BY: SA'ADU BINKOLA
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that “security of the nation is not the responsibility of Security Agencies alone but a collective responsibility of all sundry”.
The Minister made this assertion in a keynote address; he delivered at the 47th National Council on Information Meeting in Kaduna, Kaduna State. He said fake news and hate speech whether at local government level or national level have the potential to threaten the peace, security and corporate existence of the country. He appealed to the media to thoroughly verify the credibility of news materials before going to press.
The Minister noted that internet platforms such as FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE, GOOGLE TWITTER AND INSTERGRAM are vital components of the 21st century communication and civic discourse. He said fake news and hate speech entrench social, religious, political and cultural division, adding that, any misguided speech or fake news could spark reactions and lead to massive destruction of lives and properties. He reminded peddlers that no nation develops in a state of anarchy which is why information stakeholders must play a key role in effectively managing the sector.
He further said “the importance of proper management of information in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized as Nigeria is multi ethnic and multi religious country and it is becoming more and more complex as the global community is currently being driven by digital communication.
Alh. Lai Mohammed said the biggest challenge that can consume the world today is fake news and hate speech, adding that, if not curtailed their consequences might be worse than all the crises that the world had ever witnessed.
In his welcome address, the Kaduna State Governor Mallam Nasir Ahmed El-rufai welcomes delegates for coming to Kaduna for the 47th meeting of the National Council on Information.
He expressed confidence that the three day meeting would yield the desired result on how the media managers could tackle the menace of fake news and hate speech.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting the National Council on Information attended by over 250 delegates had considered a number of memorandums. All the three memorandum submitted by the Adamawa State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ahmad I. Sajoh have been approved. The Council has given Gombe State government hosting rite of next meeting at a date to be determined later.
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