Speaking with newsmen in Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa State on Monday, Comrade Ipidei said investigation carried out by the student body revealed that the information was not credible, just as he cautioned stakeholders against unguided utterances and spreading of rumours that can destroy public confidence in the ability of the newly appointed Interim Administrator of the programme, Maj. Gen. Barry Tariye Ndiomu (rtd).
He pointed out that linking such unfounded rumours to a highly respected public figure for selffish reasons could unnecessarily whip up sentiments in the region, reiterating that spreading lies about others could be one of the greatest sins that can occur within a society which sometimes can even place the lives of others in danger.
He said the body language of Maj. Gen.Tariye Ndiomu (rtd) shows that he has come to maintain a collaborative environment in the region which will be inclusive, having promised to run an open door policy with focus on team-building and collaboration among all stakeholders in the Niger Delta region.
“How many times has such unfounded information that has absolutely no foundation, ignited the flames of war among communities, resulting in a great loss and injury to both sides.
“Rumours can cause chronic dissatisfaction leaving behind strained relationships and decreased commitment on the part stakeholders in the region. The rumour in question is capable of threatening the peace in the Niger Delta”, the student union leader stated.
Comrade Patrick Ipidei observed that rumours, whether started with malice or as a benign comment, can reach alarming proportions and undermine the confidence reposed in the Presidential Amnesty Programme, noting that rumours have direct impact on the quality of productivity and creativity of the handlers of any sensitive public office, adding that such rumors tend to rigidly solidify public opinions against an establishment if not properly managed and nipped on the bud.
He reiterated that the rumors of replacing the pipeline surveillance contract with the Presidential Amnesty Programme could negatively change the dynamics of the existing cordial relationship between the federal government and the people of the Niger Delta region.
Comrade Ipidei therefore advised stakeholders in the region to avoid anything that could fuel conditions of anxiety and uncertainty, informing that rumours are pieces of information, though could be instrumentally relevant but unverified, that are circulated among people to cause disaffection.
It is will be recalled that the instrumental relevance of rumours stems from the fact that they are typically about topics of seeming importance to the participants. In general, the role of rumours is to make sense out of an ambiguous situation.