by Dolapo Adelana
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says the influx of fake news, if left unchecked, has the ability to threaten the nation more than insurgency and militancy.
The minister disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja at the seventh edition of the National Security Seminar with the theme “Consolidating on the Gains of Counter-Terrorism Operations in Nigeria’’.
The seminar was jointly organised by the National Defence College of Nigeria, the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Alumni Association of the National Defence College.
He urged the armed forces to give special attention to its communication and information dissemination strategy so as to consolidate on its displacement of Boko Haram insurgents.
“We must pay adequate attention to communication strategy and have our people who will be very active also on the social media.
“It is a front that has been largely neglected which we must now pay special and adequate attention to,’’ he said.
Mohammed described fake news phenomenon, as a situation where someone or some persons fabricate stories capable of setting one group or religion against the other and send them out through the social media.
“Regrettably, fake news is circulated worldwide through the means of the social media and it travels faster.
“Only recently, we have to refute the fake news that Nigeria today is the most difficult place for Christians to live.
“There was also the fake report that the armed forces of Nigeria armed the Fulani herdsmen and instigate them to carry out attacks
“All these news are unfounded, fake and has the capacity to set one religion or group against the other,’’ he said.
He cited examples were fake news stories had been used to misinform the public.
The Minister said it took the intervention of the US government to set the record straight through a release that its President, Donald Trump truly had a telephone conversation with President Buhari.
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.