Promote National Unity, Not Fake News- Lai Mohammed
The Federal Government wants Nigerians to promote national interest by keeping away from fake news.
The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who made the call at a two day conference, titled Democracy and Disinformation, organized by Centre for Democracy and Development, said fake news is the greatest threat to Democracy and Security in Nigeria
Citing examples of damages caused by fake news in various societies of the world, the minister warned that Nigeria could not afford to fall victim to the same circumstances that led to war and destruction.
Alhaji Mohammed said the government has been doing its best in educating the public on the dangers of fake news through various avenues.
Speaking on activities of the government to grow the economy, he said:
“The on-going infrastructure projects across the country is like agriculture, empowerment programs are part of government deliberate effort to stimulate economic growth and create job opportunities.
“Everyone of us must verify information sent to them for authenticity before circulation”.
Alhaji Mohammed stressed the need for every one to work together to put the threat of fake news behind.
Also speaking, the Director General National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Mallam Ishaq Modibo, explained that the regulation of media stations by the Commission was to protect lives and property of citizen as a result of fake news circulation.
The Director of NBC who was represented by the director of Policy and Research in the Commission Mujtaba Sada noted that journalists have been dragged into taking sides in certain issues.
” Sanctioning Is not to please our selves but to regulate and ensure that media professionals stick to the dictates of the provision for the interest of the country.
“Fake news is even a threat to the media itself, hence the need to fight against it before it destroyed our democracy”
Earlier, the Director Center for Democracy and Development Prof Jubrin Ibrahim said the importance of the conference was to brainstorm and strategize on how to protect the future of our nation and democracy against the threat of fake news.
“Fake news is like a machinery which is aimed at distorting our election management and electoral integrity”
He said with the effects of social media such as Facebook, which has over twenty five million Nigerian followers, and Twitter, makes its imperative for us to ensure that fake news is tackled.
The theme for the conference is Democracy and Disinformation: How fake News Threatens Our Freedom and Democracy.
By: Julian Osamoto/ Abuja