The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that fake news and misinformation have exacerbated insecurity and created apprehension among citizens..
The Minister said this on Tuesday at the Citizens Summit for National Integration, Peace and Security, organised by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations.
He said terrorists and bandits are not spirits, but human beings who reside in communities. He added that they must all be exposed and crushed for peace to reign.
He said, “this crisis of insecurity has, unfortunately, been exacerbated by the twin evil of fake news and misinformation. I will come to that shortly”.
While citing instances of some fake news which created panic among the populace, Mohammed said “on August 10th, the Kaduna State Government had to debunk an online report claiming that hundreds of bandits had laid a siege on the Kaduna-Zaria road.
“The widely circulated message even advised travellers not to enter or leave Zaria due to the presence of bandits at Dumbi and Jaji along the Zaria road.
“Imagine the apprehension and disruption of plans that this fake news could have caused. Imagine its impact on the security agencies who are doing everything, including paying the ultimate price, to keep us safe.
“Also, in April 2022, a drone video went viral showing a group of five men wearing red clothes and cooking inside an unknown forest. Those circulating the video claimed that it was somewhere in Nigeria.
“But when BBC did a fact-check on the drone video, it discovered that it was not in Nigeria. The video was circulated just to create panic among the citizens and put society on edge.
“In June 2022, there were reports of bandits using a helicopter to attack residents in four communities in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna.
“The Kaduna state government had to debunk the story by clarifying that the chopper was actually an Air Force helicopter dispatched to repel an attack in the area. Again, imagine the panic that would have been triggered by this fake news”.
He said the government swung into action in 2017 to tackle the challenge of fake news and misinformation, he noted that this year, the government devoted the entire National Council on Information to this issue.
“We then followed up by launching a National Campaign Against Fake News and Misinformation, after which we embarked on a nationwide advocacy campaign to media establishments.
“We have also reached out to the various social media platforms like Facebook and Google in order to work with them to curtail the spread of fake news and misinformation.
“In addition, we have embarked on the reform of the broadcast industry, especially to stop misinformation and hate speech by the nation’s broadcast stations. I am glad that many CSOs have taken up this challenge of tackling fake news and misinformation, just like I am delighted that a number of newspapers have set up fact-checking desks”, he noted.
SHOCKING: Meet The First Man To Eat At His Own Funeral (Photos below)
BBNaija: Sheggz Has Been Evicted From Big Brother Naija House, Reveals More Details About His Ship With Bella
BBNaija: Groovy Has Been Evicted From The House, Check Out What He Said About His Relationship With Phyna
“I Need A Child” – Bobrisky Begins Search For Surrogate Mother, Reveals His Reasons Of Wanting A Child
“I Have Only 2 Years To Spend N8 Billion” – Man Flaunts Mansion In Banana Island Reveals
“After 9 Months In My Womb o” – Mum Tackles Daughter For Resembling Dad (Video below)
Joe Igbokwe Fights Dirty With Wife Over Infidelity And For Infecting Him With Gonorrhea
“I’m Doing It For My Lovely Mum” – Fatherless Nigerian Boy Working On Site Cries Out (Video below)
History & Records1 day ago
The Tragic Story Of The First Black African Gold Medallist Who Was Executed By Firing Squad
Entertainment14 hours ago
52-year-old woman has given birth to triplets after 18 years of waiting (Photos)
Entertainment1 day ago
Video of the day! Newly wedded couples joins #1MillionMarch4PeterObi straight from their wedding venue
Entertainment2 days ago
Ebuka Obi-Uchendu Captured Having A Nice Time With Billionaire, Bill Gates