Nigeria government cautions fake news carriers in and outside the country
Fake news circulation is very rampant in the world of today. The spread of negative fake news has affected many countries negatively. Recently, the Federal Government of Nigeria has expressed concern about the rising cases of fake news in and outside the country, saying the development is a threat to every nation’s unity.
The government reacted to the false news spread all over the internet in the past few days about bomb blasts in Abuja and Lagos. The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed said that the Federal Government will expose those behind the fake news and bring them to justice. He stated that it was not the first time fake news is being circulated all around the world and calls for caution on the side of the news carrier.
His Special Adviser, Mr Segun Adeyemi, today, said the minister called on Nigerians to be extra vigilant as a result of the worsening cases of fake news being spread by unscrupulous persons who are bent on destabilising the polity.
”On our part, we will not relent until we have exposed those who are behind this fake news phenomenon and brought them to justice,” Mr Mohammed said, adding that the fake news phenomenon is “the scourge of our times”.
He further said that each of the major cases of fake news that were spread all around the internet this past weekend is capable of causing panic, triggering chaos or setting one group against the other. He further said that such news could cause conflicts that could lead to the deaths of people in the country.
He confirmed that a gory video of a blast that occurred many years ago is being circulated along with the false news of a bomb blast in Abuja, a bomb fairy tale that never occurred.
In addition, on Saturday, the Lagos State Police Command, had to issue a statement, calling on Nigerians to disregard false reports of a bomb blast in Oshodi area of Lagos.
“We would like to allay the fears of the general public with regard to the falsehood being circulated on the social media in respect of security situation at Mafoluku-Oshodi and environs,” it had said.
Mohammed further said that the fake news is practically meant to destabilize the country and throw it into panic:
“This is why we are appealing to Nigerians not to ever engage in a knee-jerk reaction to any news, and to subject every information to a very serious scrutiny by checking with security agencies and government spokespersons,” he said.
The minister has called on all reputable media houses, in and outside the country to be very vigilant as many of the fake news carrier illegally gain access into their website and publish fake news in order to gain some modicum of credibility. He also urged the people responsible for the fake news to put an end to such unlawful and life threatening act.