mostly not seen in official statements, but the viral message bears several emojis. Lastly, the message is rather too short for an official public announcement from the government, given the sensitivity of the issue (killings) involved.

Using a keyword search on Google, we discovered that no conventional medium reported that a curfew was declared in Ekiti State. We only found news reports of the curfews declared in the state during the coronavirus outbreak and the 2020 Endsars protest.

Further search on the internet revealed that the police in the state denied the 7:00am to 7:00pm curfew.  

We searched for the social media account of Ekiti State Police on X (formerly Twitter) to confirm the news. We found that at 11:15pm on June 20, a press release was uploaded by the police.

Screenshot from Ekiti Police Command X (Twitter) Account

Signed by DSP Sunday Abutu, the Ekiti State Police Public Relations Officer, the statement reads in parts: “The Ekiti State Police Command has noticed a story circulating on the social media that a state of emergency has been declared in the State due to the recent security situation, adding that all movements should be between 7:00am and 7:00pm.

“The Command wishes to state clearly that the information as being circulated is false and definitely coming from fake news peddlers who are always in the business of causing unnecessary apprehension in society and therefore, everyone is implored to disregard the story.

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“The Command has deployed adequate operatives to ensure there is no breach of peace while effort to arrest those behind the criminal acts is underway.”

Conclusion

The viral post that a 7:00am to 7:00pm curfew has been declared in Ekiti State due to the recent killings is fake. Ekiti State Police Command has dismissed the claim as false.

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