Fake News Worsening Insecurity –Lai Mohammed
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said insecurity in some parts of the country is being worsened by fake news and misinformation.
A statement issued on Tuesday by his Special Assistant Media, Segun Adeyemi, said the Minister raised the alarm in Abuja on Monday when he represented the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Citizens Summit for National Integration, Peace and Security, organized by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations.
“This summit couldn’t have come at a better time, with the issues of peace, security and national unity on the front burner of our national discourse.
In recent times, in particular, the issues of peace and security have been on the lips of many Nigerians, against the backdrop of rampaging terrorists, bandits and kidnappers. Unfortunately, this insecurity crisis has been exacerbated by the twin evil of fake news and misinformation,” he said.
While citing some examples to clearly illustrate how fake news is fueling apprehension and anxiety in the country, Mohammed said on August 10th this year, the Kaduna State Government had to debunk an online report claiming that hundreds of bandits had laid a siege on the Kaduna-Zaria road.
He said the widely-circulated fake news even advised travellers not to enter or leave Zaria due to the presence of bandits at Dumbi and Jaji along the Zaria road.
Mohammed said, “Imagine the apprehension and disruption of plans that this fake news could have caused. Imagine its impact on the security operatives who are doing everything, including paying the ultimate price, to keep us safe?